Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional designation offered by the Professional Management Institute (PMI). It is one of the most reputed designations all over the world and universally accepted across different industries. According to Wikipedia, there are currently more than 729,000 active PMP certified professionals across 210 countries and territories worldwide.

Cracking the PMP exam is not easy and it requires a lot of preparation. There have been instances where project managers with years of work experience have failed as they undermined the examination. The PMP exam is a reputable one and is not going to be easy to crack unless you take it seriously. You have to be highly committed and dedicatedly prepare for the PMP exam. Here are the steps that will help you to crack the PMP exam:

Let’s jump right in!

Step 1: Get to know about the exam well

PMP is a certification for experienced project managers who have dealt with all aspects of project delivery. Here are some of the pointers that you should keep in mind about the exam:

  • The exam consists of 200 questions
  • The time duration of the exam is 4 hours
  • You will have 3 attempts to pass the exam in a year
  • If you fail to pass in a year, you will have to wait another year

Also, know what the syllabus of the exam is and what areas it will focus in. A table to give you an idea of the exam outline.

pmp exam tips

Step 2: Make sure about your eligibility

What are the prerequisites?

To be eligible to appear for a PMP certification, you have to fulfil some prerequisites.

  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects if you have a secondary degree or 4,500 hours leading and directing projects if you have a four-year degree
  • 35 hours of project management education

Here is a link to help you understand the PMP exam outline:

Step 3: Enrol in a PMP learning course

Having experience in project management is great, but to prepare for the exam you will need some amount of training. There are various PMI chapters or Registered Education Providers (ERPs) which provide formal study courses aimed at preparing the candidates for the PMP exam. You can enrol in such a training course to get high-quality training and also study materials to continue your preparation at home.

There are various online learning courses by registered education providers as well, which will not hamper your professional life. You can continue your work without putting your studies on the sideline. These course providers usually offer tailor-made training programs to the candidates to help them get a comprehensive knowledge and skills of PMP; making them ready for the examination.

Step 4: Keep up-to-date with the latest PMBOK Guide

The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) is the global standard for project management. The PMBOK evolves over the years and is presented in A Guide to the Project Management Book of Knowledge (or PMBOK Guide). The PMP exam is based on the PMBOK, which updates with each new edition of the Guide. Therefore, you need to keep yourself updated with the latest PMBOK Guide to understand the evolving practices and knowledge. It will help you a lot in the PMP exam.

Step 5: Become a PMI Member & Member of your local PMI Chapter

There are a lot of benefits in becoming a PMI member. You will gain access to a lot of PMI publications and provide you with an opportunity to network with other members of the community. You also get a free PMBOK Guide. Here is how you can become a member:

There are also local PMI Chapters through which you can connect with other people (project managers or aspirants) and get the chance to build a network and share knowledge. Here’s a list of chapters to help you:

Step 6: Prepare a study routine and buy good study books

You may feel like a student again, but you should have a well-planned routine for studying and preparing for the exam. If you are currently working, then you need to chalk out a plan so that your study and work do not clash. Make sure that you do not leave any area untouched as offered by the learning course and remember to read the PMBOK very well.

There are a number of good PMP prep books in the market. Get the help of someone who cracked the test to understand which books will be best-suited for you. Here is a list of some of the popular PMP prep books:

Step 7: Prepare with mock tests

Mock tests are a great way to prepare for any examination, as it gives you an idea of how much you are ready and if there are any weak areas that need serious last-minute preparations. You will also gain the efficiency during the real exam when you practice a lot of mock tests. It will help in getting your time management right. The training courses usually provide various mock tests to help you prepare. Here is a link to some sample questions:

Step 8: Take the exam

Taking the exam is the hardest part of all. Take the day off from your work and do not stress out yourself the day before. Relax and give the exam. Also, you need to check out your centre beforehand to understand the traffic and the time it will take for you to reach it. There is a short guideline before the exam starts, which you need to look at carefully and follow all the instructions accordingly.

Step 9: Above All, Believe in Yourself

Confidence is an important aspect of successful candidates. You will find that a little confidence can do miracles. Always believe in the skills that you have and on the fact that you have prepared for the exam thoroughly for success to be in your grasps. If you have the confidence that you can succeed, you will definitely pass the exam.

PMP examination is a tough nut to crack and it comes with a lot of dedication on your part. Now that you have a guide for cracking the PMP exam, you can start preparing for it accordingly. Take the help of your trainers and those who have cracked the exam to understand the critical areas of learning that you need to cover to be successful.

You can also read this article on Frequently Asked PMP Interview Questions.

Also Read>>Top Project Management Certifications

Also Read>> Must Do’s to Ace the PMP Exam!