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7 Study Habits to Ace Your PMP Exam

Ready to take your project management career to the next level? Passing your PMP exam is a great place to start. Here are 7 tips to help you ace it.

Over the next decade, the demand for professionals who understand the practices and principles of project management is expected to increase dramatically.

Passing the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam demonstrates a mastery of project management that can be applied directly in the workplace. Challenging and broad in scope, the exam has a reputation for being difficult. So how do you get a passing grade? We’ve compiled 7 study habits of people who passed their PMP exam that you can apply to your own project management training—then ace the exam, too.

7 Study Habits to Ace Your PMP Exam

Set aside time to prepare.
Those who have passed the PMP exam say it’s important to dedicate at least 3 months of studying 2 to 3 hours a day in order to pass. Between work, family, and other commitments, it can be difficult to commit that kind of time to studying. It’s important to set up a strict study schedule—and stick to it.

Read and re-read.
Kick off your PMP prep by reading through your study materials, taking thorough notes, and paying attention to detail. After you read each resource, go back and read it once more. This will help cement what you’ve just learned while also helping you revisit information you may have missed the first time around. This may take some time, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Practice, practice, practice.
Another key step? Taking every practice test available to you. Most PMP study guides include review questions and practice exams. You’ll also find an abundance of them online. These questions are similarly worded to the ones you’ll see on the actual PMP exam. The more you familiarize yourself with them, the easier the exam will be.

Chart it out.
Visual study guides can be especially useful for the Inputs, Tools, Techniques, and Outputs (ITTO) section of the PMP exam. Create charts on paper, then hang them where you’ll see them frequently. Whenever you pass these charts, stop and study them for 15 minutes.

Explore project management training online.
An online project management training course is a great option, especially if you need a more disciplined approach to studying. Not only does it provide the structure you need to prepare for the exam, it gives you access to a variety of learning tools, including sample quizzes, instructor-led-training, on-demand coaching, and more.

Join an online forum.
It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re spending hours each day studying on your own. Share your concerns, discuss experiences, and gain access to a wide range of resources by joining an online PMP forum (PM Zilla is a great place to start). Forums like these allow you to interact with other people pursuing project management training. Voice your thoughts, ask questions, and get additional information that will help you prepare for the exam.

Dump your brain.
While it may sound a little odd, “brain dumping” is a common exercise used by students before PMP exams. Brain dumps are abbreviations of key concepts you memorize and “dump” out onto sheets of paper before an exam. They consist of just enough information, such as formulas and theories, to help jog your memory. Creating these sheets help you focus on the question at hand rather than struggling to remember formulas, putting you in the ideal frame of mind to take a test.

Earning a project management degree, particularly a master’s in project management (typically an MS in Project Management), is another great way to prepare for the PMP exam.
Walden University’s MS in Project Management is one of a limited number of project management degree programs worldwide accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC).Discover how Walden can help you meet your career goals and take your project management career to the next level.