“PMP” is the buzz word in the project management world and the most revered and sought after certification by project management professionals around the world. Most professionals have always placed PMP certification on its rightful pedestal. But apart from guaranteeing professional growth and scalability, PMP certification provides increased productivity to anybody managing any type of establishment in any sector of society.
With the right mindset and proper technique, you can crack the PMP certification exam in the first attempt. Let us begin the adventure of learning the techniques of the trade in order to pass the PMP certification exam on the first try.
Cracking PMP is not a cumbersome task if one follows the tips and tricks provided here diligently. This PMP prep plan has been tried and tested by a myriad of project management professionals across the globe with great success.
Understanding each concept with correlation and interdependencies is the crux to crack the PMP certification exam in the first go.
As a result, you must keep a few key points in mind in order to comprehend and assess the intricacies of the test and pass it effectively.
For any individual that is planning to take up the long journey of getting certified on PMP, it can be divided into two phases :
- Training Period
- Post Training
1.Training Period : Finding the right training provider:
Inorder to achieve maximum benefit out of the PMP training, it is highly advisable to search for the most competent training provider because, only an expert with hands-on practical knowledge can guide you through the intricacies of PMP.
While getting trained from a training provider, ensure that you are appropriately instructed in terms of topic connection and which follows what. This way it will be easier for you to remember and recollect information than following the order of topics as in the index of your preparatory material and books. And make sure that your training provider is not only good at training but also the hand holding required to crack the exam in the post training phase..
2.Post Training Period / Preparation Period :
Once you have decided to appear for the PMP certification exam, you should understand that practice is the foremost step to clear the examination. You must practice the concepts, keywords, and example questions very thoroughly for at least two months prior to the exam. Before enrolling with a REM, do thorough research and choose the best source available.
Examine a variety of blog posts and online materials before settling on a single source that best matches your learning style. Do not keep referring to plenty of blogs, sites, and resources. Stick to one which is comprehensive and updated.
Make the PMBOK Guide your first go-to book along with a parallel reference of Rita Mulchay’s PMP exam preparation guide.
Follow the 5 points below. These are one of the most tried and tested strategies for the successful completion of the PMP certification exam.
Managing your time has a twofold purpose:
a)For Preparation :
While you embark on your quest to conquer the PMP realm, you must inculcate a sense of discipline for preparation. Set a timeframe of a minimum of 30days, post which you can attempt the PMP certification exam. In the one-month preparatory phase, allocate four hours a day according to your convenience, even if those four hours are not planned at a stretch, for preparation. Set a schedule in which the first two hours of your daily prep go into understanding a concept and studying it well. This can be inclusive of the time you spend getting trained with your REM. The next two hours should go into practical analysis and understanding scenarios of the concept applicability. You can also solve relevant questions in these two hours.
b)For the Examination :
Since January 2nd, 2021 the question paper pattern has changed. You now have to answer 180 questions in 230 minutes. Understand your reading and comprehension speed, so that you can time each question accordingly. You will have to time your speed of answering questions and improve it during the preparation stage.
Check out the PMP sample practice exam questions here
For a professional who is certified in PMP, it is natural to be in tandem with teams and interact with other stakeholders regularly. Similarly, if you study interactively, it will make you proactive in a situation that demands a solution.
Even during the PMP certification examination, your mind will process things better and faster if you have indulged in interactive study. Make sure that your REM aids in a productive and interactive session each time you are being trained on a concept. You must be encouraged to ask questions and you also need to take the initiative to answer them.
The entire PMP certification syllabus is divided into 47 processes which are further broadly classified into 5 process groups. Every person attempting the PMP examination needs to have a visual memory of the processes and process group categorization. Making mind maps that are clear for your understanding will help in getting the processes and process groups registered in your mind. You can also follow these links to mind map softwares for your reference.
This will enable you to recreate solutions better for each question of the examination.
Chuck Frey of the mind mapping software blog, concluded through a 2017 survey that, “improved understanding of complex issues.”
For effective mind mapping, it is better to go back to the good old school way of picking two different coloured pens to differentiate between processes and process groups also, a highlighter to emphasize the correlation of concepts in the mind maps.
Before appearing for the real exam, take as many mock tests as possible for you to get a hang of the exam pattern, time management, and self-evaluation of concepts. Follow the method of reading each question from bottom up, where you read the last line to determine what the question requires, whether to find the right answer or point out the wrong one. This makes it easy to look for the relevant option once you finish reading the question completely.
If one achieves a score of 70-75 percent on mock examinations, it serves as a baseline for taking the actual PMP certification exam. In addition, the exam must be of high quality, closely resembling the genuine PMP test. Only then can you fully assess your position. ExcelR provides one such best-in-class mock test. Their mock examinations contain around 4000+ practice questions devised and produced by industry professionals, and the standard is comparable to the genuine PMP certification. Apart from this, you get to take 3 full length mock exams that help you get a feel of what the actual exam feels like.
5.Don’t Procrastinate: The biggest reason most people fail at PMP is procrastination. When you put one day’s preparation off for the next day, it will disrupt your discipline and you will move further away from the schedule you have set for yourself to crack the exam. If you keep preparing on and off, it will also hurt your chances of passing the exam.
Finally, it’s very important to work on your mindset and how to strengthen it: The Manager Drill.
“THE MANAGER DRILL” :
Firstly, understand the standpoint of evaluation that is done. You are tested on your ability to provide the right, time-saving, resource-optimized solution to a real-life issue. So, it is not about how well you can mug up the material and spit out in the exam
A deeper understanding of concepts and their relevant application is the only way you can ace the exam. Attune your mindset into synchronizing the PMP concepts as a part and parcel of your work and daily life.
You need to train your brain to think and act like the best manager. There’s a small trick that can help you with this.
Wake up to the self-affirmation that you are a great manager Strictly stick to your preparation schedule Put to practice the concept you studied that day to a real issue (This applies even if you are not a manager yet or even if you are solving a household issue.) Keep using terms and concepts of PMP even while talking about trivial chores (Your mind maps will come in handy here.) Take a deep breath and smile often. (This will help ease the stress of preparation.) It is important to take note of the value that a PMP certification guarantees to an individual. Only then will you be motivated enough to go through the rigor of PMP exam preparation. Cracking the exam and getting certified as Project Management Professional will help you gain superior advantage over your peers in the professional space. It will also enable you to enrich your knowledge base and enhance your skill set.
According to the PMI salary survey, project managers with a PMP certification earn 20% more than the non PMP certified project managers. This is proof of the value that a PMP certification adds to a project manager. With enhanced skills and practical approach, a PMP certified project management professional will be able to provide the right solutions to most problems even if they are newly emerging ones. Risk management and mitigation will inherently be developed through PMP training and will prove its worth in times like this pandemic. Though it is a difficult road to take, the PMP certification is an evergreen credential for the majority of project managers.
Diligence and perseverance throughout preparation are required for a project manager to pass the PMP on the first try. So, go ahead and give the PMP examination your best shot!