Lots and Lots of Practice Exams is the Key


Troy Beyer
CO, United States

No. of Attempt
Study Duration

PMP® Course

Prep Book

Mock Exams Attempted

PMBOK® Guide Read
3 times

“I can’t say enough about how important it is to practice. Take as many practice exams, test simulators, and quizzes as you can stomach – then do more.”

Troy Beyer passed the PMI® PMP® Certification Exam on first attempt. He is currently a PMP® Certification trainer. Below is the step-by-step process for the PMP® exam application and study:

1. Read the PMI® PMP® Credential Handbook

  • Find answers to most of your questions there, including the pre-requisite, the application process, the exam, etc.
  • You need at least 4500 hours of project management working experience obtained in the last 8 years to be eligible for the PMP® credential if you are a four-year degree holder. You don’t need to be titled a project manager for the experience to be counted but you must be responsible for the management of projects.
  • You need also 35 contact hours of formal project management education. You can attend classroom training or online courses.

2. List out Your Experiences for Eligibility

  • Dig out your documentations for project experiences to know that you are eligible for the PMP® application.
  • Make sure you have obtain the 35 contact hours for project management training.

3. Join PMI®

  •  Join PMI® which is one of the largest organization for the field of project management. Join also a local chapter of PMI®.
  • You will get a discount to the PMP® exam fee and re-examination fee.
  • You will also get free and discounted continuing education offerings for your PDUs.
  • You can have a free download of the PMBOK® Guide Guide.

4. Read the PMBOK® Guide Guide – Skim for the first time

  • The PMBOK® Guide Guide (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) describes the framework and standards for project management which also outlines the syllabus for the PMB exam.
  • You should better read the PMBOK® Guide Guide at lest twice (more if you have the time) during your studies.
  • For the first time, get an overview of the PMP® exam by reading very fast. The goal is to familiarize yourself with the structure and terminology. Don’t try to memorize all of the details during this reading. You might also want to bookmark some pages with important contents for future references.

5. Plan Your Study Plan

  • Get the required working experience or contact hours and act accordingly.
  • Read PMI®’s PMP® Exam Content Outline to find out more about the PMP® exam, and create your study plan based on your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Revisit and update the study plan according to needs.
  • Track your study progress and make adjustments should the circumstances changes.

6. Study! Study! Study!

  • Break all the study materials into small chunks, revisit the materials frequently, and work with other people e.g. in a study group to discuss and understand the subject.
  • Study and take practice exams. More study and more practice exams.
  • There are a lot of exam prep resources online, many are available for free. Try several of them to see which ones suit you most.
  • Learn “PMI®-isms”. You must approach a question from the perspectives of PMI®, not relying solely on your own experience or common sense.
  • Read the PMBOK® Guide again from cover to cover and work by work. This helps you to understand the PMI®’s style of communicating. The PMBOK® Guide will make more sense after you have read it more than once and you can understand the concepts more readily.
  • Try to match the materials of PMBOK® Guide Guide to your actual working experiences. The exam questions are mostly about situational questions, you need both the PMBOK® Guide knowledge as well as your experiences to get the correct answer.
  • Do not focus on memorization. You’ll need to understand formulas and the concepts behind them so that you can apply them in the exam questions.

7. Take PMP® Practice Exams

  • Attempt as many practice exams as you can take and then do more of them.
  • Don’t just take the practice exams, you must review and track what you got right and wrong and understand what you need to work more on. By reviewing your mistakes, you will fill up your knowledge gaps. Be honest with your, focus on studying until you get it right.

8. Commit to a Schedule

  • Update your study plan with a timeline, and commit yourself to achieving the goals. Like any good plan, you should identify the major milestones and work toward delivery at each.
  • Schedule the exam. If you don’t target an end date for all of this work you’ve been doing, you may find yourself meandering, procrastinating, or talking your way out of finishing. You’ve studied all the material at this point, have taken practice exams to demonstrate you can pass, and have the practical experience necessary to succeed.

9. Take an exam training course

  • Also known as a “bootcamp” or “exam preparation workshop”, these give you a structured, focused review of the PMP® materials.
  • You are recommended to have finished the bulk of your PMP® study before the class to get maximum benefit from the bootcamps.

10. Pass the PMP® exam

  • Make your own exam-taking strategy, e.g. when to take breaks, how much time for each question, the review strategy
  • Take a break from studying the day before to help you remember
  • Don’t be stressed or nervous. Do something you like but not study.
  • Bring your two forms of  IDs and confidence to the exam venue.
  • Bring snacks and water and store them in the locker.
  • Smile during the exam to help you relax and concentrate

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Troy Beyer


free pmp certification guideFree! We have analyzed 100+ Lessons Learned by successful PMP Exam takers and compile a 9 page report on PMP Exam Preparation FAQ Answered by 100+ Recent PMPs. Indispensable for your PMP exam preparation! Exploit it NOW!

Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try