Top 6 Tips for PMP Exam Preparation

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is among the most sought-after certifications which reveal your dedication towards your career. Having this certification is contemplated to be prestigious as the certification is very detailed and passing the examination is not a cake walk. As challenging the exam may seem, it is not impossible to pass it. According to studies, only 3 out of 5 individuals manage to pass the exam in the first attempt. Amongst those who did not manage to pass in the first attempt, most of them stated that they had not taken enough practice tests, or the time was not sufficient enough to answer the questions. Hence, we can learn from our mistakes and try to rectify these errors to pass.

Here are some tips to help you pass the PMP Certification:

1) Understand Eligibility and Exam content

This may seem overly easy, but your initial step to success is knowing the difficulty you are going to face. The PMI official website will help you find primary information on the PMP certification exam. It will also present links to a lot of useful information, such as official training providers, exam syllabus, practice test, and study material.

The PMBOK Guide includes essential details such as an overview of the certification and the exam, including its eligibility requirements, how many and what type of questions are likely to be asked, time duration of examination and the passing score.

It also gives detailed information on the topics included in the examination, including the percentage of questions dedicated to each subject. This helps a lot, especially in creating your study plan.

2) Create Your Study Plan

The PMP exam will examine you on five domains comprising a variety of subject areas. You must make sure you have sufficient time to review all areas at least once; this involves not only studying but also for practice tests, participating in online communities and spending extra time analyzing areas that require improvement.

Without proper planning, your chance of success will decrease. Creating a study plan that fits your individual needs is necessary; even a simple to-do list can help a lot.

3) Study the PMBOK Guide

PMBOK Guide or the Project Management Body of Knowledge is issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This may be a lengthy and tedious guide to read, but it is your go-to option to understand the concepts best. There are many guides and books in the market but none that can substitute the PMBOK. To pass the exam, a thorough understanding of this book is essential. There may not be so many questions from the book. However, for that, you may have to refer another reference book. It is hugely recommended that you read the book thoroughly at least twice, before appearing for the examination.

4) Refer to Study Guides

The PMBOK may be your go-to guide for all areas and theories, but that is not enough to pass the exam as PMBOK is not resulted oriented. What the guide deficits are that it does not give you an understanding of how these approaches are linked and how can they be applied in practicality. The questions asked in the PMP exam are chiefly scenario- based. Hence, studying the PMBOK will only strengthen your basics but will not enough in clearing the exam.

5) Participate in an Online Community

A simple Google search will discover several PMP communities, wikis and personal websites where both applicants and certified professionals share their certification experiences.

As usual, it is essential to verify the credibility of any source you are utilizing. For example, if you are looking for a formal definition of a concept that is included in the exam, the best way is using suitable material, e.g., guidelines, books, and other official publications. But, if you are seeking general advice, asking your question to an online forum.

You can become a PMI member and communicate with other Project Managers. It is good to become a PMI member before appearing for the exam. The exam fee is affordable for PMI members. PMI presents ample opportunities to associate with many other project management professionals. Due to the changing nature of PMP, it is essential to keep track of the current developments in the field. There is no more significant way to do this than to communicate with other project managers. You can also find colleagues who are attempting the exam and network with them for a group study.

6) Take Practice Tests

Develop your test-taking strategy by simulating your testing environment. Schedule your practice tests at the same time of day as your real exam time if convenient, and do your best to animate the testing atmosphere. With the help of practice tests, you can track your progress, note your timing and make your test-taking strategy. It will also help overcome any nervousness that you may have and perceive the kind of questions that seem difficult. And, the only method to do all this is, is by solving PMP practice questions.

Things to Keep in Mind for the PMP Exam.

  • PMP is created in a manner that best confers you and qualifies you to practice the knowledge in different scenarios that the project managers face. So, you should be not only aware of the terms and technologies but also be smart during the study and exam too.

  • Your primary aim should be understanding and the application of knowledge. For this, you must solve several practice questions with the PMBOK as your first reference along with other sources, to fulfill the gaps whenever you find any.

  • While it may be essential to study from other guides, it will be a wise idea to restrict it to 2-3 or only use those points not specified in others. Each book describes the concepts differently and studying from too many books as a reference could only create confusion.

  • As they say, your thoughts mean a lot, it is essential to retain a positive approach and your spirits high. Too much stress during the exam may be restraint and will affect your performance significantly. So, relax, stay calm and stay positive. If you find some questions complicated or tricky, there are always other questions that will be easy to answer. With your mind active and will stronger, you will pass the PMP exam.

Revision Tips for Passing the PMP Exam

  • Concentrate on controlling and monitoring process group

  • There will be some questions around change management

  • Procurement and risk questions are the most difficult parts. Hence, more consideration should be given to those topics

  • Most of the questions in the exam are situational-based thus you require a better understanding of the concepts.

  • Time and cost questions are the easiest.


To pass the PMP certification exam, you should treat it as a project itself. First, you need to determine your aims and objectives. The next step, you need to write down the resources you want to use like the study material, or practice tests, etc. Divide the syllabus into tasks and allow a generous amount of time to study them thoroughly. Check if you are going as per schedule, else modify your strategy according to the result of your practice tests. Have faith in yourself and believe that if you consistently put in efforts, you could pass the PMP exam with flying colors.

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (117 votes)