Project management is about the systematic application of methodologies, plans, and concepts to realize project goals bound by specific timeframes and conditions. Through it, stakeholders can assess impending risks and losses and make timely interventions to carry on with the business plan. Undoubtedly, it is a crucial component of any form of corporate success.
The importance of project management is relevant to all businesses, regardless of the market trends. If you want to become a project manager and share your project management knowledge with clients, it is best to take the PMP exams. Getting a PMP certification serves as global recognition of your abilities in handling people and tasks to achieve project targets.
What is PMP Certification Exam?
The PMP certification exam is an arduous test that validates professionals’ project leadership and skills in delivering top-quality outputs as project management professionals. The Project Management Institute ensures that the PMP examination will thoroughly assess the knowledge and techniques of PMP candidates. Furthermore, since the official PMP exam is globally recognized, passing the PMP certification adds great value to the employability and trustworthiness of the certificate holders.
It is also noteworthy that project managers with PMP certification have a higher earning potential. Those who pass the PMP certification exam can earn up to 16-25% more than those who do not possess the PMP credential.
How hard is the Project Management Institute test?
Many people claim that the PMI PMP exam is a difficult one. The PMI did not disclose a passing rate or its calculation methods, but experts suggest aiming for a 75% score to pass the PMP exam. Thus, aspiring project managers should be serious with their PMP exam preparation to maximize their chances of success.
Those who want to pass the PMP exam must master basic concepts like the scope of work of project management professionals. In addition, they should satisfy what the Project Management Institute expects in project managers who will lead the corporate world. The stakes are high so never underestimate the PMP certification exam.
PMP exam prep tips
There is no right or wrong way of preparing for the PMP certification exam. However, if you are still looking for PMP prep options, here are a few you can try:
- Take PMP courses. One of the best ways to prepare for the PMP exam is to take PMP courses. These courses have theoretical and practical knowledge examinees need to excel.
- Familiarize with PM methodology and tools. Knowing the PM methodology and tools is fundamental for any PMP certificate holder. It is a crucial topic included in the exam.
- Take practice exams. Several PMP practice exams exist online. Find a few and retake them regularly until you consistently gain a score above 75%.
- Read reliable PMP exam prep books. PMP exam prep books remain the most reliable sources of knowledge for the certification exam. Learn vital topics like the steps for effective project management.
14 Best PMP exam prep books in 2022
Prep books are the go-to resources any takers can run unto regardless of their exam. The PMP exam is no exception. Having access to digital or paper-bound copies will create a significant boost in one’s passing rate.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of PMP exam prep books in the market. We narrowed the best ones in this list:
This compact guide by the Project Management Institute is among the favorites talked about by the authorities in the project management field. It is an all-in-one reviewer that provides readers with detailed and updated practice information. Besides experts, passers claim this resource material as a holy grail because it helped them pass their exams in one try.
Since the PMI produced this book, every new issue undoubtedly undergoes strict scrutiny for content accuracy. It also keeps up with modern demands as the latest issue incorporates concepts relating to agile management. Even if readers cannot get hold of the newest edition, the older one remains relevant.
This book by Andrew Ramdayal takes inspiration from the PMI’s PMBOK Guide. If you think there are some things lacking in the previous book, this one may fill the details you might think are missing. This impressive resource material also receives roaring feedback from academicians and regular PMP exam takers.
The main selling point of this book is its abundance of top-tier exam prep materials. Reviewers can sharpen their memory and analytic skills by going through 500 unique questions. In addition, many realized that the author, Ramdayal, emphasizes the most crucial and practical lessons in project management.
Head First PMP is by the multi-hyphenates Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman. The authors created this book to build reliable resource material that summarizes their project management, software development, and academic research specialty. Their hands-on and direct approach to making a review material helps learners absorb information faster.
The 4th edition of the book has 924 pages which cover all of the lessons in the PMP exam syllabus. Besides being easy to read, learners find that the simplified layout and usage of visual components make them remember details faster and more efficiently. For those interested, some pages contain passers’ testimonials to inspire takers.
This book is one of the magnum opuses of Andy Crowe, a respected authority in the project management field. The 6th edition was prepared for the 2021 exams and had the latest details that takers should not miss. It is one of the most reliable review books because of its straightforwardness and depth.
It is also an expansive reviewer with 840 pages, but its comprehensive explanations of project management concepts, methodologies, and updates help takers get a better grade on the PMP exam. Passers explain that they like this material because it felt easy and intuitive coursing through each chapter.
