PMP - Best Study Guide?

Time for me to start boning up for the exam. I have over a decade in practice, but as we all know, it takes different knowledge to pass the exam than to practice PM.

For those who have done well on the exam, what books would you recommend? I will be doing self-study, as I am a good study and passed CEH this way, and I am cheep/poor. Ideally I'd like one textbook that essentially teaches the exam. Is it multiple-choice, or what?

Also, for those who have been audited, what was the process like? I don't think it will happen, but I'd like to be prepared.



  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Thank you. I notice that you don't list PMP in your credentials. Is there another cert that superseded it for you?
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I'm currently going for the RMP (Risk Management Professional)

    More aligned with the direction I want to go. I eventually want to get my PMP, but for now the RMP and CAPM will due just nicely.

    I already have the job I want (starting August 6th or 13th). It's a leadership, process improvement, management position.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    i used RITA's 7th edition and Andy Crowes complete kit to pass the PMP..

    RITA is a good understanding while andy goes straight into the ITTO's .... you need both IMHO and i didn't even touch the PMBOK to pass the PMP....

    andy has all the information and ITTO's you need and RITA has all the practical application knowledge you need... combine the two and you are good to go..
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Nice, universalfrost. This is the plan then.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    One thing i would have changed is that I would have joined PMI before paying for the exam..

    now that i am a PMP i am going to sign up the PMI membership, if i had done it in the beginning the total cost of the membership and exam are cheaper than just the exam for a non member, plus now i actually want to be a member...

    also you get acess to the pmbok in pdf form for free if you are a member.

    also for me the short 25-50 questions at a time were perfect to not get brain drain and retain the lessons learned for any missed questions. some of the online tests, especially one that offeres 1 free full length and reduced priced practice exams was nearly worthless, questions didnt make sense and was no where near the same type of wording/style that was used on the real test. Rita's practice tests were close to the style you would get on the actual.

    also read carefully! one or two words can put you in a whole different process group/knowledge area and PMI intentionally does this so as to test if you know which process or ITTO , etc... goes in what group or in what order.... very tricky on their part, but you either know it or you don't...
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Ugh, I am on page 41 of Rita (out of 532) and it is already so dull. Can hardly keep separate project process/ project lifecycle/ product lifecycle...

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George has to give a presentation on Risk Management. He gets a thick book transcribed to audiotape, but the person's voice sounds like his: "Risk Management. The first thing you have to know about Risk Management is it's the ability to manage risks. To manage the risks you have to ..." droning on and on, etc.

    Maybe I'm just in an adjustment period.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    i was the same way ... i made it to chapter 4 in andy's book and page 100 in rita's and then i went into lala land and took me a fwe weeks to get my rear into gear and study... keep it simple the first few weeks or months. most folks spend 3-6 months studying for this cert. i know for me the first 1.5 months was almost worthless as far as my lack of study habits... i only got motivated because i HAD to take the exam before i deploy next week and it was a real motivator... wife told me to pass or "else" since i used the $555 from our savings and not my normal fun money account.

    check out the PM prepcasts they are good. also PMzilla has some good information and get another book like andy crowe's since each book has it's strengths and weaknesses (i actually have my whole kit on eBay right now from Andy All-in-One PMP Exam Prep Kit Andy Crowe CD's flash cards, book, quick ref guide 9780982760802 | eBay )
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Hey you be careful over there man.


    Wow, I've just finished the first five chapters in Rita, and failed two of the end-of-chapter tests out of five. Reading carefully, although it is slow going (two weeks so far) and rather dull. Wondering if I'm going to make it.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    I'm using Skillsoft's classes (lackadaisically, mind you) just to get the 35 contact hours out of the way + the PMP Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman. If need be, I may get the Andy Crowe book, but I'll see how I feel after I read the Heldman book. She got me the win for Project+ and while she was boring and dry as heck, I'm hoping to see how she is for PMP.

    Unfortunately, I won't be starting this book until after I'm done with my contact hours, hopefully by next week. Then I'll update my thread with how's it going thus far. As for when I'll be taking this exam...I'm shooting for Q4 of this year...which could be October-through December (December for sure though.)

