Others’ PMP Study Plans Don’t Work for You


Anil Bajaj
London, Britain

No. of Attempt
Study Duration
3 months

PMP® Course

Prep Book
Head First PMP®

Mock Exams Attempted
PM StudyOliver LehmannPM FASTrackHead First
PMBOK® Guide Read
<1 time

“Do listen to several opinions, but in the end make your own. You have to think, plan and act the way that makes you confident. It’s YOUR way, YOUR exam, YOUR professional life.”

Anil Bajaj wished to get PMP® certified for a long time as the PMP® certification is increasingly being used as a screening tool to for project manager positions. He share his lessons learned here.

  • The PMP® exam is a real test of patience
  • Proper planning, dedication and discipline are required during the study
  • One must understand the concept well to score well.
  • Questions are mostly situational questions where there are usually two or more acceptable answers. Need to choose the best one.
  • The certification is an investment for your career

Difficult, but certainly Do-Able

  • You need a combination of experience, knowledge, dedication and self discipline to pass the PMP® exam.
  • Experience alone won’t give you a pass.

PMP® Exam Pattern

  • A total of 200 multiple choice questions in 4 hours – 1 minute 12 seconds per question
  • Almost all questions are situational and often have 2 or more answers very close to each other.
  • 25 questions were research questions which would not be taken into consideration, however the candidate don’t know which questions are not counted
  • There are no penalties for wrong answers, so don’t leave a question unanswered

Sources of Study

  • Head First is a great book for beginners.
  • Rita Mulcahy’s PMP® Book is an excellent exam prep book. Read it thrice for the exam.
  • I don’t recommend reading the PMBOK® Guide Guide from cover to cover. It is a reference only and is not intended to be studies as a book.
  • Rita FASTrack and free online practice exam questions.

PMBOK® Guide talks about 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas.

The 5 Process Groups are

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring & Control
  5. Closing.

PMBOK® Guide guide also defines 10 Knowledge Areas for the Project Managers, each Knowledge Area contains a number of processes

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Cost Management
  4. Project Time Management
  5. Project Risk Management
  6. Project Quality Management
  7. Project Human Resource Management
  8. Project Stakeholder Management
  9. Project Communication Management
  10. Project Procurement Management

Suggested Study Plan

  1. Go through Headfirst PMP® once, just understand all the content and concept for the PMP® exam.
  2. Read PMBOK® Guide for a process first and read the same process in Rita’s PMP® Book
  3. Solve the questions in Rita’s PMP® Book end of chapter quizzes
  4. Begin and end your whole study with the project integration processes

Quality Mock Exams:

  1. PM Study Practice Exams
  2. Headfirst Practice Exams
  3. Oliver Lehmann Exams
  4. Rita FASTrack

Suggestions for the exam date

  1. Have a good night’s sleep.
  2. Have enough food before the exam
  3. Reach the exam centre early
  4. Stay calm and relax
  5. Practice brain dump
  6. Take breaks if needed

Final Advice

  • Try hard, keep on working
  • Think positive. “You can pass”
  • Rita’s book is great to get the PMI® perspective
  • Proper planning, dedication and discipline are required during your study
  • I would strongly recommend you memorize ITTOs for the exam
  • Memorize all the formulas
  • Remember to read the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Do practice exams as much as you can.
  • Consistent preparation is required, e.g. 2-4 hours daily on weekdays & 4-6 hours on weekends for a period of 2-3 months

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Anil Bajaj

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Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try