With a regular and disciplined effort, you can get PMP certification fast. You can pass study and pass the exam in less than a month or 30 days.
Most people have been conditioned to thinking that they need at least 3-6 months to pass the exam. Some people believe that it takes more than a year to crack it. However, you can pass the exam in a matter of few days. All you need is a focused study and you can pass the exam in 10, 14 or 21 days. You will be surprised to know that some people pass it in less than 7 days (1 week) also.
PMP is difficult to pass in a short period of time but it is not impossible.
It you are committed and have a proper preparation schedule then you can definitely pass the exam quickly.
In this article, I will tell you the fastest way to crack the credential test. You can apply this strategy to create a study plan and pass the exam quickly.
Before we proceed, let me say this – the length of period beyond a few days doesn’t really matter. According to Parkinson’s Law “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. The longer you wait, the longer it will take.
How to Study and Pass PMP Certification Exam Fast?
You would need about 120 hours of study to crack the exam.
Now, if you want you can crunch these 120 hours of study in 2 weeks. If you are willing you can further squeeze 120 hours in 10 days or extend your schedule to 21 days.
Let’s take 2 weeks as an example to evolve a strategy for passing the exam at a rapid pace.
Two weeks are equal to 14 days and you have to cover 120 hours of study in 14 days. This means we will have to study for about 9 hours every day.
To achieve this, you will have to postpone your other daily commitments for 2 weeks and concentrate only on the PMP prep.
There are five steps for passing the exam in 2 weeks. The first 4 steps involve investment in a training program and study material.
The final step provides the real strategy but this step can’t be started until you complete the first four steps. The final step gives guidance about how you should spend your day i.e. what and how you should study.
Here is a small video explaining the 5 steps.
1. Enroll into an Online Training Program
A 35 hours training is mandatory to apply for the PMP exam. You should start by enrolling into a good online training program.
An online training will give you time flexibility. You will need a lot of flexibility to crunch your study schedule so don’t consider anything other than an online program.
You can look at my article on the top self-learning online courses to choose one that is suitable for you.
A good training program will give you all the necessary tools and study material to prepare for the exam. This way you can concentrate on your studies without worrying about the syllabus or the study material.
2. Invest in hard copy of the PMBOK Guide
A soft copy of the PMBOK Guide is available free of cost for the PMI members and it is generally beneficial to take the PMI membership before applying for the exam. However, I would suggest you to buy a hard copy of the guide because a paper copy is easier to read and refer. If you want you can easily make notes and mark important points on the book.
The Guide is for about $40 on Amazon.
3. Buy a Good Reference Book
Studying good books is always useful while preparing for any exam. The PMBOK Guide is the best book to prepare for the exam but you would also need a good reference book to help you in your studies. You can look at my article on the top PMP reference books to choose a book that is most suitable for you.
4. Invest in a Good Simulator
You should practice a lot of questions before appearing for the exam. Some questions should be done while you are studying the PMBOK Guide Chapters. You should do 3-5 full length tests after completing all the chapters.
A good PMP simulator will come handy for practicing mock questions.
A good simulator will give you a feel of the real test environment. It will validate your learning and give you confidence for writing the exam.
If you have already bought a good training course from #1 above, which is bundled with a simulator then you can ignore this point.
5. How to Utilize 9 Hours Daily?
This is the most important point. It talks about daily schedule that you should follow while studying for the exam.
There are two main reference books suggested by PMI – PMBOK Guide and Agile Practice Guide.
There are 13 chapters in the PMBOK Guide and 7 in the Agile Practice Guide. Each PMBOK Guide chapter is equivalent to about 4 chapters of the Agile Practice Guide. So, we can assume that you need to study 15 chapters before you can sit for the exam.
In addition to the chapters, you need to do 3-5 full length practice tests.
You can take the following approach to complete the chapters and practice tests:
- Complete all the chapters in the first 10 days
- Aim to complete course content of 1.5 chapters on daily basis, which will take you 10 days.
- Practice 3-5 full-length tests in the remaining 4 days.
On any day, you should start with videos from your training course. You should watch the videos related to the chapters that you are going to cover on that day. You will need about 2-3 hours to do this.
After watching the video, you should read the chapters from your chosen reference book and the PMBOK Guide. This should take you about 4-5 hours.
You should make your own notes while you are watching the videos and reading books. After completing the videos and reading, you should attempt about 40-50 end of chapter questions. This will validate that your learning. You will need about 1-2 hours to do chapter-end questions.
This is a rough plan. It will changed based on the length of chapters and study material at hand. On some days you will be able to do 2-3 chapters while on other days 1 chapter will stretch through the day.
Study Plan for passing PMP in 10 Days
A 10 day study plan for passing the PMP exam is an accelerated version 2 weeks’ strategy. However, there are few major differences.
- You will have to squeeze 120 hours of study time in 10 days instead of 14 days. This will mean that you will have to study 12 hours every day.
- You will have to study 2 chapters every day instead of 1.5 chapters in order to finish the study material in 7 days.
- You will have 3 days to complete 3-5 full length practice tests.
- Instead of taking an online course that gives you flexibility to study, you should enroll into a good live boot camp. A live boot camp will help you to focus and concentrate on your studies. You will be able to finish the first run of the course material in 4 days. Then you can spend the rest of the days for self-study and practicing.
Passing PMP in 10 days is more costlier and stressful than passing it in 2 weeks. So, unless you have an external commitment, I will suggest you to give yourself more slack.
How to Prepare for PMP Exam in 21 Days?
Passing the PMP exam in 21 days is a lot easier than passing it in 2 weeks. You don’t need to be as fast and can take it lot slower.
Well! Relatively speaking.
There are few major differences in study approach between 2 weeks strategy and 21 days strategy.
- You will have to complete 120 hours of study time in 21 days instead of 14 days. This will mean that you will have to study 6 hours every day.
- You can study 1 chapter every day instead of 1.5 chapters in order to finish the study material in 15 days.
- You will have 6 days to complete 3-5 full length practice tests.
- You can spend the last day to cool off and recharge your batteries before the big day.
Studying and passing the exam in 2 weeks could be a stretch for most people but if you are committed to it then you can definitely crack the exam in a short time. You just have to religiously follow the strategies written above and be disciplined.
If you think 2 weeks or for that matter 21 days is going to be hard then you can target 30 or 60 days. For most working professionals 50-60 days is the optimum period to pass the exam.
I have prepared a sample schedule to study and pass the exam in 50 days. You should take a look at it.
How much time do you think you will need to pass the pass the exam? Do you think something else can be added to the PMP exam prep strategy described in this article?
I will love to hear from you.