    BTW, to add to what universalfrost added about PMI membership...if you are currently a student, the costs of the membership and the exam become cheaper than the $555 than you'd have to pay. you save literally over $100. (42+ plus I believe a little over $400.) I strongly recommend membership. For the price of the PMBOK guide (give or take $10), you get the guide PLUS a huge discount on any PMI exam (including PMP.) I definitely plan on supplementing my knowledge with my PMBOK (which is sitting on my dropbox.)
  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Posts: 1,635Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I wish that I would have known about the Skillsoft courses beforehand. I really think that their policy towards classes causes many people (at least me and a few others) to just do what is necessary to get that requirement met and then study in some other method. If I end up not passing, I am going to go through the Skillsoft stuff for my next application for the 35 contact hours.
    AZ-300 [x] AZ-301 [x]
    2019 Goals: Azure Architect
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    powerfool wrote: »
    I really think that their policy towards classes causes many people (at least me and a few others) to just do what is necessary to get that requirement met and then study in some other method.

    Well, I was going to use my PM class at school as my 35 hours, originally...until I realized that Skillsoft counted. We all pretty much agree that when we think of Skillsoft, we utilize more Books 24x7. There is no way in Hades though I would recommend using Skillsoft by itself to take the PMP exam though, BUT it is showing there is a lot of correlation between Project+ and PMP. That is helping me go through Skillsoft somewhat quickly and highlighting what I need to focus on when I'm reading to read Kim's book (as well as the PMBOK guide, which I won't read straight through...just what I might be weak on.)

    If I can take the PMP before I finish that class, I will use the class for my PDU requirement.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Due to my background and education I got the PM hours and was approved for the 35 hours by PMI without any additional courses. (I have an MBA)

    I am sticking with universalfrost 's approach of Rita plus Crowe. Looks like it's going to take me a month to slog through Rita though, so I may just try the exam when I'm done with that, without Crowe.

    Rita says you need about 61% to pass the exam. I am pretty good with tests, although I am learning alot. I've made three C's on the end-of-chapter tests, but flunked two others. I'm starting to get the music though.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Way to make a decision and sticking with it thanks to your MBA. icon_razz.gif icon_thumright.gif I won't have mine for another couple of years.

    Best of luck in your studies. I do look forward in hearing how you are progressing until completion.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Thanks. I think you'll find an MBA is easier than this material. I went to SMU and came out with a 3.6 GPA, but I'm in the low C's in this stuff.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Been dealing with PM methodology for 9 years (it goes hand-in-hand with being an ERP admin.) I look forward to Accounting and Finance putting me to sleep though. However, that's the very crap I need to speak the nonsense management wants to hear in order to be one of them....lmao.

    Seriously, you'll be fine. If you're finding the stuff boring, you might want to look at this book: IT Project Management: On Track from Start to Finish, Third Edition (9780071700436): Joseph Phillips: Books

    It's not a PMP book, per se, but the author is a PMP. It might give you enough correlation to your PMP studies.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    On page 281 of Rita. (out of 527) Making progress.
  • winstarmanwinstarman Posts: 12Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Although I write this memoir with more of a CISSP-to-PMP slant, you may find it helpful in your PMP studies. I cover a number of different resources that may help you: My CISSP to PMP Experience

    Good luck and PM me if you need any help.
    RR, CISSP, PMP, FITSP-M, Sec+, Net+, Project+
    CISSP/PMP Memoirs:
    WGU BSBM (Sep 2012-Dec 2012) Progress: COMPLETE! Transferred: AGC1 BBC1 LIT1 LAE1 LUT1 QBT1 INC1 INT1 EST1 MGC1 QLC1 QMC1 QLT1 BVC1 EGT1 IWC1 IWT1 CLC1 MKT1 FNT1 TPV1 - Completed: EWB1 BNC1 LWC1 EGC1 MKC1 RWT1 FNC1 OBC1 QAT1 QDC1 QHT1 QGT1

  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    On page 371 of Rita.

