July 27, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Certifications for Professional Project Managers

By Linky van der Merwe

In a previous article about being a professional project manager, we explained the characteristics of a professional, the type of qualifications within the profession as well as the benefits to the individual and the organisation. This article will explain the main project management bodies, as well as the certifications on offer.

Who are the recognised Project Management Bodies?

Certifications for professionalsThere are three main recognised bodies for project management who provide a range of project management best-practice methodology, principles, qualifications, certifications and professional membership.

There is considerable overlap with what each of the three Bodies considers as best-practice project management. The differences tends to be more related to the level, focus, breadth and depth of project management principles, processes, techniques and methods rather than there being any fundamentally conflicting views about best-practice project management.

The three main recognised project management bodies are:

  1. Project Management Institute (PMI) – The PMI is the largest global membership association for project management professionals. At the heart of the PMI philosophy is ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)’, comprising of core project management processes and techniques. Training is delivered through PMI Registered Education Providers (REP). PMI is headquartered in the USA.
  2. Association for Project Management (APM) – The APM’s mission statement is to develop and promote the professional disciplines of project and programme management for the public benefit across all sectors of industry. At the heart of APM ethos is the APM Body of Knowledge (APM BoK), comprising fifty-two knowledge areas required to manage any successful project. APM BoK provides a framework and key principles for managing projects. Training and examinations are delivered through APM Accredited Training Providers. APM is headquartered in the UK.
  3. Association for Project Management Group (APMG) – The APMG is the registered examination institute and administer qualifications, certifications and accreditations for Axelos on behalf of The Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office is the owner of the PRINCE2 method for managing projects and MSP for managing programmes. PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects In Controlled Environments. MSP is an acronym for Managing Successful Programmes.PRINCE2 is a structured process-based method for effective project management and a de facto standard used extensively by the UK Government and is increasingly used in the private sector.

Certifications offered

The most well-known certifications in the project management marketplace today are awarded by these three institutions.

1.      PMI®:  Project Management Institute

PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, with more than half a million members and credential holders in 185 countries. Their worldwide advocacy for project management is supported by a globally-recognized standards and credentials, an extensive research program, and professional development opportunities.

  • CAPM®– Certified Associate in Project Management
  • PMP® – Project Management Professional
  • PgMP® – Program Management Professional
  • PMI-RMP® – Risk Management Professional
  • PMI-SP® – Scheduling Professional

2.      APM:  Association for Project Management

As the largest independent professional body of its kind in Europe, their membership extends to more than 20 000 individual and 500 corporate members throughout the UK and abroad.

  • Introductory Certificate in Project Management
  • APMP
  • APM Practitioner
  • CPM: Certificated Project Manager
  • APM Risk Certificate – Level 1
  • APM Risk Certificate – Level 2
  • Registered Project Professional (RPP)

3.      APMG-UK:

APMG-UK is the United Kingdom arm of APMG-International, a global Examination Institute accredited by The APM Group. APMG-UK specialises in the accreditation and certification of organisations, processes and people, within a range of industries and management disciplines and is currently the Official Accreditor of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

  • Agile Project Management
  • APMP Foundation, Practitioner, Professional Bid & Proposal Management
  • CHAMPS2 – Change Management Foundation
  • CHAMPS2 – Change Management Practitioner
  • Earned Value Management (EVM) Certification
  • PRINCE2® Foundation
  • PRINCE2® Practitioner
  • PPS – Programme and Project Sponsorship
  • M_o_R® Foundation and Practitioner (Management of Risk)
  • MSP® Foundation, Practitioner, Advanced Practitioner Managing Successful Programmes

4.      IPMA®:  International Project Management Association

The IPMA® is a world leading, non-profit making project management organisation which represents more than 50 project management associations from all continents of the world. The organisation actively promotes project management to businesses and organisations around the world in order to increase the recognition of the profession.

  • IPMA: International Project Management Association
  • Level A – Certified Projects Director
  • Level B – Certified Senior Project Manager
  • Level C – Certified Project Manager
  • Level D – Certified Project Manager Associate

5.      Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola, USA in 1981. (Unfortunately, there is no recognised Six Sigma accreditation body or single organization which oversees a standard body of knowledge or standardized Six Sigma tests and certification).

  • Six Sigma Certifications
  • Yellow Belt Certification
  • Green Belt Certification
  • Black Belt Certification
  • Master Black Belt Certification

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Looking for a Project Management Training Service Provider?

