Getting ready for the PMP® exam: the 600 hours study plan

How much time is needed to get ready for the PMP exam? Should I schedule the exam 6 months from now? What about getting ready for the PMP exam in two months? Here is my take about planning the PMP exam study.

Getting ready for the PMP exam in six - four - three months

First of all download the PMP study plan here. Let's start saying that if you can study regularly for 3 to 4 hours a day for 6 months you will have a very good chance to clear the PMP exam at the first try. Here's why: spending around 600 study hours will allow you to examine in depth and memorize all the exam topics. You will also have adequate time to do the exercises (for example regarding the critical path or Earned Value Management). Please have a look to the following table for a possible 6 months - 600 hours study layout.

Topic Overall study effort (hours) ... of which exercises
Unit 1: PMBOK® chapters 1 - 3 75
Unit 2: PMBOK® chapter 4 - PROJECT INTEGRATION MANAGEMENT 55
Unit 3: PMBOK® chapter 5 - PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT 45
Unit 4: PMBOK® chapter 6 - PROJECT TIME MANAGEMENT 80 15
Unit 5: PMBOK® chapter 7 - PROJECT COST MANAGEMENT 60 10
Unit 6: PMBOK® chapter 8 - PROJECT QUALITY MANAGEMENT 55 10
Unit 7: PMBOK® chapter 9 - PROJECT HR MANAGEMENT 35
Unit 8: PMBOK® chapter 10 - PROJECT COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 20
Unit 9: PMBOK® chapter 11 - PROJECT RISK MANAGEMENT 60 10
Unit 10: PMBOK® chapter 12 - PROJECT PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT 45
Unit 11: PMBOK® chapter 13 - PROJECT STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT 35
Unit 12: Professional responsibility and ethics 15
Unit 13: Cross-cutting knowledge and skills (appendix X3 + references) 20
Total effort 600 study hours ... of which 45 hours of exercises

Getting ready for the PMP exam in four months

In this case you need to study about 5 hours a day to get the 600 hours requested. Remember anyway that some units will be more difficult to digest and memorize. I strongly suggest you to alternate mnenonic study with exercises. You can for example study unit 10 (chapter 12) while practicing the exercises of the chapters you already studied.

Getting ready for the PMP exam in three months

Can you afford to study 6 to 7 hours per day on average for the PMP exam, including weekends? In this case you will still have the chance to clear the PMP exam at first try. You will need a strong motivation and to be totally focused during your study period. Please remember that learning has a boost if you can take enough hours of sleep, therefore the three months option is not best suited for busy professionals and demanding full time jobs.


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