Getting ready for the PMP® exam - 1: What do you need
Where to start to prepare for the PMP® exam?
First and foremost: you need the Project Management Body of Knowledge, aka the PMBOK® Guide, that is the official Project Management Institute® "summary" of the project management processes, tools and techniques a good project manager needs to know. The vast majority of the PMP® exam questions will cover topics that are directly covered in the PMBOK®. The exception are those about the project management responsibility and ethics, that are not directly covered in the PMBOK®.
You do not have to buy the PMBOK®: we suggest you to subscribe to the Project Mangement Institute, and download your free complimentary .pdf copy of the PMBOK® from the PMI website library. Subscribing to the PMI is not free of charge, but you will need to subscribe to the PMI anyway in order to apply for your PMP® certification, so, if you are serious with becoming a PMP®, subscribing to the PMI is probably the very first thing to do. Moreover, if you are a student, then the PMI subscription fee will be actually lower than a printed PMBOK® copy price.
Beware! The PMBOK® is not enough, though. The PMBOK® is, by design, not a Project Management textbook neither a PMP® exam textbook. In our humble opinion, while the first 2 chapters of the PMBOK® are quite good from a training point of view, the rest of it is good only as a reference. You need to be extremely familiar with the PMBOK®, its structure and content, but that is not enough.
Beside the PMBOK®, you will need a good PMP® textbook.. We are quite familiar with two PMP textbooks: the Rita Mulcahy's "PMP exam prep", and the Kim Heldman's "PMP® study guide".
Similarities and differences between the Rita Mulcahy's and the Kim Heldman's PMP® textbooks: in our opinion, the "Rita's" is more focussed on the PMP® exam, while the "Kim's" is broader in scope and can be viewed as a good project management textbook also. Both books have a similar structure, as they are subdivided in chapters that strictly mimic the PMBOK® chapter subdivision. Both books offer a set of test PMP® exam questions at the end of each chapter. Pick your choice: in any case we suggest you to purchase one of the two textbooks, not both: adding the PMBOK® to a single PMP® exam textbook will give you something in the range of 1000 pages to study.
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