    It seems clear that I will indeed be taking this exam (no job interfering & studying progressing), so today I signed up as a member of PMI. Save about $11 with membership+exam plus get PMBOK, practice exam, and other stuff. It's worth it. Also paid for the exam. I plan (there's that word again) to take it Friday or the following Monday.

    However I'd understood that I get the PMBOK for free downloadable. Can't find any evidence of that.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Benefits of PMI Membership | Project Management Institute

    Third bullet down:
    A digital edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) that you can download to your computer

    When you click on the hyperlink, it will take you the where you have to go to download the guide, but you have to be logged in, as only members can download the book.

    While there is a slight discount paying for full membership, the best deal is with student membership. (Especially if you're in the NYC area, because you also become a PMINYC chapter member for FREE provided that you're a student.)

    I was able to download PMBOK that same is required for my PM class which starts in a couple of weeks. When you download it, your name and such becomes watermarked and part of the PDF. (To discourage you from sharing the book with others.)
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Thanks. Thankfully mine isn't watermarked. It is locked with a password.

    Ya I don't qualify for student.

    I didn't actually pay for the exam until I was sure I'd be taking it. I see lots of guys getting shut out for procrastinating.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Maybe watermarked isn't the best word....

    But the PDF guides will have your name on the bottom of each page. That much I know.

    Yeah the PDF is locked with the password used to sign in to PMI.

    But on the bottom of each page it will say "Licensed to [YourName, PMIMember ID#, etc.]" That's what I meant, so you may want to reserve your thanks. :)
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Ah, I see. That's OK, I just didn't want a friggin' watermark emblazoned diagonally across the page. That is very distracting.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    guys, been a few weeks (just deployed to the stan) since i read this thread.

    i am worried that you would be audited if you tried for the PMP with a student discount, the CAPM would be more geared for you unless you were using the student discount because you are in a graduate program and you also have the document able project management hours.

    for me i had the contact hours through grad and undergrad degrees and had 2x as many documented hands on project management hours, plus i took the advice of a colleague that works in the PM shop and wrote up an air tight description of each and every aspect of the programs (well as air tight as you could get in their limited description sections)...

    dont rush this cert as it will bite you big time.... you must get at least an 80 the first time in all the areas (using rita's test's) if you want to have any chance to pass. if you are getting passing scores after your 2nd or 3rd time on the same exam it is only because you are memorizing the questions.

    i would highly discourage skillsoft... i have access to it through work and i find it to be mind numbingly boring and for some of my previous certs I actually felt like i lost knowledge...


    i used RITA's 7th edition and Andy Crowes complete kit to pass the PMP last month..

    RITA is a good understanding while andy goes straight into the ITTO's .... you need both IMHO and i didn't even touch the PMBOK to pass the PMP....

    andy has all the information and ITTO's you need and RITA has all the practical application knowledge you need... combine the two and you are good to go..

    if you dont understand the ordering of the processes (plus the PMI reasoning as to why) and their major inputs/tools/outputs then you WILL FAIL!icon_study.gificon_cheers.gificon_exclaim.gif
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    First of all, if I hadn't already, congratulations on being a PMP. Your insight is very much appreciated.

    Second, I do find Skillsoft terribly boring...and by no means do I want to count that as real study time; I'm only using it for my contact hours.
    I have 21.5 hours so far and I'm almost done with another module. The reason I'm even up right now is because my boss sounded an alarm, and after a couple of hours I was able to verify that it was his PC that was causing issue.

    Third, I am in a graduate program. In fact, my upcoming PM class (taught by a PMP) would also count as contact hours and this was verified by a former classmate of mine who is a PMP herself. With all due respect, I have been involved in PM methodology for as long as I've been in the ERP space (9+ years). I only need the last three, which I've gone to two upgrades as a technical lead. I have no doubt that I will survive an audit, as my supervisor will back me up. I believe Powerfool mentioned in an earlier post that I don't need to have been a Project Manager myself. But listen, I've read so many threads on here from people who were paying full price (and a student to boot) that I felt that the student discount warranted mention. I'm not afraid of an audit because I can back my experience up. Even if one isn't a student, being a PMI member at full price still saves you a little money (plus you get the PMBOK guide for free, along with other benefits.)

