Conquering the PMP exam is all about preparation. This certification exam is among the toughest to qualify for, but it is certainly not impossible to overcome. Passing your upcoming test takes extensive preparation, time, effort, and diligence, especially now that the number of exam-takers is growing, resulting in greater competition.
The PMP exam is for the most part based on the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide. You will benefit greatly by surveying the review and guide materials that you have to study, including the prep books that come with them. These study materials will help you gain familiarity and expertise on the different topics that you need to know about in order to conquer each part of the exam. Surveying the material you want to cover will help you compartmentalize all the information and knowledge you will gain in a more systematic manner, for greater retention well beyond your exam.
It will also be best to set expectations before beginning a day’s work of studying. It pays planning out your study goals so you can easily figure out things you should learn from any given material or preparation guide. The best programs set out learning goals and sometimes recap questions so you know exactly where you are headed in the study and what you need to gain or accomplish by the end of each study session. Having a list of questions you want answered by the end of the day will also turn you into an active learner instead of just a passive reader, especially when the PMBOK guide is your main choice of study guide.
Try breaking your study sessions up into smaller and more manageable 'chunks.' Let’s say that you want to study for three hours. Instead of tacking everything in those three hours, break your study sessions down into three one-hour sessions, or even into six 30-minute sessions. Take short breaks in between. Many studies show that disengaging from time to time makes it easier for the brain to recall what was previously studied.
Memorizing everything won’t be enough. You also need to understand key concepts well, since PMP exam questions are designed to see how well you are able to apply these principles.
Finally, find a good program to enroll in. If self-study is simply not your strong suit, it might be best to find a class or a review course that you can join in to make sure that you are well prepared for your upcoming exam.