Must Read Advices from 5 Proficient PMP


Todd M. Shevlin
PA, United States

No. of Attempt
Study Duration
3 months

PMP® Course
PM PrepCast™
Prep Book
Rita’sHead First PMP®

Mock Exams Attempted
Head FirstOliver LehmannExam CentralPM TrainingPM Study
PMBOK® Guide Read
1 time

“There are many terms used in the PMBOK® Guide, which may not mean much to you in the early stages, and it’s very dry and repetitive. You’ll get much more value out of it after you understand the framework and how everything fits together.”

Todd M. Shevlin passed the PMP® exam in first try. Below is his lessons learned.

Study Materials

  1. While not required, it’s highly recommended to join as a paid member of the PMI® (The Project Management Institute). The discount you receive on your exam fee will outweigh the membership cost for the first year. Plus, you get a free digital copy of the PMBOK® Guide, and access to online e-library, forums, templates, etc.
  2. PMBOK® Guide  is the bible of Project Management Professional exam. The Guide contains the majority of the information you will need for passing the PMP® exam. You should read it at least once, but you should hold off reading the PMBOK® Guide Guide as your first study material. Try reading the following exam prep books first.
  3. Rita MulcahyHead First or Andy Crowe – I used Head First PMP® as it provides many illustrations and real world examples which helps to explain the concepts and interrelationships between the processes. A great book for visual learners.
  4. 35 contact hours are required for the application of PMP® exam. It is highly recommended to take a project management course based on the PMBOK® Guide Guide (e.g. The PM PrepCast™ ).
  5. Practice exams: There are many quizzes and exams available on the market or online, some are free while others are paid. The quality and difficulty of them vary greatly. Examples of free practice exams include: Exam CentralHeadFirst and PM TrainingPM StudyRMC and PM Exam Simulator.
  6. There are additional items for your preparation including: Flashcards and Mobile Applications.

PMP® Preparation Tips

  1. Try finding a study group who can help you study if that helps.
  2. Create a Project Management Plan for your PMP® study. Give you milestones and timelines to follow.
  3. Take a PMP® preparation course to help you get started with your study.
  4. Read a PMP® Exam prep book to understand the topics better.
  5. Read the PMBOK® Guide for formal definitions.
  6. Take practice exams (including full-length exams) to help you understand your knowledge gap and plan your exam taking strategies (e.g. when to take breaks).
  7. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and have a good night’s sleep before the PMP® exam.
  8. Don’t do cramp your brain with last minute study.
  9. Try practicing your “brain dump” (brain dump = PMP® formulas, ITTOs, process interactions, etc.)

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Todd M. Shevlin


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Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try