PMP exam = your own project
To begin with, let’s clarify: you’re ready to work hard and to follow the plan. Otherwise, this journey will take you forever. The key here is to perceive the PMP exam as your personal project and manage it like you’re managing projects for your clients. The difference here is that you are your client yourself; and you are the resource to release this project. What is more, you will need not only to plan this project, but to execute the plan yourself too. On one hand, it will add an additional challenge. On the other hand, it will make things even more exciting to get them done.
What do you need to launch this project? First of all, the input data. This is actually what you usually need to start a project. I’m talking about the key performance indicators that we consider while planning a project. They are time, scope and budget. Of course, funds are important. As you have decided to take the test and to pass the certification you should be aware of the process: how much the test costs, how much the course costs, and other relevant expenses. Therefore, let’s move directly to the time and scope.
You have 60 days in order to get prepared for the PMP exam, and that is why you need to define how much time you are able to allocate to get prepared for the tests daily.
Yes, daily, because 60 days is quite an intense period. I know that for some people it takes six months or even a year to get prepared for this test. However, the less period of time you have, the more advantages you finally get.
Here is the thing, for the PMP there is no shortcut. It is quite a big volume of knowledge that you need to obtain in order to pass this test.
While you are working intensively there is less possibility to lose the knowledge and information that you have learned versus while you’re working slowly. What I’m talking about is while you’re getting prepared for a long period of time most likely you will simply forget what you have learned
six months ago; and by the test time one hundred percent you will need to repass everything once again to repeat all the information and to finally get prepared for taking the PMP exam.
Do you really wanna do this, or do you prefer to study intensively and to pass the test instantly?
Considering the above, I’m suggesting to allocate two hours daily to get prepared for the test. I personally studied two hours daily at minimum. According to my experience this is the best convenient and the most realistic amount of time to be allocated on a daily basis. A little bit of math.
We have 60 days and two hours daily, and that is gonna be 120 hours to be prepared for the PMP exam.
Now let’s look at our scope of work and estimate it. We need to decide how we are going to spend those 120 hours in the best and efficient way.
For the project scope we have the actions that you need to undertake in order to get prepared for this test. Here is the list we need to consider:
- PMP application,
- professional education,
- practice tests and
Are you ready? Now let’s build the PMP exam preparation plan.
For number one we have the PMP application. For this section I would locate about two or three hours so that you have enough time in order to verify everything in your application before sending it to the Project Management Institute. By the way, if you need help, I have a couple of videos where I’m describing what you need to qualify for the PMP test and how to complete the project description for the PMP application.
Number two is the professional education; and this is gonna be a course which will give you 35 contact hours. Actually this will take you not less than 35 real hours plus the homework. So, for completing the course I would allocate 40 hours in total.
And here is a little trick. I was listening to the course three times. The first one is going to be those 40 hours that you’re gonna consume in a full mood and you will need to do this before applying for the PMP. The reason is you need to apply the course certificate to your PMP application in order to be eligible for the test.
However, to consume and to digest all the information from the course one time is not enough. That is why you are going to listen to the course two times more, but at a modified speed. Let’s say, we are going to increase the
speed to 0.5 which in total will give us additional 54 hours. Now let’s count a little bit.
- 120 hours minus 40 hours for taking the course initially;
- minus three hours for completing the PMP application;
- and minus 54 hours for taking the course two additional times on the modified speed.
Finally we have 23 hours left.
What else do we have in our scope? Next is a practice test. A practice test is a trial test that is completed in a full mood like the PMP exam; and it is required for you in order to get efficiently prepared for the test. So for the trial test you need to allocate four hours without interruptions like as if you’re taking the PMP exam itself.
It is strongly recommended to take at least one practice test before the exam; but from my experience one time is not enough here too. Especially, if you wanna pass the PMP exam from the first try. What is more, you will need to earn at least 80% of the correct answers on the practice tests in order to get confident and to get prepared for the PMP exam itself.
That is why I suggest taking the practice test at least three times, which is going to deduct 12 hours from our time total.
We have 11 hours left for our last item from the scope, and this is self-study which is actually fair enough. I would spend those 11 hours on learning the formulas and terms, and on taking the quick test via the mobile applications.
By the way, there are a ton of mobile apps that suggest free quick practice tests. Upload them on your phone and practice as much as you can in every spare minute. In the line, in the public transport, in the bathroom, before going to bed. You need to understand the logic on the questions and to get hands on experience in passing them. Thus, use this opportunity to level up.
We have built the project scope, we have estimated the scope, we have prioritized the scope, and based on the timeline we have built the approximate schedule that we need to follow in order to prepare for the PMP in 60 days.
Don’t forget that you need to start with the professional course, then complete the PMP application and proceed with repeating the course, practice tests and self-study. I trust that you can do this as fast as I managed to.