I’m Studying for my PMP Exam… and I Have Been for Two Years

Posted on December 28, 2009 by


This week we are bidding adieu to 2009 and greeting the arrival of 2010. Traditionally the New Year has been a time for people to make resolutions to meet personal goals such as losing weight, paying off debt, quit smoking, and volunteering. Making career and educational goals are also common New Year’s resolutions (http://www.newyearfestival.com/popular-new-year-resolutions.html).

I have worked with a number of professionals who want to earn their PMP® (Project Management Professional) or other certification but they are not making progress. They may be reading a study book once in a rare while, or maybe they are prepared for the exam but keep delaying the test date. Earning your certification in 2010 is an excellent New Year’s resolution to bolster your career, and here are some tips to keeping that resolution.

First of all, make a concrete plan on paper. Decide how you will prepare for your exam. Will you take an exam prep course from a Registered Education Provider®? If so, you will likely have weekly assignments that will help prepare you. If studying on your own, it is helpful to plan your own weekly goals. I have found that people who prepare for their exam with a group in either an online course or in-person seminar are typically more successful in completing their studies. It requires much more self-discipline to study on one’s own. Determine some target dates—for example, perhaps study for the exam until April and take the exam in May. Tell some friends and family about your goal so they can help keep you accountable and offer some encouragement. I have persuaded some people who have actually over-studied for their certification exam to muster their confidence and just go ahead and schedule their test date. Sometimes people are so nervous about failing the exam that they put it off and tell themselves they need to study more. Practice exams and honest feedback from an experienced instructor will indicate whether you should continue studying or whether you are ready to tackle the test. Best success to you in your resolutions!