We frequently get requests from our students to provide a recommended study plan for PMP® certification. People learn in different ways and at different pace. It’s hard for us to prescribe a method that works for everyone. However, to assist our students who are starting out with their preparation, we are providing some general guidance in this article. This plan should help you prepare for PMP in about 4-8 weeks (your mileage may vary). You need to tailor the plan according to your situation, needs and learning style. This plan can also be used for CAPM® certification.

In order to make the best use of our tools, you would definitely need the PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed. We also recommend using a good PMP exam prep guide like Rita Mulcahy’s PMP exam prep (disclosure: we are not affiliated to Rita Mulcahy’s company) to get familiar with general project management concepts. You can also take some of the popular FREE PMP sample tests available online. Here’s the complete list.

  1. BrainBOK Premium Pro
  2. PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed
  3. PMP Study Guide (e.g. Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep, Head First PMP)
  4. Free PMP sample exams

Four-step Training Plan

Here’s the four-step plan that we recommend.

Stage 1 - Quick overview (1-2 weeks)

Before you start using the BrainBOK program, it’s important that you get a quick overview of the structure and content of the PMBOK® Guide.

  1. Do a quick pass of the PMBOK® Guide first just to get familiar with the structure.
  2. Do a quick read of your favorite PMP study guide to get more familiar with the general project management concepts, tools and techniques, beyond what is provided in the PMBOK® Guide.

Stage 2 - Deep dive (1-4 weeks)

Do a deeper dive of the PMBOK® Guide. Use BrainBOK’s ITTO Explorer, Quizzes and Flashcards to reinforce your concepts as you go along. A general guide on using the ITTO Explorer tool is available here (6-step process to master ITTOs):

Do I Need to Memorize the ITTOs for PMP and CAPM?

Repeat the above process until you are thoroughly familiar with the material. Make notes as you go along. Refer back to your study guide as needed.

Step 3 - Test yourself (1-2 weeks)

Now would be the time to validate your knowledge. Take Mastering PMBOK Guide 1 and 2 exams to assess your knowledge. Review all the questions, particularly those that you got wrong, to identify the gaps. Again use the guides and tools to address those gaps.

Repeat for other practice exams.

We recommend taking the exams in this order:

  1. Mastering PMBOK Exam 1
  2. Mastering PMBOK Exam 2
  3. PMP Practice Exam 1
  4. PMP Formula Challenge Exam
  5. PMP Practice Exam 2
  6. PMP Practice Exam 3

Again make notes as you go along. While you can retake the exams as many times as you want within your subscription period, the first attempt score is the real indicator of your exam readiness. We recommend that you take the exams when you feel relatively comfortable with the material in the PMBOK® Guide. If you take them too soon, your results may be skewed. Also note that our practice exams are slightly more difficult than the real PMP exam.

Step 4 - Put everything together (1-2 weeks)

Revise your notes, participate in discussion forums and try other free exams available online.

We hope that this article gives you some idea about how to get started. Good luck for your certification exam and happy learning!

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