PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition - Updated: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam Eighth Edition
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This book made the certification process not only fun, but extremely valuable in my day-to-day job. I wish I had found this book earlier in my career!
Barbara A. Carkenord, PMP, CBAP --International Training Expert and Founder of B2T Training
About the Author
Rita was the founder of RMC Project Management, a project management training, consulting and speaking firm helping companies use project management tools and techniques to complete projects faster, cheaper, better, and with fewer resources. RMC Project Management was among the first training firms to ever receive Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) status from the Project Management Institute.
- Publisher : RMC Publications, Inc; Eighth edition (August 1, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 611 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1932735658
- ISBN-13 : 978-1932735659
- Item Weight : 3.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 1.5 x 10.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #128,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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1 - I read the entire book once while taking the practice exams after each chapter (yes I know she said not to on your first go round, but I did it anyway)
2 - For every chapter I scored less than 70% on I re-read and then read the corresponding PMBOK chapter. Then I took the practice test again, usually scoring much higher after that. (I made sure I scored 75% or better in all chapters, but I never took the same test back to back)
3 - I memorized all the "Actions" for each process group (approx 85). Using the internet version of Rita's process game mentioned in the book.
4 - I memorized the "Actions" (in order) for the "Planning" group
5 - I memorized the 47 processes (across the knowledge areas)
6 - I memorized all the major formulas outlined
7 - I started off creating flash cards which I used before getting the book which helped but I did the bulk of my studying off of Rita's book.
I think the most important thing that I did, was that I was consistently studying to keep the info fresh in my mind up until the day of the exam.
Then I passed on my 1st attempt !
Be patient and study until you can successfully do a brain dump of the 47 processes chart and all pertinent formulas. Read the chapters until you get in the 70's.
I will be honest I took approx 3-4 (2 hour) practice exams, from other sources, and scored low, REAL LOW, and still passed. So don't get caught up in all those different online tests. Just learn what's in the book and what I mentioned above, and you will do just fine.
Oh, and I did take a 200mg pure caffeine pill the morning of to keep me alert and laser focused during the entire exam with 15mins to spare ! lol !
Below is my review on this book. If you are interested in how you might best prepare for the PMP exam - read on - further below.
- this is a good study companion to the PMBOK guide.
- it does have some tips for memorizing things (like math formulas, theories on motivating employees, etc.) -- I found these tips helpful for the most part
- this book also has some tips on items to focus on (because higher chances of them being on the PMP exam) and those not to focus on too much (because lower chances of them being on the PMP exam - based on historical data)
- This book - is a bit wordy - it probably weighs about 50 lbs (ok, I'm exaggerating) and has about 600 pages.
- however, the wordiness is meant to make it less 'dry' it seems (try reading the PMBOK - now, that's dry)
- chapter practice tests - were very helpful for me (it is how I best learn)
ONE THING THAT I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND -- do not try to memorize the "Rita's Process Chart" - and don't bother with "Rita's Process game". Ugh - what a waste of time! I am a veteran Project manager (finally obtained my PMP after 27+ years in the field) -- and Rita's process is confusing and just not helpful at all. stick with the PMBOK version of the process/knowledge matrix table - it is far more reasonable.
For those of you interested in learning how to best prepared for the PMP exam : Here is what I recommend - whether you are an experienced project mgmt veteran like me, or someone new to the field.
1) Absolutely - Get the PMBOK guide (if you are a PMI member, you can download the PDF version of the document for free from their website)
2) Get a second book as a study companion (I chose this book - Rita Mulchahy's)
3) Do not get anymore books. Two is more than enough. You won't have time to read more than two books!! these are hefty books!
4) Read the two books together - one chapter at a time. What I did was read a chapter in PMBOK - then I read the corresponding chapter in Rita's - then took the chapter test in the Rita's book
5) I did that one pass through with all the chapters. It took me about 2 months to get through the two books and the chapter tests (Studying on average 5-6 hours per week)
6) you should be getting about 75% correct on the rita's chapter tests by the time you schedule you exam date. Leave yourself couple of weeks for the final push.
7) During the two weeks leading up to your exam date - do the following : (plan on spending at least 2 hours every day to study - the last two days - I took the day off from work and just studied all day)
a. refresh your memory and create a summary sheet (limit to 1 page) for each chapter of the PMBOK - with your own notes about the basic concepts and processes. Put notes in there that will help you memorize important facts, distinctions, and concepts you must understand. Keep these summary sheets as "working" notes as you do practice tests and learn concepts that you missed before
b. During the two weeks memorize the folllowing two things (what I did was type them out on my PC - at least once a day for most of the two weeks) ;
i - the PMBOK table that maps the process groups and knowledge areas - Table 3-1 in the PMBOK guide. as you memorize you will hopefully remember what happens in each process - and why they go in that order.
