This is indeed a good news for all those planning to take the PMP exam in the month of December. Cornelius Fischener‘s famous PMP Exam Simulator normally costs $99.00 for 90 day access. The package includes the following:
1,800 questions / 9 exams
Take exams 24/7 “like real”
Unlimited exam repeats
Based on current PMBOK® Guide
No download necessary
Now, for a limited time, you can get access to this PM Exam simulator for FREE.
Here is what you need to do, to get the FREE access:
To pass PMP exam, one has to sit for four hours and answer 200 questions. Naturally there will be some anxiety around your preparation for the PMP exam. With so much study materials available, deciding on what to study, how to study could be challenge. Unless you get that right, you will end up spending a lot of time and money, yet not achieve the desired result.
Here are some crucial tips based on the experience from my preparation to attend the PMP exam.
1. A Plan is Key to Pass PMP Exam
This is the critical step to your success in the PMP exam. Before you start preparing for the exam you should have three questions answered and they should be in your study plan. WHAT, HOW and HOW LONG?
What to Study for the PMP Exam?
Here you decide your study activities. Normally this includes the following:
Reading the PMBOK Guide.
Reading one ( you don’t need more!) PMP exam preparation book.
Preparing notes with formula, ITTOs and other mind maps.
Re visiting weak areas to get a better understanding.
How and How Long to Study?
These two go hand in hand. Since how long depends on how, address them together.
How you study is up to you. But there are certain things that have proven to help thousands of PMP candidates.
2. Run Through Study > Test > Evaluate > Clarify Cycle.
This is very powerful.This takes an iterative approach to your PMP exam preparation. The iteration contains four steps. You repeat the cycle until you achieve the desired result. This is the basic concept. But what you do in each step could vary from iteration to iteration. We will discuss that in later sections.
Cycle Phase 1: Study For the PMP Exam:
This is the phase where you go through the study materials and try to understand the concepts. Some of the activities in this phase include:
Reading PMBOK guide
Reading any other PMP preparation book
Watching the PMP training videos
Listening to the PMP preparation audios
Learning formulas and calculations
Practicing diagrams and mind maps
Cycle Phase 2: Test What You Studied:
This is the point where you are checking out what you studied. Don’t wait to take tests until all your studies are complete. Taking these tests will help you focus on weak areas and improve.
Some of the activities in this phase include:
Taking practice tests
Taking timed, simulated exams
Writing down all the formulas
Cycle Phase 3: Evaluate Your Understanding
This is the reality check! Now that you have taken some tests, evaluate them and see where you stand. This step involves verifying your practice exam answers and cross checking the formula or ITTOs you have written down. The results will identify your strong and weak areas.
Cycle Phase 4: Clarify Things You Don’t Know
During the evaluation you have identified your mistakes and weak areas. It is time to clarify them and get a better understanding of those topics. Revisit those topics, and get a better understanding of them.
3. PMBOK Guide is a Necessary Evil: Don’t Ignore It
I have heard a lot of complaints that PMBOK Guide is dry and boring, hard to read and understand etc. But, keep in mind, that is what you will be tested on. So, don’t skip it. Start with the PMBOK Guide first. Read the guide in its entirety even if some of the concepts don’t make much sense to you. When you read other books and study materials you will get better understanding of these concepts.
4. Take Breadth First Approach
Be it PMBOK Guide or any other PMP exam preparation book, they all cover the same concept. Only difference is in the presentation and narration. Project Management Body Of Knowledge is a collection of complex, detailed concepts. So, no matter which book you pick, don’t expect to understand everything. In the first iteration of the study cycle, focus on touching on all the topics and get an idea of what is included in the subject. In later iterations you will be able to more effectively dive deep in to each topic.
5. Know What you Don’t Know
As you read through the books or listen to the audio resources, keep a note of topics you didn’t quite follow. Don’t go back and forth on the same topic trying to grasp it. It doesn’t help. Instead create a list of those areas and pay more attention to them in your next study cycle iteration.
Unless you keep track of your weak areas you many never go back and study them again. So, as you move on keep a running list of such topics and strike off the ones you are clear about.
The same list can be appended with the weak areas you identified during evaluation too. If, in a practice exam your score in a specific knowledge area is low, note it down and make sure you pay extra attention to that area next time.
6. Create Mind Maps
PMBOK Guide presents a lot of inter-related information that are intricately connected together. Hence it is very useful to create a pictorial representation of how knowledge areas, process groups and ITTOs are interconnected. That image is the mind map of the PMBOK structure. Once that image firmly stamps on the brain, it will be very easy to understand the questions and choose the best answer. The mind map approach works much better than just memorizing plain words or statements.