Review Article

Training with KnowledgeHut

In the dynamic world we live in today, learning policies within organisations are evolving at rapid speed in response to emerging technologies. Traditional, formal and scheduled training methods have given way to more informal and on-demand forms of learning, with an increasing accent on blended and e-learning delivery modes. Continuous training and collaboration helps organizations stay at the cutting-edge of change.

Global Training Provider

KnowledgeHut is a Global leader in online and classroom training for on-demand certifications like PMP, PMI-ACP, MS Project, PRINCE2 and more. As an industry-leading training company operating across 70 countries and 6 continents, their courses are aimed at delivering measurable improvements in business performance and productivity. Training is delivered across the US, Canada , Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, APAC and SE Asia.

Training with KnowledgeHut

Agile and Scrum training in Sydney on 1st February’17

Professionals who have completed their courses are equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and technical skills that enable them to stay at the forefront of their careers.

KnowledgeHut works with the Global Blended Model of Approach (GBMA), an effective method that makes training and learning easier for individuals and organizations in the industry. This methodology works through a blend of extensive online training in tandem with traditional classroom based learning. Participants have consistently achieved positive training results, with a shorter learning curve and significantly higher retention of the subject matter.

Specialties

KnowledgeHut is a registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance, PMI and IIBA. It’s also an ATP of EC-Council, CompTIA, APMG for PRINCE2 training, as well as a certified partner of AXELOS and the disciplined Agile consortium and Scaled Agile Inc.

KnowledgeHut offers an extensive selection of vendor-authorized training and certifications for PMI, Microsoft, APMG, CompTIA, and Scrum Alliance among many others.

Close the skills gap

They specialize in training, consulting, Scrum Master Training, Certification courses as well as e-Learning. Have a look at their Infographic on the Future of IT.

If you want to train with a company whose mission it is to empower human capital through industry accredited, nationally and internationally recognized courses to close the skill gap, visit KnowledgeHut and find the course that will make you more successful in 2017 and beyond.

Training Service Provider: GreyCampus – Training Project Professionals, Enhancing Careers

Certification training to develop new skills is an important aspect of career advancement. It not only recognizes your skills, but helps you get hired in a dream job. A 2012 Microsoft study highlights certification as an important hiring criteria. For hiring managers, a certification represents high skillsets for a candidate.

In a recent IT professionals survey, more than half of respondents stated that they landed new jobs due to a certification. It is part of important criteria for selection in project management jobs. If you plan to become certified in 2017 and you are looking for training, consider GreyCampus as the one-stop destination for all your training needs.

Introduction to GreyCampus

GreyCampus is a private education management company. Founded in 2014, it has its head office at Dallas, Texas in the United States. It is a leading training provider and has helped train more than 10,000 professionals worldwide. It provides training to professionals in the areas of project management and quality management. It is a registered education provider (REP) for many professional training courses. GreyCampus has also partnered with institutes like PMI, Axelos, PeopleCert, PRINCE2 and more.

Training methods

GreyCampus conducts training through the following methods:

  • Instructor-led online classes
  • Instructor-led traditional classroom courses
  • Self-learning online courses.

Project Management Training

PMP exam preparation courseThe project management courses at GreyCampus are available in the following modes:

  • Instructor-led
  • Online self-learning

The course provides learners with the essential tools needed to pass the exam. It is aligned as per the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) Guide, Fifth edition. It is also competitively priced to make learning affordable.

The instructor-led classes, both online and classroom are priced at $999. The online self-learning course is priced at $400.

GreyCampus also offers courses on CAPM and PMI-ACP certifications in different learning modes.

PRINCE2 Training

PRINCE2 FOUNDATIONGreyCampus offers the following courses around PRINCE2:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation Training and Certification course. It is available in both instructor-led and self-learning modes.
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Training and Certification course. It is available in both instructor-led and self-learning modes.
  • There is also a 3-day instructor-led only PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Combo course.

Project Professionals

GreyCampus training offers short courses to help project professionals earn Category A Professional Development Units (PDU). These PDUs help them keep their PMI certification, to develop themselves and to be up to date in the job market.

For example, the Microsoft Project Fundamentals priced at $5 will earn the student 5 PDUs. The Project Schedule Management Basics priced at $10 will gain the student 10 PDUs.

The other project applicable courses available are Project Collaboration and Management, MiniTab Online Training, Slack Introduction and many more.

Special offer

Project managers who are looking for training in 2017 can check the details of the project management courses on the GreyCampus website. You can check the course schedule, eligibility and location and make your choice as per your needs.