ii - the math formulas - Rita's book has a summary sheet in the back section that was very helpful to help with memorization. But again try to think about what the formula is trying to calculate as you memorize them, instead of just blindly memorizing them.
b. Retake the Rita's chapter tests - there are 14 chapters in this book - each with it's own tests. Figure out why you missed a question. You'd be surprised at how much you can learn and how everything comes together when you spend the time to research and understand your errors. You should be getting about 70-75% correct in these tests
c. then go out there and find one or two good practice tests - google "PMP practice tests". There are many you can pay for -- and then there are a whole bunch of free ones. If you opt for the free ones (like I did) - choose carefully - and choose just 1 or 2. I started with the Oliver Lehmann's free practice tests - 175 practice questions - down loadable. took the practice exam without using any of my notes to test myself. then reviewed the questions that I missed or had to guess really hard at. Oliver Lehmann site provides references to look up for the rationale for the correct answer. anything new I learned - I added to my summary sheets. Then I took Oliver Lehmann's online free practice test (75 questions - with a timer to help pace yourself). Again - if I missed any questions or had to guess really hard, I researched it and tried to learn the concept that the question was trying to convey. Anything new i learned - I added to my summary sheet.
d. I tried a few other free practice tests that are out there (Oliver Lehmann website lists many of the free ones on the internet) -- but I would tell you not to waste your time on them. Some of them had ridiculous questions that were overly difficult -- that did not reflect at all what the real PMP exam would ask. It will only discourage you. If you want to use free practice tests - I would only recommend the Oliver Lehmann's
e. the night before or the morning of your PMP exam, look over your summary sheets that you have compiled over the two weeks - and study it. Review your practice questions and try to remember how the questions were asked.
f. go the the test site - be positive - you've prepared hard for this and you will pass the exam! Good luck!
Top reviews from other countries
Easy to read and has you hooked from the first chapter, so much so that you actually enjoy reading it!
- Flow of chapters and ease of read
- Questions after each chapter
- Term definitions well described
- The PMI-isms, definitely bearing in mind whilst you read through
- Different types of questions
- All the exam tips - WOW
- All the mathematical concepts and calculations are well explained with plenty of practice. Rita says in the book that you will appreciate these questions in the exam and I certainly did. THANK YOU
Cons (my personal experience)
- I personally couldnt understand the difference of when to use the PERT formula or the standard triangular one, even after the explanation in the book and the PMBOK guide. I struggled in the practice q's and in the real exam. There was actually about 4 or 5 questions on this so i was getting quite frustrated in the exam
- Chapter Three - (the framework) was mind boggling. I had a go at doing the chart a couple of times and failed miserably as i didn't understand most of the concepts and why they were done in a certain order. HOWEVER, after giving up on the chapter, and completing the book everything made perfect sense and i later went back and smashed it.
- The question examples were very wordy, i found in the exam that was not the case. Well not as bad as the book
My advice to those preparing
1. Purchase this book
2. Read each chapter and highlight important things. Especially gaps in your knowledge and exam tips.
3. Have a go at the questions straight after reading each chapter (even though she says wait until the end of the book - dont!)
4. Skip Chapter 3 and come back to it at the end, as that's when it will make sense.
5. Re read the entire book again, skimming over your highlights
6. Have a go at doing all questions in one sitting. Make a note of your weak areas as you mark your results
7. HeadFirst have published a free set of 200 questions, have a go at that. Its available on their website
8. Download some apps for your phone or handhelds, and try some practice questions. Great thing is you will be able to do them on the train, bus, plane, in bed. I tried a couple, the best was PMPro, as you didnt need access to the internet, and it had a term definition dictionary and a really handy tool for seeing all the inputs and outputs for the different processes. I actually just had a look at this the night before the exam instead of reading through the book.
After now passing the exam, i found out there is a website with free webcasts and practice questions that seems to have helped people out there so you can check that out too - www. pmstudy.com
Good luck to everyone studying out there.
Rita's PMP Exam prep book is written to help you become a better project manager from the PMI point of view, and as a result, makes it easier to pass the PMP exam. From my experience, memorizing to pass the PMP exam is equivalent to "accepting a medium risk of passing".
Three key takeaways from Rita's PMP Exam prep book:
* Adapt the book to your reading style; not vice versa.
* Develop the Rita's PMP Exam prep book "PMI-ism" thinking as you read along; I believe it is a fail-safe option to passing the PMP exam.
* Practise answering questions by asking "What process (e.g. Develop Charter, Define Scope etc.) does this question relate to?" as it enhances the probability that you select the right answer.
PS Make sure you use the latest edition of Rita's PMP Exam prep book!
I not only recommend this book for PMP test takers but also for those who are involved or going to be involved in projects on any level. I especially like the tone of the book. It is fun to read!