7. Study Consistently & Stick to Your Books
Success in PMP exam requires consistency in study. Be prepared to spend at least 15 hours per week for the exam preparation. Be regular in studying. Studying 20 hour one week and then taking a month long break will drastically hit your pace of study. Once you get the momentum, keep it going until the finish line.
There are many good books available to study for PMP certification. Different books have worked well for different people. There is no one or two best book to chose. Everyone’s style and preference is different.
So, don’t go hunting for the best PMP study book in the world. Instead, read reviews or borrow and check a few books and then stick to PMBOK Guide and one additional book.
Reading more books won’t necessarily help you understand the concept better. Beyond two books, you are more likely to be confused. Instead, go through the same books multiple times to strengthen your knowledge and understanding. This will help you form an image of the topics in your mind as well.
If you have access to more books, certainly try out the practice exams from them. That will help you validating your overall understanding of the PMBOK concepts. At times reading a book and immediately taking the practice exams in it may be deceiving. Reading one book and taking the exam on the same topic from another book is certainly a good idea.
8. Get the Most Out of PMP Practice Tests
Taking practice tests are the MOST critical part of your study. Take as many practice tests as you can. This will only help you do better in the exam. Once you study some book or topic or listen to an audio, it is a very good idea to test yourself on that. Take some practice exams in that area and check how you did. While there are some free practice tests available online, I highly recommend you use at-least one commercially available PMP practice exam. They are more exhaustive, flexible and come with answers and explanation to the answers as well.
9. Make Best Use of Lessons Learned
As PMP credential has become one of the most sought after certifications, there are lot of professionals becoming PMPs now. Many of them share their experience, mistake they made, tricks they used, what worked and what did not, etc in the form of PMP Lessons Learned. Make best use of them and they will give a good guidance for your PMP exam preparation.
10. Check Your Readiness
One of the commonly asked questions is that when will one know that he or she is ready to take the exam. While there is no definite answer, practice exam result could help. If you consistently score about 80-85% in three different timed, full length, simulated practice exams that should give you a good confidence level to take the real PMP exam.
PMI has released PMBOK Guide 5th Edition in the beginning of 2013. However, until July 31, 2013 the PMP examination will NOT be based on this new PMBOK Guide. The examination will continue to be based on PMBOK Guide 4th Edition, released back in 2008. Starting July 31, 2013 PMI will revise the examination to align with the new PMBOK Guide 5.
As a project manager, this is high time you think about the change management. This is the time to plan your exam preparation and scheduling if you are going to take the PMP examination in next few months.
If you are planning to take the PMP exam BEFORE July 31,2013…
Practically nothing changes for you. You need to use the 4th edition of PMBOK Guide and all study materials and preparation courses based on PMBOK Guide 4th edition. But, now ( June-July, 2013) it is time when most of the training and study material providers start releasing their updated versions of the material aligning with PMBOK Guide 5. You SHOULD NOT use them. Make sure you always use the study aids and trainings based on PMBOK Guide 4th edition.
If you are planning to take the PMP exam AFTER July 31,2013…
What does not change?
Qualification and prerequisite to apply for the PMP exam does not change. You don’t have to time the exam based on your qualification.
Application process to apply for the PMP exam doesn’t change.
PMP examination fee will not change with the new exam
PMI has not mentioned anything about the change in PPM exam pattern
What changes and what you need to do
PMBOK Guide: The reference book for the PMP exam will change starting July 31, 2013. If you are planning to appear for the exam after that date, DO NOT use PMBOK Guide 4th edition, instead use PMBOK Guide 5th Edition
All PMP Exam Training Courses:Training providers are in the process of updating their training materials now. But, not many have released their revised training materials based on PMBOK Guide 5th edition as we write this guide. Please make sure you use revised training materials for your preparation. If you have recently purchased training course based on PMBOK Guide 4th addition you may be eligible for free update when they release new version. Check with the training providers if they can provide you new training material free of cost based on your recent purchase.
For example PM Prepcast has come up with the following pricing policy when they release new version of Prepcast by end of June 2013
A $29 upgrade fee for purchases from January to April 2013.
All Study Materials and Practice Exams: They are bound to change with new PMBOK Guide. Again, you make sure to use the new version of the books, formula guides, exam simulators etc for your exam preparation. Here too, you can check with you seller if you are eligible for free or discounted upgrade.
A $9.99 upgrade fee for purchases made between January to April 2013.
Avoid the stabilization phase
The first few weeks after PMI switches over to the new exam, there could be some uncertainties around the questions, reporting etc. It is recommended not to take the exam during that period to avoid you becoming a guinea pig for this change. It is better to avoid second half of July ( everyone will be rushing to take the exam using PMBOK Guide 4 and you may not get the seats etc) and first half of August ( when you don’t have must history to learn from) for taking the exam.
