2019 Best PMP Book And Study Guide For Certification Exam Prep

You will find my recommendtion for the best PMP book and study guide to buy for the certification exam prep in this article. A PMP book is an essential study material for passing the credential test and you should buy a good one.

I did a review and side-by-side comparison of 4 best-selling study guides on Amazon viz. Head First vs Rita Mulcahy vs Andy Crowe vs Kim Heldman. All the reference books are based on PMBOK Guide 6th edition. I have written about pros & cons, and my recommendation of these books in this post. It will help you to determine which is the best PMP exam prep book for you.

In order to find the best PMP book, first I went to Amazon to find the top selling books. As a second step, I read the books and did a thorough detailed review. Lastly, I compared the books on various parameters. You will find links to the detailed review, review rating, and comparison in the table below.

best pmp book study guide certification exam prep

Best PMP Book And Project Management Study Guide

I believe, PMBOK Guide is the best PMP study guide. In my opinion, it is essential to study the PMBOK guide to successfully crack the certification exam. The other books, reviewed in this article, should be used along with the Guide to enhance your chances of success. You should definitely buy the PMBOK Guide, if you are preparing for either PMP or CAPM exam.

Let us now look at which is the best PMP reference book for you.

Review And Comparison Of The Best PMP Books For The Certification Exam Prep

Head First vs Rita Mulcahy vs Andy Crowe vs Kim Heldman

head first pmp study guiderita mulcahy pmp exam prep bookAndy Crowe pmp 6th editionkim heldman pmp 9th edition
Head First PMPRita MulcahyAndy CroweKim Heldman

Detailed Book Review

Detailed ReviewRead it hereRead it hereRead it hereRead it here

Review Rating

Ease of Study5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Coverage of Topics3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Questions & Exercises4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Conformance to PMBOK® Guide3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Exam Focus4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Price4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Overall Rating4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
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Which Is The Best Book For PMP Certification Exam For You?

Every student can learn. Just not on the same day, or the same way.

George Evans

Head First PMP Study Guide

You should buy this book if you:

  • are a visual learner.
  • like to do crosswords & puzzles.
  • want to have a very quick understanding of the subject.

Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep

You should buy this book if you:

  • just want to focus on the Exam.
  • want to learn the best tips & tricks for passing the Exam.
  • want to do the most difficult sample questions.

Andy Crowe: The PMP Exam

You should buy this book if you:

  • just want to focus on the Exam.
  • want to read an easy to understand book.
  • want to read a book that has a very similar structure as the PMBOK Guide.

Kim Heldman PMP Exam Study Guide

You should buy this book if you:

  • want to study the PMBOK Guide processes PG-wise.
  • love reading experiential case studies and a lot of prose.
  • are a novice project manager.
  • want to learn PM concepts thoroughly before taking the Exam.

Final Thoughts

Before you make your final decision, answer this question.Would you buy a car X if 50% residents in your community has bought the car X? Or would you buy a car that suits your requirements?

My point is that, you should not buy something just because it is popular. You should analyze your learning style and understand what is best for you. We are all unique people. We have different backgrounds, different knowledge & skill-set and different learning styles. What is good for me (or your friend), may not be good for you. So, you should buy a book(s) that suits you and your learning style.

If you think one book is not enough for the exam prep or if you think you there are some good points in each book, then you can always buy more than one book. The cost of books will be marginal as compared to the exam and training fee. The books will be your main study material till you pass your credential exam.

You don’t have to study each book completely. One could be your main study guide while other book(s) can be used for secondary reference. You can selectively study only those portions that give you maximum benefit.

Go ahead. Do not wait! Buy the car…er…your best PMP book.

Note: A digital copy of the PMBOK Guide is available free of cost to the PMI members. If you have taken the PMI membership or you intend to take it in near future, then you can forego buying the Guide. You can download a licensed pdf copy for yourself and use it on your computer but you cannot print it. The Guide’s pdf copy is licensed only to you – you can neither share it nor distribute it.

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Disclosure: I have not received any compensation (in cash or kind) from the Authors or the Publishers or anyone else associated with any of the books for writing this article. But this article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you click & buy from these links then, I will receive a small commission. This commission helps me in maintaining this blog for free. However, you don’t pay anything extra. I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.

Praveen Malik, PMP

​Praveen Malik ​is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor, Coach and ​Advisor. He ​has successfully trained thousands of aspirants for the PM certification exams.