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Best PMP Book & Study Guides For Exam Prep [2022]

best pmp book and study guide
You might be looking for the best PMP book and study guide for the certification exam prep.

A PMP reference book is an essential study material for passing the credential test and you should buy only a good one.

I have written this article to review and compare the top study guides. You will find pros & cons, side-by-side comparison, ratings, and my recommendation of most popular books in this article.

All the books reviewed in this article are best selling books on Amazon. They are based on the PMBOK Guide 6th edition and Agile Practice Guide. The primary reference for the PMP exam is still PMBOK Guide 6th edition. The PMP exam will be updated for 7th edition in later part of 2022.

Best PMP Book and Study Guide for PMP Certification Exam Prep

Rita Mulcahy vs Andy Crowe vs Kim Heldman vs Andrew Ramdayal vs Head First vs Scott Payne

rita mulcahy pmp exam prep book Andy Crowe pmp 6th edition kim heldman pmp 9th edition andrew ramdayal pmp exam prep simplified scott payne pmp master prep book head first pmp study guide
Rita Mulcahy Andy Crowe Kim Heldman Andrew Ramdayal Scott Payne Head First PMP

Detailed Book Review

Detailed Review Read it here Read it here Read it here Not Available Not Available Read it here

Review Rating

Ease of Study 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Coverage of Topics 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) 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Questions & Exercises 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) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Conformance to the PMBOK Guide 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) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Exam Focus 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 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) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5) 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Check Price At Amazon

Note: In order to find the best PMP book, I first went to Amazon to find the most popular books. Next, I read these books and did a thorough review. Lastly, I compared the books on various parameters. You too can go to Amazon to find the best-selling books and study guides on PMP.

1. The PMBOK Guide

I believe, PMBOK Guide is the best study book. In my opinion, it is essential to study material to successfully crack the exam. It is published by PMI who is the governing body for the credential test.

The other reference books, that are reviewed in this article, should be used along with the Guide to enhance the chances of your success.

A digital copy of the PMBOK Guide is available free of cost for PMI members.

If you have already taken the PMI membership or you intend to take it in near future then you can download a free pdf copy of the Guide. You can use it for studying 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.

If you are not comfortable studying on a computer then you should definitely buy the PMBOK Guide. It will help you to prepare for the CAPM and PMP exams.

2. Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep

You should buy this book if your focus is to pass the exam.

Pros

  • Completely focused on the exam.
  • Contains the best tips & tricks for passing the Exam.
  • Has the most difficult chapter-end questions.

Cons

  • Not conformant with the PMBOK Guide.

3. Andy Crowe: The PMP Exam

You should buy this book if you want to understand the PMBOK Guide is a easy and refreshing manner.

Pros

  • Completely focused on the exam.
  • An easy to understand book.
  • Very similar to structure and content of the PMBOK Guide.

Cons

  • Chapter-end questions are somewhat easy.

4. Kim Heldman PMP Exam Study Guide

You should buy this book if you want to have a thorough understanding of the project management concepts.

Pros

  • Learn the PMBOK Guide processes PG-wise.
  • Contains practical case studies.
  • Can be easily understood by a novice project manager.
  • Learning project management concepts thoroughly before taking the exam.

Cons

  • Too much prose and long paras.

5. Andrew Ramdayal PMP Exam Prep Simplified

You should buy this book if you have bought Andrew Ramdayal’s course on Udemy.

Pros

  • Completely focused on the exam.
  • An easy to understand book.
  • Get an in-depth understanding of the Agile concepts.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a complete coverage of the PMBOK Guide.

6. Head First PMP Study Guide

You should buy this book if you are a visual learner.

Pros

  • Contains a lot of explanatory diagrams.
  • Contains small exercises like crosswords & puzzles to validate your study.
  • It will give you a very quick understanding of the subject.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a complete coverage of the PMBOK Guide.

7. PMP Exam Master Prep by Scott Payne

Pros

  • Learn the PMBOK Guide processes PG-wise.
  • Contains practical case studies.
  • It will give you a very quick understanding of the subject.

Cons

  • Not updated with the latest exam changes.

Final Thoughts

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

George Evans

Before you make your final decision, answer this question. Would you buy car X if 50% residents in your community has bought it? Or would you buy a car that suits your requirements e.g. more horse power, better looking, larger etc.?

My point is that, you should not buy something that your colleague or friend bought. 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 could use one of them as 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.

Related Articles

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Top Instructor Led Online PMP Classes

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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.

Book cover images taken from their respective websites.