Closely watch PMP Exam discussion forums and mail groups
When it comes to feedback on the new exam, these are your best friends. Here you will get early clue on the new exam. The people who have taken the new exam will be sharing their experience and discussing their lessons learned in these platforms. Use them and get tips for your PMP exam preparation.
PMBOK Guide 5th edition is out now… Available in the market. This new edition of the PMBOK Guide has brought in a lot of changes, new additions, enhancements to the project management process. As usual the release of a new book with a lot of changes has put many PMP aspirants in a puzzled state. A Lot of questions arise in their mind- which version of the PMBOK Guide should I read now, when does the PMI switch to PMBOK 5 for the examination, can I use the existing practice exams and simulators and so on. The purpose of this article is to address these confusions and clarify them for our PMP aspirant project managers.
The PMBOK Guide is the bible for PMP certification examination. Historically PMI has been releasing new edition of the PMBOK Guide once every four years. Following the tradition, PMI has released the PMBOK Guide 5th Edition by the end of 2012.
The Process of Introducing a New Edition of PMBOK Guide
More than a year before the planned release date, PMI begins the preparations for the new book. It conducts studies and research to incorporate the latest industry trends, methodologies and best practices in project management into the PMBOK Guide. Then it releases the “exposure draft” of the new edition of the PMBOK Guide for the public to review and comment. Thousands of project management professionals participate in the review and provide their input and feedback. Then the draft is revised and the final version is released. For PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, the exposure draft was released in February 2012 and the final version was release at the end of 2012.
What is Different in PMBOK Guide 5th Edition?
Well, this new version of the PMBOK Guide brings in several changes to the knowledge areas and processes. Some of the main change are as follows
Addition of new knowledge area called “Stakeholder Management”. That makes it total ten knowledge areas as opposed to 9 in the 4th edition
Total 47 processes are included in PMBOK Guide now as compared to 42 processes in the 4th edition
Expanded definition of Project Management Office(PMO)
Inclusion of overview of waterfall, agile and adaptive approaches to project management
If you are interested to know more about the changes, I found this article very interesting and useful in explaining the changes in great details.
How is PMBOK Guide 5th Edition Going to Affect Me?
If you have been using PMBOK Guide 4th edition for your PMP exam preparation, don’t panic just because new edition is out. You can continue your study with the 4th edition and pass the exam. Normally PMI gives a 6-7 month window to update the exam with new edition of the PMBOK Guide after its release. The cut off date for PMP Exam to use PMBOK Guide 5th edition is July 31, 2013. That means, PMP exam will continue to follow PMBOK Guide 4th edition until this date. If you plan to take the PMP exam BEFORE this date, you can follow the the 4th edition of the guide.
I am preparing for the exam now, what do I do?
In short, stay the course. If you are preparing now, we assume you are planning to take the exam BEFORE July 31, 2013. In that case continue to follow the 4th edition of the PMBOK guide. You can confidently use all the practice exams and study guides in the market that are based on 4th edition.
In fact we highly recommend that you take the exam based on PMBOK Guide4th edition, instead of pushing it beyond July 31 and going with 5th edition.
Here is why:
Since 4th edition based exam has been there for more than three years now there is a rich lessons learned information available for you to refer.
There will be a lot of friends and colleagues who have passed the exams that can guide you based on their experience.
All training and study guide providers have fine tuned their content to best help the PMP exam applicants in passing the exam.
Ample practice questions for your preparation
I am planning to take the exam after July 31, what is recommended?
Well, if your plan is to take the exam after July 31st, for sure you must start following the 5th edition of the PMBOK guide. However we strongly recommend not to take the exam right after the switch happens.
Here is why:
All study material providers have just started working on updating their study materials. They are likely to publish revised content about 4-6 weeks before the switch over date. So, you won’t have much time to study for the exam using these revised study guides and other materials.
For most part you will have to rely on only PMBOK Guide which is not a good idea.
It will be hard to find updated practice questions in the market/Internet in the beginning when PMP exam is switched to PMBOK Guide 5th edition.
You will hardly have any lessons learned available to help you prepare for the exam.
Because of all these reasons our recommendation for you is to take the exam before July 31 using PMBOK Guide 4th edition or wait for few months after July 31st 2013, if you are going to follow the 5th edition of PMBOK Guide.
Does the question pattern change with new PMBOK Guide?
Can I use the existing study guides and material with PMBOK Guide 5?