In partnership with Virtual Project Consulting, GreyCampus offers a special discount of 50% if you sign up from here. Just use coupon code PROJCOL.

***Some links are affiliate links.

PMP Exam: A fun way to become PMP certified

By Samantha Shore

With many organisations aiming to improve their project management maturity, there has been a big emphasis in the past few years on using professional project managers to execute their project portfolios. Project management is becoming more and more central to conducting all forms of business, hence the profession is experiencing rapid growth.

Brain Sensei e-learningSo, in this climate where the traditional corporate professional is not the only one interested in becoming PMP certified, there are options that exist to prepare the more non-traditional workers and their (potentially) non-traditional schedule for the PMP exam. One of these emerging options is Brain Sensei e-Learning.

A fun way to study

Brain Sensei offers learners an effective and fun way to study, while collecting the needed 35 contact hours at the same time. Founders John Estrella, PhD, CMC, PMP and Chris Stafford, MBA, PMP aimed to offer a service that they weren’t able to find when preparing for their own PMP exams – one that didn’t put them to sleep. Their solution to the problem was to create an e-learning program that pairs key knowledge points with fun animated videos to reinforce them and uses several types of interactive self-assessments to help learners gauge how they’re progressing. These features help users of Brain Sensei to stay engaged with the material, understand it more clearly, and remember key concepts when it counts: for example, during their PMP exam!

PMP Exam Prep Course

Brain Sensei self assessmentThe Complete PMP Exam Prep Course is $399. It is composed of six online modules (also available for individual purchase) that cover the 5 Project Management process groups, as well as over 900 practice exam questions.

Each module follows the story of a female samurai in Feudal Japan as she overcomes adversity. The modules come equipped with summaries of key concepts, self-assessment quizzes, and contact hours. The Complete PMP Exam Prep Course and individual modules are available to users for a period of 6 months after purchase, so that learners can work at their own pace, and easily review material before their exam.

Mobile access

Students are not limited to using their computer to complete Brain Sensei courses, but can also use their tablet or smartphone to access the material, wherever they are. To learn more about how Brain Sensei modules work check out their course selection and for a limited time test out the first module for free.

Becoming PMP certified is a career move that brings with it many benefits – better opportunities, higher pay and increased job stability. With features designed to engage users and cater to multiple learning styles, Brain Sensei is a fresh take on e-learning that makes getting your PMP certification not only achievable, but also fun.

About Brain Sensei

Brain Sensei is a Registered Education Provider (REP) with the Project Management Institute and an eLearning company that offers online courses to help people prepare for the Project Management Professional exam. Their mission is to provide simple and innovative courses by using an animated story to reinforce key project management concepts and to make it easier for you to absorb information. Also visit them on Facebook, Twitter for pearls of Project Management Wisdom.

Preparing for PMP Exam – Opportunity Cost

By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM

Tips for PMP examsThere are many possible topics covered in the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. Undoubtedly you would use the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition as your primary resource as it is the globally recognized standard and guide for the project management profession. However, it does not cover every possible topic that the PMP Exam may touch on. One of those topics is Opportunity Cost.

Here we will explain why as a project manager you need to understand Opportunity Cost, beyond that it may be on the PMP Exam, and what exactly Opportunity Cost is. We will also give an example of an Opportunity Cost question.

Project Selection

Why does a Project Manager need to understand Opportunity Cost? It is very possible as a Project Manager you will be charged with project selection at some point in your career. You will need to make sure you evaluate and select projects based on your organization’s goals and needs to ensure returns are maximized as well as opportunity costs are minimized. As part of the project selection process you will need to evaluate where to best utilize valuable resources such as specific skill sets, time and money. Allocating these resources to a specific project prevents their use for other projects at the same time, after all an organization only has so many resources and needs to take on projects with the highest potential for success and the greatest return.

Potential Future Return

What is Opportunity Cost? Opportunity cost is the loss of potential future return from the second best unselected project. In other words, it is the opportunity (potential return) that will not be realized when one project is selected over another. For example if Project X has a potential return of $25,000 and Project Y has a potential return of $20,000, then selecting Project X for completion over Project Y will result in an opportunity cost of $20,000. That is the “loss” of not completing Project Y.

Sample Exam question

Herewith an example of a PMP Exam sample question around Opportunity Cost:

“You are part of a project selection team evaluating three proposed projects and you need to select the project that would bring the best return for the organization. Project A has an NPV of $25,000 and an IRR of 1.5, Project B has a NPV of $30,000 and an IRR of 1.25, and Project C has an NPV of $15,000 and an IRR of 1.5. What would be the opportunity cost of selecting Project B over Project A?”

