Tips for Getting Your PMP Certification
Chad Wakefield’s “Guide” to Getting Your PMP
1. Ask yourself why do I want this? No right answers. But you need them, because this takes time and work. If you’re not committed, you won’t achieve this.
2. Full disclosure. I had to re-test. I failed the test the first-time. Know this can happen. It is a difficult test. Anything worth doing is hard. If you want this. Do it. Don’t worry about the potential need to re-test. Be tough on yourself and don’t allow yourself to take short cuts in preparation.
3. If you do not have good study habits and good habits seeking out help with area’s you struggle in; get ahead of that and develop them.
4. If you know what type of learner you are, seek the medium for the pre-application class. There are a ton of on-line courses and in-person. Knowing how you learn best will maximize the benefit to you. Don’t make cost the only criteria. So figure out your style if you don’t know it and choose the provider that you like, versus the cheapest.
5. A few sources for the course and also some other preparation items below:
a. Several universities offer the class. I have enjoyed taking a certificate program on-line through Cornell (e-Cornell). They offer a PM class certificate that counts toward the pre-app hours needed.
b. Praizion Media was crucial in helping prepare to re-test. I purchased some short prep courses. Knowing they helped me complete the mission, I would say they are an excellent resource no matter what, including starting with them. I watched some YouTube videos they put out and bought a study guide called Tools and Technique Turbo (this is worth getting no matter who you elect to take the course through). http://praizionmedia.com/praizion/?page_id=1125
c. I took my pre-application course through PM Champion https://pmchampion.com/ pretty good, economical.
d. I spent a lot of time in exam prep with what is referred to as the Rita book. https://rmcls.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrIf3BRD1ARIsAMuugNtx48_i3tdHvkzhVJdbS27oFKixX1uPfXyvYv2OzypkVmoNVI02tZAaAkTiEALw_wcB
6. I recommend looking at some other resources and tools while also taking the pre-app class. YouTube, peruse ProjectManager.com, buy some supplemental stuff from a group like Praizion.
7. After you finish the course, immediately start preparing for the test. This will help you to keep learning and put the concepts learned in the course into preparation practice. Doing practice tests helps highlight where your conceptual knowledge is weak and strong. Prepare while awaiting approval for the test.
8. Prepare your application. You can start this application before you finish the class. You will not be allowed to complete the submittal and be approved to test until after you have finished the course. I would recommend waiting so you don’t waste time having to re-do it.
9. A note on the application. Spread out your project work experience as much as you can if you carry a high-volume workload. In the role I was in when I applied, I was in a regional manager type position. I had several PM’s and project delivery folks under me. I was accountable for upwards of 50 projects at a time, and I was involved in all of them. A friend advised me though to spread my projects out a bit to mitigate the audit on my application. His thought was they may not believe that I was carrying that volume of responsibility. After I thought it through, it was also a misrepresentation; I was accountable for all those projects, however, I was not directly managing them all. I was not audited, so maybe that was a good tip.
10. I’m not in the IT field. I have learned that a lot of good content comes out that is IT focused and has some great explanations of Earned Value Management and other topics I struggled with. Pay attention to what is done in the IT field.
11. I think PMI (Project Management Institute) has done a great job using LinkedIn, so use it as a resource. Check out the Project Manager Network Group on LinkedIn as well https://www.linkedin.com/groups/37888/.
12. NOTE: I applied and took the exam over 5 years ago. So there is bound to be some even better stuff out there on YouTube. I’m not sure how much exam content now tests on Agile, Kanban, and other methodologies. So I would do some investigation on that to ensure that you are not overlooking emerging topics that could also be tested on. Besides, this stuff is cool and you should know a little anyway to decide if you like it and want to use it.