Any project management professional today knows about the PMP certification. Most have either had to take it or are preparing to take the PMP exam. This can be a boon, and even a necessity, for your career, but it can be a challenge to find time to study when working full-time. A PMP study plan can help you feel more prepared going into the certification exam, and a PMP exam prep timeline can help you manage your time.
So what do you need to study for the PMP exam? How can you fit it into your busy schedule and best manage your time? In today’s blog, we’ll help you figure out everything you need to study for success.
We Can Help You Create Your Own PMP Study Plan — With Help From Our Training Courses
There are plenty of proposed PMP study plans out there for project management professionals. Most claim that after following their study plan, you will be guaranteed to ace the PMP exam. But anyone with a memory of school knows that’s rarely how exams work. Everyone studies in different ways, so there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to PMP exam prep timelines or study plans.
Instead, the best course of action is to do your own research and come up with a study plan that works for you. Your PMP exam prep timeline should be based on your schedule, prioritizing the areas you need to study the most. With this blog, we will help you create your own PMP study plan so that you can be ready for any project management exam that might come your way.
PMP Exam Prep From Brain Sensei
Brain Sensei offers PMP Exam Prep training courses that equip you with all the tools you need to pass your PMP exam and earn your certification. We have a variety of options so you can find the PMP study plan that best suits your time and your needs.
Our self-paced course can be completed at your own pace, and it offers all the information you need for the PMP exam. For those who need more hands-on guidance, we have a PMP exam prep course that puts you in touch with a live virtual instructor who can walk you through a project management study plan. Both courses qualify for the 35 education hours requirement set by the PMI and include a 100% pass guarantee. You choose the method that works best for you. We give you the tools to achieve it.
What Can You Find In Our Brain Sensei PMP Exam Prep Courses?
The goal of our PMP exam prep courses is to offer you the practical knowledge you need to apply to project management, beyond just the PMP exam itself. Our courses combine traditional, predictive project management concepts, agile project management concepts, and hybrid concepts that combine them all. These methods all have a place in project management, and we’ll show you how and when to use them.
We will teach you how to incorporate project life cycles, how to manage and empower your teams, and master the PMP certification outline before you ever sit for the test. We even include an unlimited exam simulator which pulls from 1,500 realistic exam questions. All of our PMP exam prep courses are up to date with the latest material and will prepare you for the current exam.
Check Out What Past Customers Have Said About Our PMP Courses
Our customers rave about our PMP exam training courses! Just check out our reviews.
“Perfect program for me,” says Mary G about the self-paced course. “I…passed the exam with flying colors.”
Meanwhile, Michelle says, “Great training tool! I learned a lot and realized how much training I needed to learn!”
And G. Buchs calls our customer service “always professional, fast, spot on, and dedicated to your success.”
8 PMP Study Plan Tips For Full-Time Managers
Ready to tackle your PMP study plan? Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most out of your study time.
Step #1 — Make Sure You’re Eligible For the PMP Exam
Not every project manager is eligible for PMP certification. Before going through the effort of developing a PMP study plan and sitting for the test, make sure you are in fact eligible. Eligible project managers must have 36 months of project management experience and a 4-year globally recognized Bachelor’s Degree, or 60 months of experience leading projects and a high school diploma or secondary degree. If you qualify, continue on to the next steps. Regardless of your education and experience level, all applicants require 35 education hours in project management. Brian Sensei’s PMP exam prep courses will earn you the required 35 education hours.
Step #2 – Set a PMP Exam Timeline, Beginning With a Test Date
You don’t have to schedule a day to sit for your PMP exam yet, but you should have an idea on the calendar of when you want to be ready for the test. PMP study prep typically takes between 70-85 hours. There’s the 35 hours of required project management education (sometimes called 35 contact hours), but there are also practice tests, note taking, and asking lots of questions to ensure that you understand all the material.
For a full-time manager, that time is precious. Figure out how much time you have to spend on a project each week, and determine from there how long it will take you to prepare for the test. Most find that they have about 6 hours each week that they can dedicate to studying for the PMP exam, which adds up to 3-4 months of time to be ready for the PMP exam. However, no one knows your schedule better than you. Develop a PMP exam prep timeline based on the time you have, write it down, and stick to it.
35 hours of PMP education is an easy enough task. 36-60 months of project management experience may be harder to achieve, especially when you don’t yet have PMP certification. It can feel like a catch-22, but if you don’t qualify for the PMP certification, consider taking the CAPM certification. This allows for an entry-level certification, and you can work up to PMP after that. As a full-time manager, you’re likely involved in or have been involved in projects during your career. It’s likely that experience will qualify towards the PMI work experience requirement.
Step #3 – Develop a PMP Study Plan
Like we said, no one knows your schedule better than you. Just make sure that you are consistent in your study habits. Now that you have your PMP exam prep timeline, divide the time up into how much you’ll need to study per week. You may not study on the same days each week, but try to stay consistent in the hours you spend working. Again, for full-time managers, 6 hours per week — often during evenings or weekends — is a great rule of thumb.
