How Much Time is Required for PMP Test Preparation?

Note: This is an extract from the report: 100+ Tips on PMI® PMP® Certification Training & Study by 100+ Recent PMP®s

  How Much Time is Required for PMP® Test Preparation?

It is widely known that the PMP® calls for a lot of preparation for the 4-hour 200-questions PMP® Certification exam. The PMBOK® Guide itself is a thick document with close to 600 page. However, the PMBOK® Guide is just a standard only which details only the framework for project management. Yet the breath and depth of the knowledge required for the PMP® Certification exam cannot be achieve by studying the PMBOK® Guide alone. It is often suggested one or two additional PMP® exam prep books and numerously practice exams are required to be fully prepared for the PMP® exam.

The PMP® Exam Lessons Learned website conducted an online survey with 100 PMP®s for the time required for their PMP® preparation. The results are charted as below:

graph showing the duration required for the PMP test preparation

Most PMP®s (~33%) required 2 months while only around 8% used 1 month or less. An interesting result is noted that around 20% of them needed 6 months or more to complete the PMP® study. The unusual long period may be attributed to the fact that they did not prepare for the PMP® exam continuously or they are side-tracked by other duties or pursuits. In general, a study period of 2 to 3 months should be sufficient for successfully passing the PMP® exam.

 The Time Required Daily

It normally takes around 3-5 hours daily over the period of two months to actually go through the PMP® exam materials and be best prepared for the PMP® exam. Some people will have PMP® test preparation done during the weekdays only, leaving the weekends for relaxation or family obligation. Other would plan around 2 hours daily for weekdays and 5-6 hours on weekends to accelerate their studies.

 How to Find the Extra Time for PMP® Study?

PMP®s have different suggestions on how to find the extra time for PMP® test preparation:

  • Some suggestion to try to make full use of the lunch time to study by reading PMP® exam prep books or doing practice exam questions. It is also a good idea to print out some practice questions and bring the printed questions to the restaurants.
  • Some would try using the transit time for exam preparation by listening to PMP® training podcast courses or reading the PMP® Exam prep books.
  • Some people would cut all the other activities e.g. movies, Facebook, phone calls, etc. and just concentrate on their PMP® study only.
  • Others would try to sleep less by studying later through the night for their study period. On the contrary, if you are a morning people, some would suggest you to get up 2 hours earlier than normal to begin studying.

The time required for PMP® test preparation varies from person to person. To begin with, you might try to plan for a 2 month period with 2-3 hours of studies daily. You might try to find the time by rising up earlier, staying up later or cutting out normal activities during that 2-month period.

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