Kim Heldman is a popular project manager for accomplishing multi-million projects that last for several years. She wrote this book to share her first-hand experience and some of the most valuable lessons one can learn in the project management industry. The 10th edition of this book was optimized to fit changes introduced for the 2021 PMP exam.
None of this 912-page book has wasted content because Heldman ensured that all details are likely answers to questions in the exam. In addition, each chapter is thorough and contains detailed discussions. This book alone is enough to help takers pass with flying colors.
Besides being an author, public icon, and founder, Rita Mulcahy is also an outstanding leader in project management history. She proposed several techniques, theories, and study guides to make project management more understandable to more people. Despite her passing, a team of academicians and project management experts continue her legacy and updates her book as often as possible.
The 10th edition is a 590-page book up-to-date on the latest PMP exam changes and instructions. This book also contains time-saving study tips that help learners organize their reviews. Since reading this book is more manageable, learners can spend more time repeating lessons at a slower pace.
Authors, teachers, and learners love this book for having a broad coverage of project management concepts. In addition, its practice materials are easy-to-digest, allowing readers to learn more topics on top of those they already reviewed. The practice questions help learners become exam-ready, but they are also relevant, making them easier to apply in real life.
One thing readers appreciate the most about this book is how the author is so specific with his examples. Darron Clark was thoughtful enough to use examples for different instances like installations, software updates, and other projects. As a result, this book will help aspiring project managers regardless of their background.
Dr. Robert K. Wysocki is an icon for his decades-long experience in business practice and global successes in several projects. His book receives so much love for its comprehensiveness and completeness. It is a one-stop shop in terms of academic concepts, practical knowledge, and tips on passing the PMP exam.
Another feature unique to this book is that it discusses a variety of new and widely used project management techniques. It has in-depth details on project management approaches like Kanban and Scrum. On top of its lessons, the book recommends added learning resources for those who want to learn more.
This book’s most remarkable feature is its organization. Project management has a broad scope, so many find it difficult to study within a short period. However, if you excel in cramming, the carefully positioned chapters and lessons can cut a significant portion of the learners’ study time.
Reviewing too many concepts at once can be overwhelming. This book is perfect for you if you want to test your knowledge one chapter at a time. After finishing a new chapter, learners can immediately test their memory and analysis because a check-up exam exists at the end of every chapter.
This book helps learners customize their pace with learning the different lessons included in the PMP exam. Since this review material will help learners become exam-ready, its discussions are direct to the point. The difficulty of the questions also scales to the level of competitiveness expected in the PMP exam.
Learners can explore up to more than 1,000 questions to determine whether they are ready for the exam. It will be easy to navigate through these questions because the author arranged the chapters according to the 11 targeted PMBOK knowledge areas.
Author Belinda Goodrich has been guiding project managers for almost 15 years now. She gathered all her research and practical experience to teach new PMP takers what it takes to get the coveted certification. In addition, she ensured that her book was straightforward and valuable for experts’ everyday use.
Goodrich designed this book based on her educational programs preparing students for PMP exams. Since she has firsthand experience training takers, she knows what learners need to attain a passing score. Her book reflects the innovative classroom programs she implements while interacting with aspiring project managers.
Many passers swear by this book because it made their preparations for the PMP exam more manageable and more organized. In addition, this book has systems allowing students to learn with less effort but more retention. Scott Payne is known for his customized courses that train aspiring project managers to improve their performance and level with world-class competitors.
Another strong point of this book is that the flow is logical. Regardless of one’s background, learners can follow through with a clear path toward learning. The book also leads learners toward online resources containing the latest project management standards and trends.
This book is unique for having a 180-questions test helpful in building takers’ stamina for the actual exam. At the same time, it also enables takers to make a realistic estimation of how much effort they must exert to pass the PMP exam. When reviewing, learners can check the PMI references and other materials below each answer.
The author Daud Nasir also made it a point that 60% of the questions are scenario-based to deepen the analytic skills of the takers. Some questions in the PMP exam can be subjective, so exam takers must be flexible enough to increase their chances of passing.
This book helps takers succeed in the PMP exam on the first try. The author Jonathan Nolan promises outstanding results by teaching project management lessons in a way that will sharpen their potential to the optimum level. Learners can go through carefully selected questions likely appearing in the next PMP exam.
In addition to tips and lessons, this book also contains insights on how the PMI grades the exams. Learning this will help takers assess their performance and estimate how much effort they should put into their studies. All information in this resource aims to put readers ahead of the competition.
Becoming a better project management professional
As a beginner, do not be ashamed of taking guide courses to improve your project management skills. The road to success will be long, so keep building your credentials and never be complacent. Instead, treat every new day as an opportunity to learn something that will bring you closer to your goals.