There should also be room for free time in your schedule, to account for major holidays, time with family, or simply avoiding burnout. Look at your schedule for the next few months. What days do you need to take off? After you’ve done that, account for one or two extra days that you might need in case of emergency.
The PMBOK is the primary text on which the PMP exam is based. It covers 12 project management principles and 8 project performance domains. This is divided into 10 Knowledge Areas and 2 introductions. Need to structure your studies? Try to cover 1 section per week. This will offer a concrete goal and allow you to complete your PMP exam prep in a timely fashion.
Step #4 – Take Diligent Notes While Studying For the PMP Exam
This is a detail heavy study, and you won’t be able to keep it all just on cursory memory. Between formulas, practical problems, and study handouts, it’s absolutely necessary to take notes. If you take our PMP exam prep courses, make sure to print out physical copies of any worksheets and take summary notes, rather than just relying on the digital presentations.
These notes will help you retain all the knowledge you need to ace the PMP exam, but they’ll also serve you well even after you’ve taken the exam. These notes will instill in you the principles you need to be an excellent project manager going forward.
Try to take notes after taking the PMP exam simulator, as well. What did you get right and what did you get wrong? This will help you perform better in the future.
Step #5 – Take the Practice Exams, Again and Again
The best way to study for any exam is to practice taking that exam as much as you can. This is why our PMP exam simulator will be your best friend during your PMP study plan. The exam simulator pulls from 1,500 realistic questions that could be asked in the PMP exam. It’s a lot of information, and you may not pass the first time. You may not even pass the third time.
But that’s okay, because this is a practice test. Better to get that out of the way now, so you can pass the PMP exam when it’s time. Aim to score over 80% on your PMP practice exam. If you can do that, you’re likely to pass the real test. We also recommend that you take the practice test again shortly before sitting for the exam, to make sure you still have that information.
Step #6 – Review the Answers You Got Wrong
Want to cut down on the time you’ll spend taking the PMP exam simulator tests? After the test, look through the questions you got wrong. These questions will highlight the areas where you need to devote more attention. Write down the question and the correct answer, and focus your studies there going forward.
Step #7 – Go Over Your Notes When You Can
Part of studying is not just taking the notes once, but going over them until you have them memorized. Try to make going over your notes a part of your routine. Maybe at the end of your study session, skim the notes you’ve taken, or set aside a dedicated half hour at the end of the week to review what you’ve taken down so far in your study exam prep.
Step #8 – Get Your PMP Certification
The time has finally come! You’ve put in the hours of studying, and you’ve scored well on the practice tests. Now it’s time to go out and pass the real exam so that you can be granted your certification.
If you finish your PMP exam prep early and have some wiggle room in your timeline, celebrate it! But make sure that in the days leading up to the test, you go back over your notes a few times to ensure that you’ve held on to all the information you need.
Your Questions About PMP Study Plan Answered
We’re experts when it comes to PMP exam prep, and we’re here for any questions you might have. Here are a few of the questions we hear most frequently from full-time managers prepping for the PMP certification.
Is There One Authoritative PMP Study Plan?
As with most studies, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to PMP study plans. It depends on what works best for you in terms of learning new information, and how much time you have to study. Our PMP self-paced exam prep course offers all the information you’ll need, but you can tackle it at your own pace.
Can I Take a 30-Day PMP Study Plan?
There are certainly plenty of resources out there that claim you can complete a PMP study plan in just 30 days. It’s appealing, because it saves time, and then you can speedrun your certification and continue moving up in your career. It isn’t impossible, either, but it isn’t for everyone.
First, you have to be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to studying for the PMP exam. If you’re single and enjoy relaxed weekends, you’ll have more free time than if you have a family or a highly active social life.
If you want to attempt a PMP study plan in 30 days, our Live Virtual Instructor PMP exam prep 5-day bootcamp is the way to go. You’ll still get 1-year access to the self-paced course, but you’ll have the benefit of an instructor, guiding you through your prep in 5 days. Still have time after your 5-day bootcamp class before your exam date? You can continue to work through the material and practice exams at your own pace until the date of your exam.
What Is the PMP Exam Simulator?
There are 180 questions on the PMP exam, but they might not always be the same. Our PMP exam simulator draws from 1,500 possible questions to create an almost unlimited set of simulated practice exams, so you can ensure that you’re able to pass the PMP exam before you go to take it. Our exam simulator is updated to the standards of the 2022 PMP exam, including pulling from the 7th edition of the PMBOK Guide.
Begin Your PMP Study Plan Today
Enjoy a full year of access to Brain Sensei’s self-paced PMP exam prep course, or sign up for a Live Virtual Instructor class. Both include our unlimited practice exam simulator to test your knowledge. Brain Sensei is here to help you crush the PMP exam. You can even try our limited free trial!