I must admit that there is no single approach to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. The advise I am providing here is based on my own PMP credential journey, my 500+ PMdistilled PMP prep workshops conducted in different countries and my online coaching experience.
The Project Management Body of Knowledge is a 750+ page document. That is the master reference document for PMP credential. No body is expected to by heart any reference material. That applies to PMBOK as well. When in doubt, you must go back to PMBOK and clarify. That is the purpose of PMBOK.
Do not start reading PMBOK from start to finish. That is a waste of effort. We have crystallized the key concepts into mindmaps. If you tery to understand these mindmaps in the sequence recommended by us, that is the smartest way to master PMBOK. If something is not clear for you, you can refer back to the relevant portions of PMBOK or ask me, your instructor, and I will explain it in detail.
PMP exam is a four hour 200 question online exam. Out of that one must score 65% marks. There are no negative marks. All questions are objective type. It is all about choosing the best answer from among a set of almost correct answers. So, exam practice is a must.
Do not answer all the free brain dumps coming your way. That will make your journey very difficult. We will provide you a set of questions carefully selected by us which are almost similar to the actual questions one will get during the final exam. My advise to you is to do the practice tests given by us as till you score above 85% for all question sets consistently. That is the time you should confidently go for the exam.
The biggest challenge many of the PMP aspirants face is to remember the Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs of all the processes, which is known as ITTO in the PMP circles. . People unnecessarily spend too much time to by heart these, which unnecessary. You may get some questions around ITTO. Do not spend too much time preparing for it.
Mastering PMBOK + practice tests will give you some amount of confidence. That is when you should schedule your PMP exam. Once you get a scheduled exam date, then the chances of you becoming a PMP is around 80%.
Just before the exam, revise our mindmaps. That will be a quick refresher.
Go and write the exam with confidence. Your confidence level has a major impact on the exam outcomes.
The four hour exam will really test your ability to concentrate for four hours. When you answer the questions correctly, the artificial intelligence built into the test engine will increase the complexity of questions, and you will start getting a series of difficult questions, till you make an error. After that the questions will become easier and this switch between easy and difficult phases will repeat several times during the exam. When the going gets tough, remember that you are doing well.
Whether it looks easy or difficult, answer all the questions. Some questions you may have to gamble. That is normal.
If you do not know the answer, you can skip the question and move on to the next one. Towards the end of the exam, all the skipped questions can be accessed again to answer.
The whole PMP certification process is as complex as preparing for any one subject of your graduation. Do not allow others to make it as complex as the graduation itself. That is unnecessary hype.