  1. $15,000
  2. $5,000
  3. $25,000
  4. $30,000

The correct answer is C. Opportunity Cost is the potential return of the project not selected. In this case we did not select Project A, so it is $25,000. There is extra unrelated information in this question; IRR is not relevant when evaluating opportunity cost. Once all of the unnecessary information is filtered out the questions is simply asking what is the dollar value associated with Project A.

Opportunity Cost simply comes down to the benefits or returns that are passed up when one project is selected over another.

Understanding what Opportunity Cost is may or may not be necessary when taking the PMP Exam. Even if questions about Opportunity Cost are not on your PMP Exam it is still important for you as a Project Manager to understand Opportunity Cost as it is a method for selecting one project over another especially when valuable resources are limited.

About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 34,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast and The PMP Exam Simulator.

Use Coupon code Aug15 for 10% discount on the Prepcast in August.

7 Myths about PMP Exam for First Time Takers

By Alan Tay

PMP Exam myths
The PMP certification is one of the most recognized certifications for project managers globally. Many job advertisements list a PMP certification as a mandatory requirement for certain positions. Therefore, if you are serious about your career path as a project manager, nothing should stop you from getting the PMP certification. Fortunately I passed the PMP examination on my very first try, but I became aware of myths about the PMP exam that I would like to address here.

#1: Pick the correct answer

Beware of choosing the correct answer. The PMP exam is a multiple choice question type of exam and out of the 4 answers, you need to choose the BEST (not correct) out of it. This means that you could have four correct answers.

What I did for most of my questions where I really have difficulty answering them is to eliminate the weakest answer and work towards the best one.

#2: You need to be the Jack of All Trades

This is for exam takers who had read too much about PMP tips. You will come to realize that the PMP exam does not have a fixed passing rate and it pretty much covers every process group and knowledge area. Does this mean that you will not pass if you are weak at certain areas? The answer is: “No.”

When I received my PMP exam result, I noticed that I had two areas which are below proficient. This means that even if you are not proficient in a certain area, you can still make it through, but it’s surely not worth to risk, because if you are planning to pass this examination, you should be well prepared.

#3: Four hours is long

The examination lasts for four hours, but for a professional certification like PMP, it is never too much. In fact, I had to miss my last 10 questions, even though I timed myself very well that I must finish at least 50 questions in every hour. The reason for this is that you become tired towards the end of the exam. Therefore, having a good rest the night before is very important.

#4: Finishing the PMBOK is a MUST

Honestly, I had never flipped through more than 50 pages of the PMBOK. The PMBOK is an important piece of document for your reference, but it is not your only source for the PMP exam because the book contains hundreds of pages taking a long time to finish. As a result, I trusted the educational materials from my PMP exam preparation course instead.

This is not a shortcut to success because the materials basically tell me what I need to focus on the 10 knowledge areas of project management and I should refer to the PMBOK on the key areas that I need to focus. Therefore, I still used the PMBOK but most of the time as a reference only.

#5: Practice makes perfect

I can see that many PMP exam takers look around for sample questions for PMP exam and I have to say that it is important but not necessary. Personally, I had never bought or attempt any sample questions of the PMP exam apart from the ones that provided by my PMP exam preparation education. Therefore, you don’t have to buy thousands of questions from the internet just to give you more practice.

It is more important for you to know the project management concepts and framework introduced by PMI. In fact, you only need few sample questions just to familiarize yourself.

#6: Experience matters

Regardless of how many years of experience you have in project management, if you don’t answer the question according to the PMI project management framework, you will fail.

Your experience is not what matters most. Instead, it is your knowledge that determines whether you will pass or not. However, having project management experience does give you an advantage if you put the PMI knowledge first before yours.

#7: Exam tips

Don’t believe all the tips on the internet about PMP exam. Focus on reading the materials that will help you pass your PMP exam.

There is no shortcut to success because:

“Success is a journey, not a destination”

– Arthur Ashe

Can’t agree with me? Drop your feedback in the comment area below.  Don’t forget to check out the FAQ of PMP exam.

 

About the author: Alan Tay is a project manager who runs IT security projects and the owner of Project Detective, a project management blog, where he often publish tips on project management and PMP exam preparation tips. Visit his blog for more information.

Project Managers – Are you Preparing for your PMP Exams?

