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Creating your PMP Prep Study Plan

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is your chance to put the PMP Project planning to work in your life.

First, identify your goal date. How long do you have to study?

Second, how much money do you have to invest in the goal?

Now you have cost and budget with the scope being to pass the PMP. A nice to have is to also thoroughly understand the content… but at minimum you need to pass.

How do you do that?

Know what you need to pass. Do you have the needed experience and education hours?

Don't know how much you need? Check out this blog

Looking for Experience? Check out this Blog

Looking for Education? Check out this class

Develop your WBS. Unfortunately, only you can fill in the steps needed below.

Build Your WBS for your Study Plan
Build Your WBS for your Study Plan

Now, you need to find the resources to help you pass, but how do you prepare…. It seems quite difficult.

How to do you prepare?

This is a four hour exam with 200 multiple choice questions. No two candidates get the same questions. There are conflicting answers to what the Pass/Fail rate is, but generally 60% pass rate is reasonable expectation.

Understand how the test is designed. There may be 200 questions, but of those 25 are beta questions that are only there for testing purposes. That means that you really only have 175 questions that count… the problem is – you don’t know which ones they are.

Understand the content. If you have studied the fundamentals, and know where most of the content will be in, you will be more prepared for more of the questions. Most are centered around the project management process groups, with the most of the questions going to the Planning, Executing, and Monitoring/Controlling areas.

In some cases, questions can be set up so that there are more than one right answer, but they are looking for the best of the right answers….. It throws you. Understand some of the strategies to how the questions are asked, so you will have a better chance of guessing correctly, when needed.

The Glossary, from the PMBOK guide, is a huge resource, also several of the diagrams found throughout the book. It is an invaluable source for the definitions and acronyms that will be found on the test. Getting to know these terms will be key. - You can download the PMBOK free if you are a member of PMI. These terms are also found in the Velociteach Flashcard App, which is included in the Blindside Solutions Course.

If you are looking for a quick approach, the PMP Prep Course offered by Blindside Solutions, includes Online resources, the Study Guide Book – The PMP® Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, Sixth Ed. by Velociteach CEO, Andy Crowe, Flashcards with the Terms, and a Quick Reference Guide. All and they have a class you can complete in a Long Weekend.

So you know how much time you have, you know which course or book you will use… What's Next?

Find a Study Partner, Study Group, or Forum – It is much easier to pass, when someone else is helping.

Blindside Solutions is building a Forum to help in your goal. Participate with questions. Resources will be available in the forum to help with your questions or concerns.

Give yourself milestones to be ready, then schedule your studying time. What are some of the milestones you need to schedule?

My recommended approach:

- (If you haven't joined already) Become a member of PMI - Blindside Solutions offers you a Membership discount and when you sign up for the test, you will also get a discount on that from PMI.

- Sign up for the Blindside Solutions Course - The course includes the Study Guide/Books, online resources, study forum, Flashcard App, Audio resources, and application support.

- Log into the Forum - Introduce yourself. Let the class know your experience level and add a Discussion for any question. If you have it - other people probably do also. Blindside Solution moderators or members will help you in the preparation.

- Begin focusing on getting the Application Information ready. This is a tough process. Fill out the spreadsheet (Here is some Application Support) completely. -

- 30 days before the class, apply for the test and select a test date. Recommend giving yourself at least another 30-45 days after the class for the final studying, but ideally no more than 90 days after class. You want the information to be fresh in your mind!

- 30 days before class (or earlier if you request), Blindside Solutions will provide you with your Login Information for the InSite Online Resources, Flashcard App login information, and ability to download the audio resources. This will provide you with some great material to help you with getting into the mindset.

This is where the real work begins

Break your time into similar to the test. Try to make sure you are familiar with the basics in each of these areas. What are the common knowledge areas, What are the Inputs and Outputs? Visualize the flow of the process. Come to class familiar with the PMI Terms (which can sometimes be different than regular experience or other methods).

Week 1 - Initiating 13% & Closing 7%

Week 2 - Planning 24%

Week 3 - Executing 31%

Week 4 - Monitoring and Controlling 25%

The Online resources are generally organized by Knowledge Area - questions on which go to which - can be added/addressed in the forum.

- In Class - Recommend you stay at the hotel or plan to stay a little longer to socialize/network and ask more questions. You will receive your Study Guide/Book and a Student Workbook with all the slides and space to write notes.

- End of Class - The Final Test. This is your gauge for how hard you still need to work. If you scored 80% or more, you are ready.

- After Class - Now the real work happens. At this point you should have an idea of your problem areas. That is where you should focus with a solid study book. "How to Pass your PMP on the First Try" by Andy Crowe is one of the best and is included in the Blindside Solutions Course. Focus on the parts of the test that you had challenges with. If you have time, do all of them, but focus on the areas that have a higher chance of being on the test and that you didn't test well on. Plan to check in with the instructor and on the Forum. Help the others in the class with their questions and feel free to post some of your own. If there are areas that you keep missing, add those to your Dump Sheet. You should be writing your Dump Sheet up almost every day. The day of the test - you will need to write it all from memory. Keep working on the Tests until you feel comfortable. If you can score 80% on a practice test or higher - you have that section locked in. Success! If you need more questions, feel free to reach out to the instructors. We are here to help you succeed!

- Test day - Take it easy. Start your morning writing your Dump Sheet, just to show yourself you can, otherwise - try to relax and not stress yourself. You have worked hard to get to this point and it is almost over. Eat light. Good Luck!

At this point, I'm sure you have PASSED!

- Let us know on the Forum. We want to get your feedback. Help others by trying to remember some of the questions you saw. What was hard? What was easy? What was different than expected?

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