Here is our list of PMP study materials for creating a realistic, workable study plan for your exam prep:
Let’s take a look at these study materials now so you can start building your library of study materials for the PMP certification exam.
The Exam Content Outline is a PDF document prepared by PMI that outlines the syllabus for the exam. It’s a quick read and a comprehensive guide to the topics that will be tested. It also explains the split of exam questions to give you an idea of the relative importance of each topic.
The Exam Content Outline is essential reading as it sets out exactly what is expected of you during the test. You can use it as a way to tick off topics you already know and identify areas where you need more work.
Bonus: it’s available free on the PMI website! You don’t even have to be a member.
The PMBOK® Guide is one of the main resources you will need to study for the PMP certification exam. Published by PMI, it’s available in PDF or print formats, you can access it for free if you are a PMI member.
The vast majority of questions will be related in some way to the information in this book.While there are other resources that are must-read, especially for the agile topics (and we’ll cover those in just a moment), it is rare to find a student who passed the exam without taking a look inside here. Most successful students take the time to read it thoroughly, especially the glossary and tailoring sections.
The Agile Practice Guide is basically the ‘handbook’ to all things Agile. Co-written by PMI and the Agile Alliance, it’s a comprehensive resource to help you understand agile and hybrid methods and how to evaluate and use them in the workplace.
This is another core text and it’s packaged in the same print book and PDF as the PMBOK® Guide. Half your exam questions will relate to agile and hybrid domains, so it’s essential that you have a solid understanding of iterative techniques. This book will provide you with the confidence to tackle those questions.
PMI Standards+ is a digital learning resource from PMI that gathers together a wide range of good practices, tools, techniques and processes. The information from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition is included in Standards+.
This is a free-to-access set of reference materials that let you dive into a wide range of topics, which is particularly valuable as the current edition of the PMBOK® Guide is somewhat light on practical details for the project management processes themselves.
The PM PrepCast is a video training course that meets the 35 contact hours of education requirement and helps you fully prepare for the exam. It helps you confidently understand the key concepts, tools, and techniques required to succeed on the test. It’s a comprehensive training course that both help you ace the exam but also prepares you to lead projects as a better project manager.
Heads up: this is one of our products and a best-selling course. We’ve helped thousands of students around the world achieve exam success with this flagship training.
The PM Exam Simulator is a test-taking tool that provides realistic questions across all the project domains. Taking mock exams is the number one way to build exam skills and is frequently cited by students as the top exam preparation study technique.
“Most importantly, one month before my exam I did 40 questions from the Prepcast Simulator daily, and on the weekends I did a practice exam,” explains Haley B, who passed on the first attempt. “I took the 10-min breaks each time as if I was taking the real exam, and it helped me get into the routine so I felt ready by exam day. I ended up answering over 1,500 questions in the Simulator, reviewing whatever I got wrong, and took notes. I highly recommend spending time on answering questions as it is much more engaging than just reading study material over and over.”
Students who use mock exams feel more confident because they know what to expect. Plus, a deep dive into any questions answered incorrectly means you can revise topics thoroughly. This is another one of our own study resources and it regularly gets 5-star reviews on Trustpilot.
Flashcards are cards with a topic or concept written on one side and an explanation or definition written on the other side. They can be digital or physical and are designed to help test recall and comprehension.
Ulrike, who passed the test with above target results, advises that you make your own flashcards. “Create your own Flashcards or Flashsheets with your personal weak spots,” she says.
Affectionately known as ‘Rita’, this is a comprehensive and highly recommended text that is frequently listed as one of the top PMP exam prep books by students in our forums. “I read through Rita's book and noted down important points,” says Li Chen, who passed the test with above target results in all domains. “I read very slowly and tried to understand every point mentioned, especially ‘tricks of the trades’.” That’s good advice for any prep book: take your time and read the sections that relate to the topics you are currently studying in your prep course.
Make sure you buy the latest edition of this (or any PMP certification books) as that will be updated to the current PMI requirements.
Ultimately, the right blend of pmp study materials is going to be down to your personal learning style. “Identify the learning method and tools that serve you best independent of what others do,” advises Ulrike.
Tthere are lots of resources out there to help you achieve your goals. From choosing the best PMP exam simulator to finding an author whose prep book fits in your laptop bag, there are plenty of materials to get you from beginner to expert with that certification hanging on your wall. Which one will you get first?
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