By Cornelius Fichtner and Dan Ryan

Preparing for PMP exams?In the previous article, 7 questions that Project Management Professional (PMP) exam candidates frequently ask, were covered. Here are 7 more questions that PMP students typically want answers for.

 

Question and Answers

  1. What’s the most important brain dump or diagram to learn?

An easy question – it’s Table 3-1 in the PMBOK® Guide. This covers the Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping. It’s a complicated matrix and a very important visual representation of Project Management Body of Knowledge and Project Management framework. It is very much a guiding tool for approaching the PMP exam and one of the most important brain dumps that you could have in the testing center to help you.

  1. What formulas do I need to know for the PMP exam?

There are many formulas in the PMBOK® Guide; upwards of 20 or 30 that could be referenced in the PMP exam. You will probably only see somewhere in a range of around 15 formulas on the exam itself.

If time is short and you want to focus your learning on what will really make a difference to your success in the exam, identify the formulas that are most likely to come up and make sure you fully understand those. A formulas study guide, coach or PMP exam tutor will be able to pinpoint the most important formulas for you. Start by memorizing those to maximize your learning time.

  1. What are these Inputs, Outputs, Tools and Techniques (ITTOs)?

ITTOs tend to scare a lot of PMP students and some exam candidates have confided that they didn’t understand or know about them before they took the exam! They are very important for understanding how project management concepts and processes fit together, both for the exam and also for managing projects in ‘real life’ after the exam.

Make sure you spend enough time learning about their structure, and how you are likely to encounter them on the PMP exam. You can do this through studying the PMBOK® Guide, and using other study guides and flashcards. Taking practice PMP exams is another good way of testing your knowledge of ITTOs as you will get to see how the questions are framed on the exam and learn how best to respond to them.

  1. What are some tricks to answering these long scenario-based questions on the PMP exam?

Students want to know how to deal with the long paragraphs that they see on the PMP exam. These long questions are often a source of great difficulty for many students. The content of the question is often in a strange order and there are facts that are added in simply to distract you. The answers are also often longer than normal, so scanning through and making a quick judgment about how to answer is tricky. So how can you deal with these scenario-based questions?

Something that works well for many exam candidates is to read the last part of the question first. You can also use a process of elimination on certain answers by referring to your brain dump of Table 3-1, the Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping, or your formula sheet.

Practicing with an exam simulator and talking to your colleagues will help you understand and practice these long scenario-based questions.

  1. How can I manage my time on the exam day?

Four hours seems like a very long time and in the past students were often able to complete the exam comfortably within this time. Some students reported that the test seems to be taking longer. You can still complete it within the 4 hour window allocated, but it is taking the full allocation of time.

This could be for any number of reasons, including that students are now better prepared and are marking more questions for review. It could also be that earned value calculations are playing a great part in the exam and add additional time.  You do need to manage your time carefully on the day to ensure that you have enough time to finish without being rushed.

Once you get on top of your time management you have a much better chance of passing the PMP exam.

  1. What’s the best approach for learning all the content?

The best approach for learning all the content (and there is a lot of it!) depends on your learning style. Some people learn best by reading and absorbing information in their own time. This allows them to make notes and create their own flashcards, for example. If that sounds like you, a PMP study guide would be a good starting point.

Other people learn best through visual means. If that sounds like your preferred learning style then find yourself a world class set of video learning lessons which will provide you with all of the content on all of the processes, the framework, and the body of knowledge in a visual way.

Others learn best in an environment with other people. A classroom course or PMP exam tutoring in a group can be a good solution if you prefer to learn in the company of others. Or learn one-on-one with a study buddy (a peer who is studying for the PMP exam at the same time as you), a mentor or PMP coach. There are online options that also give you the personal touch such as coaching via Skype.

Use a combined approach to suit your situation so mix and match your learning options until you feel comfortable that you have a study plan that meets your personal needs and preferences.

  1. How many practice exams should I take and what score should I score?

How many exams you take depends on how much time you have! It’s more important to make sure that you have access to practice exams that provide you with questions that are known to be almost exactly like the ones on the real test. Try to find a source of questions that are highly regarded to be very realistic. When you get to a point where you are repeatedly doing simulated exams at scores of 80% or better you know you are ready to pass that exam.

Do you feel better prepared for your PMP exam knowing the answers to these questions? We hope so! Every student is different. Take from this advice what will work for you and all the best for your exam!

About the authors:
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 30,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast.
Dan Ryan, MBA, PMP is a global leader in PMP Exam coaching having helped hundreds of students to the PMP pass finish line.

