Study Plan for the PMP Exam


I think the biggest questions out there regarding preparation for the PMP® exam are:

  • How long should I study for?
  • What should I study?

Of course, the simple answer is, “it depends.” It depends on a few things. Here are some questions to ask yourself (and be honest) as you get ready for the exam:

  1. Do you practice project management every day in your current job?
  2. Do you plan on taking a Boot Camp course?
  3. Can you dedicate at least 10-15 hours a week to study?
  4. Are you a strong test taker?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then I think a 3-4 month study plan will suffice. For every question you answered “no” to, add more time on. I know many colleagues of mine studied for a whole year because they had difficulty setting uninterrupted time aside to study. It is definitely not an easy exam, so you will have to make a time commitment. As for what to study, if you take a Boot Camp you will be provided with a copy of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and study guides. Dissect these guides and learn the concepts inside and out. If you don’t plan on taking a Boot Camp, I would purchase the PMBOK® Guide and as many study guides and books you can find. Amazon is a great option for buying books because the reviews can help you find the best ones that will work for you. Well, I wish you the best of luck studying!

Related Courses
PMP® Exam Prep Boot Camp
Guided PMP® Exam Prep
PMP® Exam Prep Practice Kit


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1 comment

  1. Daniel Fay, PMP Reply

    The Rule of thumb is 40 hours of dedicated study for an experienced PM (you have experience in all aspects of the PMBoK), 75 hours for a practicing but still honing PM, and 120 hours for a ‘junior’ PM – you just meet the eligibility requirements and a lot of the PMBoK is unknown.

    Add hours on if:
    – you are writing in a second language,
    – computers are not a normal day’s work tool,
    – your organization has no PM methods in place, and
    – if you are a detailed person (you commonly use more than 2 colors of highlighter)