In order to create your PMP study plan, you must first start off with the following:
- Knowing what you want to study
- Knowing how to go about studying for it
- Knowing how to use sample exams
- Knowing the required vocabulary
- Getting a partner to study with
- Jotting down the study notes you’ll need
- Preparing a study schedule
- Developing a study plan
Preparing for your PMP exam is similar to preparing yourself for a project. Through experiences from other certified PMP’s, we know that the best way to prepare for a PMP exam is by creating a customized study plan. It should be designed with your needs in mind, and must include your own expertise, knowledge and experience.
1. Get Your Hands on The PMBOK Guide
Start off by studying the PMBOK Guide. The guide is easily available and must be read in detailed as your exam is largely based on what is inside the book. Do not just count on your personal knowledge and experience as it can never be enough to pass this exam.
The PMBOK Guide helps you in identifying the main aspects of project management, especially the tools, techniques, inputs and outputs in accordance with the Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas.
2. Create Goals and Stick to Them
It is important to create goals when it comes to studying as they keep you motivated and also push you to move ahead. Your goal can be to learn about a specific thing within a specific time.
When it comes to creating goals, follow your own mind. You know what you’re capable of. Always keep goals that are attainable, as if you try to attain the impossible, you will end up demotivated.
Also, remember to keep your goals a little flexible. This is because you do not know when you might need to change things.
3. Make a Habit to Revise
Those who do not revise are the one who do not remember. The importance of revising should never be neglected. You will forget a large portion of what you studied unless you revise it, and this revision should be done everyday, and not just before the exam since that may cause your thoughts to get jumbled.
4. Know How to Find Time to Study
Find ways to be more creative about how you can find the time to study for your exam. Tune in to PMP Podcasts during your lunch breaks or on the go from one place to another.
Don’t stress yourself out by studying long nights, plan ahead and study smartly, do two or three hours daily. Research has shown that studying for two to three hours a day instead of long hours on the weekends has proven to be more efficient. This is because your brain finds it harder to store information in large blocks. Therefore keep storing information in steady amounts and learn what you find is easy to remember for that day.
5. Opt for Group Sessions
Try making your study hours more helpful by allowing time for weekly group study sessions where you can get the input of your study partners as well. Studying in groups is important as it would give you access to information and new ideas. Plus, you may also be able to find faults in your beliefs.
Moreover, some people do well in groups and some do well when they study on your own. You need to know what kind of person you are so that you can decide if group study is for you or it isn’t for you.
Don’t force yourself to study at random times, only sit down and focus on your work where you find it to be practical and possible.
6. Do Not Limit Yourself
Keep researching outside the given PMBOK Guide. The Guide acts as a book with detailed discussions on each topic, but this isn’t the only book that can be of help.
You should seek information wherever you can get it. This includes friends, other books and of course, the internet.