Please subscribe on top right not to miss future posts!

Are you an aspiring Project Management Professional (PMP)?

 

By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM

Preparing for PMP examHave you invested heavily in preparing for your PMP exam without positive results? Or are you keen to study for PMP, but don’t know where to start? How much time should you spend in preparing for the exam and working through Prep Questions?

Here are 7 questions people in your situation keep asking and the answers will help you get started more quickly with your own exam preparations.

Questions and Answers

  1. Why did I fail the PMP exam when I studied so long and so hard?

Everyone is different, but you probably became overwhelmed during the exam as you didn’t approach it with the proper preparation and mechanics for taking the test. It’s not enough to go online and gather tidbits from other people about how to study.

The scenario-based questions you faced in the exam are in depth and difficult, and you also need to be able to manage your time during the 4 hour exam. It’s hard and when you see the nature of the exam and the nerves kick in… all that leads to sub-optimal performance on the day.

Using a range of resources like videos, practice questions, flashcards, study guides and PMP tutoring can all help boost your chances of passing next time, if you combine them with practical preparations and test-taking strategies.

  1. I am terrible at mathematics and at formulas. How will I ever be able to do all these earned value questions?

Have confidence! If you’ve had an exposure to something like high school level math then you have the skills to do the math questions. It is just a matter of approaching these math questions in a formulaic kind of way.

First, memorize the formulas that are most likely to show up on the PMP exam – a PMP exam coach can help you identify which ones those are. When you have a theoretical understanding of these formulas and can see whether they are talking about planned vs. actual, variances or forecasts, you will be able to understand the logic behind the math. At that point, practice, practice, practice! This is rote learning and with enough practical exercises and repetition you will achieve an “AHA” moment! Once you have done them often enough you’ll see the math is no longer a problem for you.

  1. I took a few practice tests and I did OK with them so why I did I fail the PMP exam?

You probably weren’t using a very good set of practice questions. Make sure you are using the best quality question banks you can and take plenty of practice tests. Some practice tests aren’t the full length of the 4 hour exam, so be sure to attempt a few full length practice exams too. This will help you plan your time and develop test-taking strategies.

You really need to be dealing with practice PMP tests of 200 multiple choice questions and scoring 80% or more. The reason for that is because there will most likely be a number of factors that could cause your score on the real test date to drop below what it was in your practice exams. If you are only just above the passing threshold or achieving mediocre scores on your practice exams then you may drop below the success mark on the actual day.

  1. Can you help me with Risk and Quality please?

Yes! These topics must be mastered for the PMP exam. Review all those little things like the 7 basic quality tools and the difference between quality assurance and quality control. Go through all of those risk processes and make sure you understand the whole sequence from planning risk all the way down to creating risk responses and the differences between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis.

Start there and drill down deeper, making sure that you understand all the concepts of risk and quality because they are going to make up a good percentage of the questions that you see on the exam.

  1. What do I have to score in order to pass the exam? And can I get below proficient in more than one category and still pass?

The actual score to pass the exam isn’t made public and any passing percentages anyone mentions are just their best guess.

You should be aiming to score Moderately Proficient or Proficient in all process groups and an excellent PMP exam simulator will provide you with those scores. However, it is believed to be possible to pass the exam even if you are below proficient in more than one category.

  1. How long should it take me to study effectively and pass the exam?

It depends! Everyone has different things going on in their lives from work, family and other commitments, so the time available to you to study is personal depending on your circumstances. This will influence the length of your study schedule.

We see good results from students who can attack their studies aggressively and spend around 1-2 hours per day studying for the exam over a 1-2 month period. Students who put together long study plans of 4-6 months tend to see diminishing returns on their ability to pass. It’s recommended to put together a personalized schedule that is realistic for you.

  1. Do I really have to read the PMBOK® Guide twice like everyone says?

No, you do not, but it may help! The PMBOK® Guide is a useful reference guide and every good project manager should have one. You can also use a PMP prep book, a dedicated series of learning videos or the skills of a PMP tutor and have the PMBOK® Guide on hand to clarify further any concepts that you might not understand fully.

Asking the right questions helps you prepare more effectively so if you are struggling with something related to your PMP exam prep, ask a colleague, a professional PMP tutor or another trusted individual for their advice. Knowing the answers will make you feel more confident and ready to face the exam and in turn, increase your chance of success on the day.

 

About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 26,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at  and The PMP Exam Simulator 

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