Whoa, 2016 was a doozy! Many aspirants of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification we spoke to throughout the year had a hard time making the PMP® certification exam a priority, as 2016 brought a lot of challenges and changes. Now that 2017 is here, it’s time to press the reset button and make this YOUR year. As you begin to tackle the New Year ask yourself, “What are my goals for 2017, and what in the past has been holding me back from obtaining those goals?” Many times it’s as simple as just needing some guidance, a step-by-step plan you can easily follow.
Well fear no more, because in Velociteach’s very first Savvy PM blog post of 2017, we’re going to walk you through the process of obtaining your PMP certification one step at a time! For those of you who are still unsure about the benefits of earning your PMP certification, check out our recent “The Value of PMP certification” video here.
- Step 1: Set a Timeframe
The first step in obtaining your PMP certification is very simple, however we often find it the hardest commitment for students. You must set a timeframe for obtaining your PMP certification! Your time commitment will vary depending on the type of exam prep method you choose. When choosing to attend an instructor-led PMP exam prep course, we suggest 4-6 weeks to begin your self-study, attend your class, and pass your exam. If you choose a self-paced online course, chances are you’ll need more time so allow yourself anywhere from 3-6 months to prepare.
Here is what a former Velociteach student recently told us the biggest piece of advice he would give to PMP aspirants is: Cross check what else is going on with your life during your PMP exam prep timeframe and be sure to include actually sitting for the PMP exam in your timeframe. Many students jump head-first into a class without considering the weeks leading up to or after the class then life happens and they fall off track. Make sure you are able to dedicate 4-6 weeks to making the PMP exam your priority – that means lots of studying!
- Step 2: Register for a PMP Exam Prep Class
Do your research! Check out different types of PMP exam prep boot camps and online courses to find the best fit for you. Just be sure your education provider is registered with PMI! Also, note the benefits of your course. Do they provide you with pre/post class support? What’s included with your instructor-led PMP prep course? Does the online PMP course come with mock exams? How many? What about PMP exam application assistance? Do the dates work with your timeframe?
- Step 3: Begin Your Self Study
Prior to attending your PMP boot camp or beginning your online PMP prep course, you should be conducting some self-study. We suggest following these simple self-study steps prior to sitting for your PMP exam prep course:
- Read Andy Crowe’s The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try and/or complete InSite’s mobile-learning Pass the PMP 5th Course
- Fill out your PMP exam application as much as you can.
- Check out our free YouTube video on the PMP exam application process to help you in completing your application – here.
- Velociteach offers application assistance to our live/virtual PMP exam Prep Boot Camp students so once you’re registered we’ll be happy to take a look at it for you prior to submitting!
- Listen to Manage This Podcast episode 2 Exam Strategies: How to Guess – here. Velociteach founder, Andy Crowe, and EVP, Bill Yates, discuss their strategies for guessing on the PMP exam.
- Step 4: Attend Your Class
Your PMP exam prep boot camp has begun! During the next four days, you will plunge head first into the PMBOK® Guide and Project Management language. While attending your boot camp, be sure to complete all homework assignments and hold yourself accountable for preparing in class as well as outside of class. Even better, buddy up with a fellow classmate to hold each other accountable!
Taking an online course? Be sure to set aside a certain amount of time per week to dedicate to your course. Whether it’s knocking out one lesson a day during your lunch break or spending a couple hours in the evening in InSite, the goal is to get yourself prepared by your goal exam date.
- Step 5: TAKE THE PMP EXAM!
All right, you’ve completed your self-study, attended your course, and your PMP exam application has been accepted – ow the time is finally here to sit for the PMP exam. Don’t panic! Here are a couple tips to help you out:
- The “brain dump” is no longer allowed during the exam’s 15 minute video tutorial at most Prometric Testing Center locations. You are not allowed to begin writing any notes until your exam timer begins, so be sure to practice your brain dump ahead of time and get it down to 5 minutes if possible.
- Listen to Manage This Podcast episode 22 Papergate – here – where we discuss PMI’s new “brain dump” policy in more detail.
- Keep an eye on your time. You’re allowed 4 hours to complete the exam, which may sound like a lot of time but it will sneak up on you! Don’t spend longer than a minute or so per question. If you are unsure of the answer, mark it and come back later.
- Double check all your answers if time allows. The PMP exam allows you to mark answers as you go, so you may come back to check or change them. Go through each answer if time allows or, at the very least, double check the ones you were unsure about. However, we don’t like to encourage our students to change a lot of answers! Trust your instinct. Chances are your first answer is the most accurate.
- The waiting game…It’s quick! Once you’ve completed your PMP exam you will know within a matter of minutes if you’ve passed. You will also be given a printout of how you performed within each Process Group.
- FINALLY you’re a PMP certification holder!
Congratulations, you did it! You made becoming a PMP certification holder your top priority, you stuck to your timeframe, you committed to a class, you studied, completed your course, took the exam, and now you have “PMP” next to your name. What a great feeling, huh?
Now is the time to make the scenario above a reality. Become a part of one of the fastest growing industries globally and make 2017 YOUR year. Let Velociteach help you achieve your 2017 goals today!