    Lastly, I'm not going to rush this exam, but at the same time, as soon as I'm done with my contact hours, I will be working on making my PM experience "air tight." AND reading the Kim Heldman book. Based on your suggestion and others, I will pick up Rita's book...but I seriously hesitated about getting it because she has passed on. But if her book is still valid, I will pick that one up and Andy's when I'm done with the Heldman book. I have until December, so I'm not in a real hurry.

    Be safe in the stan, and thank you for your insights; most appreciated.
  • delltgmadelltgma Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I used a bunch of skillsoft courses to satisfy my 35 contact hours, can anyone give any insight into how good the skillsoft material is, and if it is relevant enough to spend a little more time on, I like the nugget style training, but don't want to waste any more time on them, if they don't stack up to rita's or the other popular study material.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    just because a person has passed away doesn't mean that their work is invalid...

    Rita was not the only one writing her book(s) and course materiel. The latest (7th ed) of her book is up to date and contains the information you need to pass. Combine this with her exams (closest to the real exam as far as wording and answer styles) and you are good to go. then wrap in another quality book from the other leader in PMP training (andy crowe) and you have a winning combo!

    lots of other ways to get the 35 hours (you already said you were going to school, so why not use some of your Proj Mgmt classes???) . skill soft is not a good answer to study for the PMP. some skillsoft information is old and no longer valid for the current PMBOK (just wait, the 5th ed PMBOK will come out of draft soon and will be official and then the 4th edition will also no longer be valid)... the rest of the skillsoft training is also woefully lacking for proper study.

    you have to back up your studying with up to date material that is top notch.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    If you read my posts on the matter of Skillsoft, you should (and would) see that I do not count my Skillsoft endeavors as part of my studying, merely getting the required 35 contact hours. I'm also taking Skillsoft modules that are aligned with the 4th edition. The quality of their modules (which is low...) is immaterial; I plan on using the books I've purchased to better absorb the material I need to pass this exam. I would not depend on Skillsoft to get me a pass on PMI...their courses are horrible! However, if someone needs to get the 35 hours without spending additional money, or waiting until a class is over, then why are you knocking that?! I am prepared to wait until December to take the PMP exam, but if I can take the PMP sooner (and that will depend on how well I absorb the material necessary to pass), then by gosh I will. A lot of people have Skillsoft through their employers, colleges like WGU and (apparently) the military. If you need 35 hours and don't want to spend money, seriously, it's not bad...and you can just rush it through like I am, and just do the real studying after (or during) the 35 hours is over.

    Not for nothing, but if people just want to get 35 hour contact hours, and don't want to spend $$$-$$$$ to do it, then Skillsoft is not a terrible choice IN THAT RESPECT. In no way am I proposing that their courses are great, just that they count.

    Also not for nothing, but my PM course will be utilizing the PMBOK guide as a required textbook. Whether I like it or not, I have to read it as lectures and exams will be based on it. In that respect, being a student member of PMI saved me money in that respect.

    I thank you for your tips. I do find them helpful because I do not want to take this exam a second (or third) time. I want to re-familiarize myself with the formulas that I had to deal with in Project+ (which has come up again in PMP) and make sure I pass. I will post my study progress in my thread and I'm almost done with Skillsoft. (We're in agreement that Skillsoft sucks, but again, the quality of their courses are immaterial. I only give a ---- about fulfilling my 35 hours sooner rather than later.)
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Posts: 247Member
    not in the military any more (did 8 years and too many deployments) , i am a govt civilian and actually volunteered for this deployment....

    anyway, best of luck on staying awake and sane on the skillsoft courses... PMBOK (memorize pg 43),

    best of luck on your studies.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    Home stretch on studying...
    Exam soon.
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