No, since PMBOK Guide 5th edition introduced significant changes to the content, it is not advisable to use the 4th edition based study guides and other materials. All major training content providers have already started revising thier study materials. They are expected to release revised materials sometime in June 2013. So, if you are planning to go with PMBOK Guide 5th edition for your PMP certification, it is better to plan accordingly. Right after the switch ( end of July) there may not be enough reliable study materials available in the market. When we checked with Project Management Prepcast, one of the leading video training provider for PMP exam preparation, we got a response that they will be releasing PMBOK Guide 5th edition based version by June 30, 2013.
Mr. Cornelius Fichtner, one of the prominent PMP trainers, has put together a video guide on PMP Exam preparation. In this hour long guide, Cornelius walks through all major aspects of the PMP Exam Preparation.
Some of the topics covered in the session are:
Assess Your Eligibility
Fill out the Application
Build a PMP Exam Study Plan
Get Essential Study Materials
Learn Study Tips & Techniques
Use Sample Questions & Tests
Get Exam Day Ready
I browsed through this video and found it very informative.
This is a FREE video and you can check it out here:
PMP 35 Contact Hour training is a prerequisite to apply for the PMP exam. Are you one of the thousands of project management practitioners trying to balance work, life and find time to prepare for the PMP exam? Then, no doubt, you will be in the lookout for a convenient means to get these PMP 35 contact hour training. If you would like to earn these contact hours from the comfort of your home these are some of the options you have online. I have highlighted the key features of these courses and also listed the price. Hope this helps you to make an informed choice.
Prepcast 35 Contact Hour Training
Project Management Prepcast is a popular 35 contact hour training video workshop course for PMP exam preparation. You can download the video content to your favorite media player and study for the PMP exam wherever you are, whenever you want. This provides a lot of flexibility to study for your PMP exam.
With PM Prepcast, you can be exam ready by just watching the videos and listening to the audios. This way you don’t have to depend on a lot of books and get confused with different ways of describing the same concepts. Apart from providing you a video based flexible PMP exam preparation course, Prepcast also provides you the PMP 35 contact hour certificate that is needed to apply for the exam.
How will it help you in PMP exam preparation?
Once you purchase Prepcast you have all the flexibility to use it for your exam preparation.
You can simply download the videos and watch them at your convenience and listen to the audio while doing other activities such as driving, work out etc.. No need to travel to attend a class room training.
If you don’t prefer downloading, you have an option to sign into a secure gateway and access these videos online and study from there.
Prepcast contains 50hours of video training. You can watch them as often as you like to enhance your understanding.
Prepcast uses everyday English to explain the project management concepts and make it easier to understand. It is more important to understand the concepts rather than memorizing the content provided in PMBOK Guide.
Prepcast provides you insights from recent exam takers and helps you benefit from best practices on how to apply, study and pass the exam the first time.
There are many useful PMP Exam Study Tips that will help you get the best bang for the bucks.
How to claim the PMP 35 Contact Hour Certificate?
The Project Management Prepcast is a course that is prepared by OSP International LLC, a Registered Education Provider(REP). This means, the PMI has reviewed and approved them as a project management training provider.
Two weeks after you start studying with Prepcast, you can take an online exam. You can take this exam whenever you want, as many times as you want. Once you pass that exam you will be able to print your PMP 35 contact hour certificate. This certificate can be submitted along with your PMP exam application.
Simplilearn is a leading provider of the PMP 35 Contact Hour Training. The PMP 35 contact hour certificate is a prerequisite to apply for the exam. Simplilearn offers instructor lead online courses for your PMP exam preparation. Their online courses are very popular due to their simplicity and unique approach to describing complex concepts.
More than 52000 people have benefited from Simplilearn courses. Their hands on approach will allow you to work with industry based projects and get deeper insight into various aspects of project management.
Simplilearn Self-Paced PMP Training
This course provides 180 days of access to high-quality, self-paced learning content designed by industry experts.
With this course, you get:
29 hours of high-quality e-learning content
5 industry case studies and 20 real world examples
PMTraining has been providing quality training to students to prepare for the PMP certification. This training will also give the 35 Contact Hours required to apply for the PMP exam. These certification courses come in two flavors.
you can chose the one that is suitable for you.
Live PMP Classes Online
Some of the key features of the live classes are as follows
These are live virtual classes conducted during evenings and weekends
The course is taught by experts with strong industry experience
One can attend from the comfort of home or office.
Opportunity to interact with peers and expert instructors
Gives the students 35 PMI Contact Hours required to apply for the exam
Gives one-on-one discussion opportunity with the instructors
Comes with all study materials required to prepare for the exam
For more details on the fee structures( discount available) and schedule please visit their website: PMTraining.com