Reaching your career destination often entails a lot of effort, hard work, and practice. People look for various careers to succeed and enhance their learning experience and earning potential. However, when it comes to project managers, there is a certification that can help them reach their career goals, i.e., PMP® Certification.
The certification is essential for project managers to boost their job prospects and help them gain as much experience as possible. Being widely recognized and popular, the PMP certification training programs can provide project managers with jobs across the globe.
In this article, we will discuss how one can study for the PMP® exam to gain the ultimate designation. Further, we will also be covering the benefits of the PMP® certification for project managers.
But basics first – let us know what PMP actually is!
What is PMP® Certification?
The Project Management Professional is the world’s leading project management certification that includes predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches. This certification supercharges the careers of project managers across the globe and helps companies find result-oriented individuals to work smarter and perform better.
Interestingly, the PMP® certification has been designed by the project professionals to validate the individuals based on three things, i.e.,
- People – It emphasizes the soft skills that an individual must have in order to lead the project team in today’s transforming environment.
- Processes – It includes reinforcing the technical aspects of the projects.
- Business Environment – It includes highlighting the connection between projects and industrial strategy.
To gain certification, it is essential to pass the PMP exam. Let us look at some tips and tricks to pass the exam and gain certification.
Tips To Crack the PMP® Exam On the First Attempt
Who doesn’t want to crack the PMP exam in one go? Don’t we all aspire for it? We all do but the PMP exam is quite challenging. Just 2 out of 5 individuals pass the exam. Well, the exam is difficult but it is not impossible to crack it. All we need are some tips and tricks to crack the exam. So, let us discuss some of them!
1. Mastering the PMBOK® Guide
The Project Management Body of Knowledge is a guide published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). Becoming proficient with the guide is the first and the most essential step in passing the exam. There is no dearth of PMP guides but nothing can compensate for the PMBOK® guide. This guide will give you conceptual clarity without which you will not be able to clear the exam. Thus, beginning the PMP® exam preparation with the official guide will strengthen your foundational skills before you move on to the advanced concepts.
2. Making a Schedule
A study plan acts as a roadmap for exam preparation. Before you begin studying, you need to have clarity in defining your goals and planning how you are going to achieve them. If you don’t have a schedule, then you will get lost in the middle of the preparation, thereby making it difficult to even complete the syllabus on time.
Make a schedule, wherein you must first know the time, i.e., how many months are left for the exam? How many hours must you devote to studying? When can you study the most – morning or evening? Try to answer questions like these and then do your research on finding the resources that will help you prepare easily.
Further, divide the syllabus and give yourself deadlines. Try to adhere to these deadlines and you will see that you can prepare for the exam efficiently.
3. Take Up Different Study Guides
No doubt, the PMBOK® guide is helpful. But it is not enough! Yes, you heard us right. The PMBOK® guide is not exam-oriented. It provides conceptual clarity to a great extent but it doesn’t tell you how to apply those theories and processes in the real world. Therefore, it is essential to look for other guides as well that can help you prepare for the exam.
It is essential to note that many topics are not covered in the PMBOK® guide. So, an additional guide will help you cover those topics. Search for the best books and have at least 2-3 by your side. Also, do not forget to read reviews before you buy them!
4. Solve Practice Questions
The questions in the PMP® exam are majorly scenario-based. These scenarios can be quite diverse in nature. So, just reading theory won’t help much. This is where the practice questions help. The more questions you solve, the easier it is to excel in the exam.
The variety of questions can be divided into several categories. For instance, some questions can be direct and short, while others can be lengthy and complex to comprehend. You can be asked about anything in the exam – ranging from tools and technique questions to formula-based to scenario-based questions. Thus, it is best to keep a balance between theory and practical questions. Solve as many questions as possible!
5. Write Practice Tests
This is the extension of the previous point. It is essential to note that PMP is not a knowledge-based exam. If you think that way, then you are bound to fail! The PMP® exam has a vast syllabus and the questions are quite tough. By looking at the type of questions and the varying difficulty levels – all we can say is that it will be challenging to crack the exam if you don’t take up practice tests.
It is best to write mock tests to understand the type of questions and the strategies you can apply to finish the exam on time. Try to complete the exam within the stipulated time period, i.e., 3-4 hours. The more you practice, the better you will become at solving questions.
If you observe that you are getting 80% or more than that, then you can be assured that you will pass the exam. But if not, then you need to practice till you get the desired percentage. [Tip – Take mock tests as feedback to tune and transform your strategies in order to excel on the day of the exam.]
6. Make Use of the 35 Hours of PMP® Training
35 hours of project management training is one of the eligibility criteria points that an individual has to fulfill. But here’s a suggestion, rather than treating it like eligibility criteria, make use of it as a learning experience that you might benefit from! The 35 hours of the PMP® certification training should be utilized to create a strong base for the concepts. If there are any specific areas you are weak in, these hours can help you overcome them!
Ensure that the training you are choosing has expert trainers that help you gain deep insights into the PMP® exam.
7. Join the PMI® & Build a Network of Project Managers
Becoming a PMI® member before you give the exam has numerous benefits. For instance, as you become a member, the exam fee becomes cheaper. Secondly, the PMI opens wide opportunities for you and helps you create a strong network with experienced project managers.
The PMP® exam is dynamic in nature. Therefore, it is important to track various developments and work as per industry standards. The best way to cope with these changes and trends is to connect with other managers. If you are stuck somewhere and need a solution, these project managers can help you with this. They can offer you various strategic solutions based on their experience of several years.
8. Manage Your Time
Let us break this point into two parts, i.e., managing time at the preparatory stage and during the exam.
Many people who opt for the PMP® exam are working professionals. Thus, it is important to manage time between professional responsibilities and the time of studying. Planning the time is paramount because the exam requires an in-depth study of various concepts. So, if you lack time management, then it will be difficult to pass the exam.
Here are some tips that can help you manage time efficiently:
- Decide the maximum time you would spend on every question. 90-100 seconds is a good limit. If you cross this, mark the question for reviewing and move on to the next one.
- Tackle the easier questions first and then solve the difficult ones.
- Pay attention to the time when you need breaks.
- Make sure to set aside some time for reviewing the exam paper to look if you have missed any questions or not!
To sum it up, the best way to crack the exam on the first attempt is to treat it with a “now or never” attitude. Take help from the tips mentioned above as they will help you prepare effectively for the examination. Make a plan, solve practice tests, and do not forget to take breaks as well. Your brain also needs refreshment to solve questions strategically, thereby taking less time. Keep checking your progress and make changes to the strategies you make while analyzing your performance in mock tests.
Apart from these tips, one can also apply for PMP certification training. The training will help you have practical knowledge so that you can complete the exam on time. You must take this training as a learning experience that will help you crack the exam in one go!
So, apply today for the PMP® training course and put in consistent efforts to clear the exam with ease.