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05 June 2013

Study Plan for PMP Certification (Early June 2013)

It's a little late to start studying for the PMBOK Guide, 4th edition, test. First, you have less than two months to join PMI, apply for the exam, prep for it, and arrange a test date, and pass the exam.   Second, the 5th edition is out, so a significant portion of knowledge based on the 4th edition is already obsolete.  Third, lots of people need to retake the exam; so if you need to retake the exam, you will have to re-study for the 5th edition test.
Classroom interaction is great, but online training has a lot of advantages, too. With my budget, schedule, and remote location, distance learning is an absolute must.  If I had the budget, I would take the training offered by Cornelius Fitchner at PM-Prepcast. Cornelius is also on Facebook at Project Management Prepcast.
I would add some warnings.  Preparing for the PMP exam should not be about learning to take the exam.  Boot camps teach to the exam.   That's alright, as long as you understand that a boot camp is just an orientation.  The learning takes place when you

 - Read the PMBOK Guide at least twice.
 - Master the material in one of the great reference books out there. (1)
 - Research the answers to a thousand or so practice questions. (2)

Finally, join the Project Management, PMI, PMP Certification community on Google+.  When you get stumped by a topic or a sample question, share your question.  We LIKE helping each other because, if something stumps one person, others probably have difficulty with it, too.  Besides, it drives us to learn the material. (3)

Studying for the PMP exam is just a starting point.  Getting a piece of wallpaper may help you get a job, but if you want a career, use your certification as a springboard to deeper studies of PM topics and further certifications.


(1) Rita Mulcahey's PMP Exam Prep has a wealth of information, and the Head First PMP book has gotten a lot of recommendations, too.
(2) Cornelius Fitchner has listed a number of free exam question sources on one of his sites. Make sure the questions correspond to the edition of the PMBOK Guide for which you plan to take the test.
(3) "Fair Use" allows sharing a limited number of questions for critique or discussion. To be fair to the person who wrote the question, cite the source; and to help the rest of us, provide a link.
Copyright 2011, 2013, Richard Wheeler -- Permission granted for non-profit or personal use with a link to this post.

IT Metrics and Productivity Institute (ITMPI) Premium membership gives members free access to 400 PDU-accredited webinar recordings and waives the PDU processing fees. The library is growing at about 100 webinars per year. Check it out:


  1. I can now choose the right pmp certification course by this information you’ve shared. I am thankful that I read this fine article.

  2. A good guide to the PMP aspirants.Thanks a lot for sharing your learning and experiences with your readers.