How Do I Find Time to Study For the PMP Exam?Jul 08, 2020
The Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam is a required examination for people interested in a career in project management. The exam covers the entire process of a project from inception to close. After a person passes the exam, more doors in project management will open for them. However, most people looking to take the exam are busy working and taking care of the home. It can be difficult to find time to study. Here are some tips on how to find time to study for the PMP Exam.
About the PMP Exam
The PMP Exam is a test about the processes involved in managing a project for a corporation. It covers 10 different knowledge areas:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Schedule Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholder Management
There are two types of people who qualify for the PMP Exam: Group A and Group B. They have slightly different prerequisites. For group A, you need at least a GED and 7500 hours leading and directing projects. For Group B, you need a 4-year degree and 4500 hours leading and directing projects. The test costs $555.
How to Find Time to Study for the PMP Exam
One of the hardest things about taking the PMP Exam is finding the time to study for it. Here are some tips that will help you find time.
- Start Early
If you want to do well on the test, you're going to need to spend a lot of time studying. You should start studying as early as possible before the test. It is possible to study for the exam in thirty days, but you do not want to start any later than that. It's better to study for 60 days before the actual exam. Waiting until the last minute will only cause additional stress and likely a lower overall score.
- Study During Your Commute
If you spend a significant amount of time going to work on the train or bus, this could be a great time to get some extra studying in. Bring your books with you to fit in as much studying as you can throughout the day. It's much more useful than looking at social media in your spare time. Study during your breaks at work, too. The more time you squeeze in, the more likely you will be to succeed.
- Dedicate Time Every Day
No matter how busy your day is, you should set away time to study at night. Even if it's only one hour before bed, you need to study every single day to remain consistent. If you let a single day go by without studying, it could become habit to skip studying for the day. Before you know it, you'll realize you didn't do much studying at all. Be disciplined enough to set away time every day. Ideally, you'll want to keep it consistent. For example, you can study for one to two hours every single night after you put the kids to sleep.
- Join a Study Group
Sometimes it can be helpful to have other people to study with. They may be able to bring up things you might have forgotten about. Plus, if you have any questions, you'll be able to ask your study group for help. Finally, a study group forces you to study whenever you meet. Ask people at the testing facility if they know of any study groups you could join. If not, you can start your own. Put up a flyer and set up a time for people to come together. Don't forget to utilize social media to find people, too.
- Create Flashcards
Flashcards are a great way to review information quickly and easily. It will allow you to memorize all of the information on the cards if you go through them enough. Write your own cards or look online for flashcards specifically designed for the PMP Exam. Bring them with you where you have to go and make sure to use them to their full advantage.
There are five different performance domains:
Initiating the project (13%)
Planning the project (24%)
Executing the project (31%)
Monitoring and controlling the project (25%)
Closing the project (7%)
You likely have a better understanding of certain domains compared to the others. You should prioritize your studying appropriately. Focus on the areas you struggle with the most first. You should also prioritize your studying based on how much of the test asks questions on that area.
- Take Practice Tests
It can be hard to monitor your studying progress on your own. To help gauge how the studying is going, take a practice test. You can find practice tests online, or you can ask the testing facility if they have practice tests available. Do not feel bad if you don't do great on the practice test. Use it as a learning experience. The test can show you what you need to focus on when you study. Take another practice test a week later to see if you've made any progress. Hopefully, by the time you're ready to take the test, you'll be acing all of the practice tests. Just like you'll ace the real test. Do 1600 questions.
- Get Motivated
One of the hardest thing s about studying for the PMP Exam is finding the motivation to actually study. If you aren't motivated, you may not make time to study. Find motivation throughout your day by reminding yourself what the test could do for your life. This could get you a new job that could provide a better life for you and your family. That should give you all the motivation you need. You can also find motivation by repeating motivational affirmations to yourself.
- Be Realistic
Some people set unrealistic study plans. This is especially true if you push off studying until too late. You may tell yourself you'll study for x amount of time every night to get all your studying in. However, if you expect to cram too much in a short amount of time, you may end up falling asleep when you should be studying. Set realistic study goals and expectations so that you will be more likely to follow your plan.
- Don't Neglect Other Obligations
You still have other things going on in your life besides the PMP Exam. While the PMP Exam is important, you should not ignore your other obligations. You need to plan your studying around work and watching the children. If you neglect the other things in your life, they may not be there when you are finally done with the test. Be clear about your responsibilities and develop a way to manage everything in the amount of time you have.
- Avoid Distractions
After you've finished managing everything in your life and finally get a chance to study, you will realize that you may not be able to focus as well as you thought. It can be difficult to avoid the different distractions in your life. Start by finding a quiet and comfortable place to study. Explain to family that you need to be left alone while you study. You should also turn the television off and put the phone away.
- Stay Healthy
Your health will play a major role in your studying success. If you aren't healthy, you may feel tired or sick. This will prevent you from studying at full capacity. Things like eating poorly, not getting exercise, and bad habits like smoking can do more damage to your cognitive functions than you may think. Make a point to eat well, sleep, exercise, and eliminate bad habits. Sleep is a very important part of staying healthy. You may think staying up until the wee hours of the morning will help you prepare for the test, but it will only hinder your ability to study.
The PMP Exam is a great way to pad your resume for future opportunities. It shows people that you are serious about a career in project management. You will also learn how to do the job in the most efficient way.
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