Last week, I finally released my PMP study notes as an e-book. In the Books page, there are links to all the stores I usually publish.
The PMP exam is one of the toughest exams I ever sit, mainly because of two things:
- The exam covers a lot of material
- Most exam questions are about scenarios, practical applications and what it’s the best thing to do in a certain situation (according to the PMBOK, the Project Management Book of Knowledge, way of doing things).
My preparation included the following books:
- PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition by Rita Mulcahy
- Head First PMP, Third Edition by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman
- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK(R) Guide by the Project Management Institute
The most helpful book was Rita Mulcahy’s. It gives you a lot of tips for the exam, it goes deeply into the topics, it has a lot of exercises, and in my opinion, its practice questions are the ones closest to the real exam. PMBOK is a required reading, but it doesn’t go deep into many concepts, it’s more like a reference. The Head First book lacks deep in many concepts and the practice questions are “easy”. I’d only recommend it after reading another book (Rita Mulcahy’s is a great choice) and/or to better understand some topic.
As with any certification, you need to practice a lot. This page is an excellent resource:
Focus on the tests marked with H.
The second resource I can recommend is PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers, & Explanations by Christopher Scordo.
Both help me a lot to get used to the situational kind of questions, however, I couldn’t say that either one of them is more like the real exam or has the same difficulty level.
So in the exam, I got many questions about:
- Conflict resolution techniques
- Risk response strategies
- Tuckman ladder
- Types of contracts
- How to apply change management
- Quality, like knowing the purpose of the quality processes, and when and how to apply their tools and techniques (for example, Pareto and control diagrams)
- Questions of the type “You’re in X process, here’s what’s going on, what do you do next?”
- Channels of communications
- CV and SV
- CPI and SPI
Though they were easy, they didn’t always give you all the elements to apply them directly.
I didn’t get any ethical-related questions. They were a few about communication, critical paths, projectized vs. functional organizations, and project charter/initiation.
I took me like three months for preparing this exam, about two hours each day. But at the end, I pass with four Ps (Proficient) and one MP (Moderately Proficient)!
Now, I’m working to get the 60 PDUs required to renew the certification. Luckily, the PMI’s membership (which I totally recommend you get) includes access to http://www.projectmanagement.com, which gives you thousands of webinars that you can watch to easily earn PDUs. Great, don’t you think?