PMP is world’s most recognized certification for project management profession. But earning the PMP Certificate might be challenging especially if you are a working professional, finding time to study PMP might be hard. Is there any PMP study plan? Which PMP study plan will fit me? What are the steps of a PMP study plan?
Actually, there is not a simple and concrete answer of this PMP study plan question. As Master of Project Academy, we have helped to more than 50,000 professionals from more than 170 countries to clear their PMP exam with our PMP Training. While we had students who cleared the exam only in 15 days, we had students prepared 6 months for PMP as well. Briefly, it all depends on your background in project management, your availability and dedication to PMP preparation.
However, based on our experiences, we have prepared a PMP study plan for working professionals. Most of the PMP aspirants work full-time during day and try to pass the PMP during their leisure times. These can be in the evening after the work, weekends, or public holidays. Therefore, our PMP study plan below is valid for a full-time working professional.
7 Step PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals
Our PMP study plan for working professionals include 7 major steps. We will go over each step one-by-one.
1st Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Determine Target Date for Sitting PMP Exam
If you wish to succeed, you need to determine an attainable target first! Determine when you will sit for the PMP exam. This is the first step of PMP Study Plan. This does not mean that go and schedule your PMP exam date. Just mark a date that you will be ready to take the PMP exam. It all depends on your schedule, availability and dedication, but our recommendation for a regular full-time working professional is planning 3-4 month for PMP preparation.
Because a regular PMP Training includes 35 hours of project management education. But you will be spending more time to make practice tests, going over notes, remembering formulas, and going over unclear parts that you could not understand well in first attempt etc.
Therefore, a typical PMP preparation takes around 70-85 hours in total. If you consider that you will be able to study only in the evenings, during weekends and public holidays, we assume that you can spare around 6 hours for PMP study each week. And this makes 12-14 weeks preparation time in total.
2nd Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Prepare Your Plan
You can plan 6 hours of study per week based on your schedule. For instance, you can study 2 hours on Monday, 2 hours on Wednesday and 2 hours on Sunday. Or, if you want to leave the weekend empty, you can swap Sunday study with the Thursday. The days you will study for PMP may change week-to-week but try to keep at least 6 hours of study time.
There might be long public holidays or specials days ahead that you won’t be able to study. Plan these weeks as free and make your PMP study plan accordingly.
There are 10 Knowledge areas in PMBOK, and 2 additional introductory sections (Organizational Influences and Project Lifecycle and Project Management Processes).
Content and respectively the time required to complete these sections will change but roughly, plan to complete 1 section each week. And in total, 12 sections will be completed in 12 weeks.
3rd Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Take Notes during Your PMP Study
There will be lots of concepts, formulas, hints etc. throughout the PMP Training. Printout the handouts before starting to lectures and take notes during your PMP study.
Especially take notes where you found valuable information. These notes will be useful once you finished the course. You will go over the notes during last weeks of preparation to remember previous lectures you completed before.
4th Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Make Practice as much as Possible
The biggest tip we can give for you for passing any certification exam is: Do as much as practice you can. PMP Training includes 750 practice questions, section quizzes at the end of each section and 1 sample full realistic PMP exam.
Mark your answers and check whether you can score over 70% from each quiz and from sample PMP exams. Our recommendation is, if you can score over 70% from quizzes and sample exams of our PMP Training and from PMP Realistic exams, you can confidently pass the Real PMP exam as well.
5th Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Go through your wrong answers
Once you finished your PMP study, go over your wrong answers that you selected during quizzes and sample PMP Exams. Your wrong answers show your weaknesses. Especially go through the knowledge areas where you made the most mistakes.
Going over the same section for the 2nd time will strengthen your know-how and reduce the risks of selecting wrong options during the real PMP exam.
6th Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Go through your notes frequently
Best way to keep your mind ready for the PMP exam is going over your notes frequently. PMP preparation is a long journey, and sections you completed earlier might be harder to remember when you come to the further sections.
Therefore, best way to memorize what you will learn throughout the PMP study is going over your notes frequently.
For instance, you can spend 15-20 minutes of each week to go over your notes from previous sections.
7th Step of PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals: Go and Get the PMP!
You have gone through all sections, completed all quizzes and scored over 70% from quizzes and realistic PMP exams.
You are ready for the Big Day!
If you have still time for the PMP exam, spend your last days by going over your notes. Get a good sleep before the day of the PMP exam, and go to the PMP exam center to finalize your PMP study.
Once you get the PMP, do not forget to submit 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) in each 3 years to retain your PMP certificate. You can earn PDUs by enrolling in PDU providing courses, participating in project management activities, and giving trainings, seminars etc.
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