How to pass the PMI Project Management Professional Certification PMP exam

Having recently passed my PMI PMP exam on the first try, I thought I would share my thoughts on how to also pass the PMP exam.

The resources

The resources I used were quite limited.

  • PMBOK – I read through once very early on when I was completing the 36 hours of coursework and never used it again.
  • PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy, was a key resource, and I’ll explain more on that shortly.
  • The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe, another key resource and very easy to read.
  • Head First PMP, Book by Andrew Stellman, an online recommendation with the other two resources, but I didn’t like the graphic format and didn’t get through the first chapter.
  • PMI PMP Exam Prep by Pocket Prep, Inc. android app, I used this more as a motivational tool and training reminders.

The questions

The PMP questions are all situational, and in my opinion the practise questions in the above resources a lot easier.

  • Plenty of network diagrams which were easy marks
  • Plenty of basic Earned Value questions, like given PV, EV and AC, what is the status of schedule and budget.
  • No ethics questions.
  • A lot of change control management questions.

The learning

Instead of memorising the process group and knowledge area map, I should have been memorising Rita Mulcahy’s process diagram. These would have helped significantly in the situation, especially for the planning domain which I was Moderately Proficient.