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The good news is that there is no standard PMP® exam preparation timeline. The time required to prepare for the PMP® exam varies from person to person. Around 80% of PMP® exam questions are situational in nature. To crack them successfully, one needs to boost the knowledge and understanding of the concepts to match the standards expected from the exam.
If the aspirant is a seasoned project manager, and has followed a matured PM methodology, around 2 weeks of preparation sessions 2-3 hours every day should suffice. However, if the aspirant is new to a PM position or is an aspiring PM, it is important to understand the complexities and challenges of the role. For this he/she will have to study not only the PMBOK Guide but some additional material from writers like Rita Mulcahy, Andy Crowe etc. This will increase the preparation time to 4-6 weeks with 2-3 study hours a day. However, these are just general benchmarks. When I was preparing for PMP® exam, I studied only for 5 days, around 12 hours a day and cleared it in the very first attempt.
Another important point is to understand the PMI way or PMIsm, as it is popularly known. For starters, PMIsm is a term for PMI philosophy i.e. What PMBOK® recommends and exam expects from you to know. There are circumstances when your experience may not be same as recommended by PMBOK®.
Mock tests will help you counter the PMIsm syndrome. One should take as many mock tests as they can after they are done with one round of study of the PMBOK® Guide cover to cover. After that, one must try multiple sets of 200 mock questions. Each attempt will help them identify weak areas that require special focus. An average score in excess of 90% in mock tests means you can crack it confidently.
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