Should You Buy Head First PMP Book?

Head First PMPHead First PMP

TitleHead First PMP

Authors: Jennifer Greene, PMP & Andrew Stellman, PMP

Short Description: A Learner’s Companion to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam

Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Edition: 3rd Edition

Pages: 894


I was an avid reader of fiction books till I was in college. Nowadays, I rarely read fiction books. My priorities have changed. Although, my reading propensity has not diminished, but my preferences have changed. These days, I read books on varied subjects.

My first brush with Head First PMP happened in the year 2010. One of my training partners gave me the book to read. I started the book and completed it within a day. I just loved the way it was written. The book brought back memories of my college days. It is a regular subject book that has a flavor of fiction. I wish this book should have been published in the year 2005 when I did my PMP certification.

Let us come to the current day. In last few years, I have read and referred to the book a number of times. After 2010, a new edition of the book has been published and I have kept myself abreast with the changes. I have written this post to do the book review of Head First PMP. Let me give you an overview of how the book is written and what are its pros & cons.

Head First PMP Book Review

The book is written in a very light and engaging manner. The language is easy to understand and lucid. Apart from the simple & easy language, the book explains the subject through numerous diagrams, charts, and figures. The authors of Head First PMP have written a few other books also. All their books follow the same easy-to-understand theme. if you have studied & liked any of their other books, you would love this book also.

Unlike many other books on the same subject, you can read Head First PMP without much boredom or exhaustion. As you read the book, you get instant understanding of the PMP Exam topics. Every chapter of the book starts with a small story. The authors use this story as the center point for explaining the PMP topics. They explain the topics through a series of small examples and anecdotes that are based on the initial story.

In every chapter, there are small exercises, crosswords and fill-in-the-blanks, that are very useful in remembering the PMP concepts. At the end of every chapter there are sample PMP questions that gives the reader a thorough revision of the chapter.

The biggest strength of this book is also its weakness. The language of the book is simple and easy, but it is written casually. The casualness helps in understanding the topics quickly. However, at the same time, it gives a false sense of confidence to the PMP aspirant. Many aspirants start feeling that the PMP exam is easy. This can be detrimental for the exam preparation and could lead to undesirable consequences.

The Head First PMP is written in a manner that helps the reader in understanding the project management concepts quickly and easily. But, its structure & language is very different from the PMBOK Guide. This sometimes creates problems for the readers. I have noticed that some readers are not able to correlate the book’s concepts with the Guide’s terminology. The correct understanding and the usage of the Guide’s terminology is important for passing the PMP Exam. Otherwise, the Exam questions might go wrong.

Overall, Head First PMP is a good book but it may not be suitable for everyone.


The book teaches the PMBOK Guide concepts through visuals and small exercises.


  • A picture is worth thousand words. The book is based on this idiom. It is replete with diagrams, figures, charts & pictures that enhance the whole learning process.
  • The book continuously probes the reader with mid-chapter quizzes, crosswords & exercises. This helps in long term retention of the learned concepts.
  • Throughout the book, you find memory joggers, small hints, tricks, and tips for attempting the PMP exam questions.
  • Practically anyone can study, understand and finish this book easily and quickly.
  • Overall the book creates a good learning platform.


  • The flow and language of the book is casual. At many places, it does not capture the essence of the PMBOK Guide.
  • Many PMP exam topics are not covered in sufficient detail. So, you need to refer to other sources to complete the study.
  • The book has many minor mistakes that are not in conformance with the PMBOK Guide. These mistakes, sometimes lead to wrong understanding of the PMBOK Guide’s concepts. It is advisable to read the Guide after studying this book.


PM-by-PM Rating

Ease of Study:5 Stars (5 / 5)
Coverage of Topics:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Questions & Exercises:4 Stars (4 / 5)
Conformance to PMBOK® Guide:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Exam Focus:4 Stars (4 / 5)
Price:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)


PM-by-PM Recommends

Head First PMP is a good first book for the PMP Exam preparation. I have noticed that many aspirants, whose native language is not English, find this book very appealing. It is one of the best selling PMP reference book. You can click here and buy Head First PMP, if you find it difficult to read the PMBOK Guide. You can start your PMP preparation with this book. After finishing this book, you can start reading the PMBOK Guide. Head First PMP is a good companion book for the PMBOK Guide.


Click Here to Buy the Book in USA Click Here to Buy the Book in India


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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 the book 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 do not actively use this book since I am already certified. But, I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.