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on August 12, 2011
First of all, this book is not really by Rita since she passed away on May 15, 2010. It is basically Rita's last edition with some additional material by Laurie Diethelm.

I just received the book and I am not yet certain how much new material has been added since the last edition (which I also purchased), but based upon the information at pmi.org, it doesn't sound like a significant amount of material has changed. So, I would recommend people considering this book to also consider the 6th, less expensive, edition.

That said, if it is at least as good as the sixth edition, it is well worth the cost. Rita's book is, as far as I can tell, the best PMP prep book available. However, I'm a little bit annoyed by the fact that it is not obvious on Amazon that the book is not by Rita herself. It sort of reminds me of the late Robert Ludlum's books (written, obviously, by someone else) and recent books 'by' Tom Clancy which are also written by another writer. Let the buyer beware.
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on December 11, 2012
I started preparing for the PMP exam in Sept 2012 and used Rita's 7th edition to start with. She has missed several aspects and are promoting their own processes. After passing the PMP in Dec on the first try, if I had used Rita as a sole source, the i was guaranteed to have failed. There is a perception that Rita is the only way you can pass. I can surely say that is a false message.

Strategy is to use this as a initial starting point and focus on the PMBOK; the reading is fairly straightforward.

The exam is really tough and I do not recommend any one using PMP Prep as a basis for preparing. Farnedale is closer to the exam and does a great job in level setting the knowledge.

The book lacks a key aspect which is how each process areas flow into each other and the interactions. This is covered by PMBOK and i felt this was a real negative. Rita needs to stick with what is authorised methology vs trying to create her own.

Frankly, there are tonnes of folks selling courses and materials; each is trying to make a lot of money from students. This is also one of those. Avoid PMPFastrack software, in my humble opinion it is overrated and extremely expensive and not worth the grain it is being premiumed for. PMZilla site has good support of short notes and additional material key to succeeding.
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on October 28, 2011
I have read the 5th edition and like it but felt I should get the latest, so I got the seventh edition. Since I always compare things, I used this latest edition, and the PMBOK guide and another exam prep document. As I do simulation exams (everyday) I get certain questions wrong. EVERY time I check conflicting answers, the RMC seventh edition book is wrong when compare to my other 2 sources, and I mean WAY OFF.

Although the written structure is good, the content is not 100% correct. You are best off not using this 7th edition as your sole source. Your lower exam scores will be evident if you just use this book.
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on February 16, 2013
I'm currently in the early preparation phases for the PMP Certification process.

To get a complete understanding of the material I've taken a three-pronged approach. I purchased this (an exam prep book), the most current PMBOK guide (aka PMI "scripture"), and I'm also working through the "PMP Prepcast" podcasts (fulfills the contact hours requirement and provides at least some sort of "instruction"). I'm balancing studying and working so I didn't necessarily expect to take the exam until October or November of this year.

Here's the part that escaped my notice... this edition (seventh) is not updated to the most current PMBOK guide (which is in it's fifth edition).

In addition, the publisher of this book says on their website "This new edition of the worldwide best-selling PMP® exam preparation book is specifically written for people who plan to sit for the PMP® examination before July 31st, 2013." That came as a disappointing surprise. I hadn't gone to the publishers website until after I purchased the book and read the Introduction (it instructs you to go there to sell you additional products). This is not mentioned anywhere in the Amazon Description. Instead the Amazon description says: "This book has been FULLY updated to reflect PMI's new Exam Content Outline, for any and all PMP exams delivered on or after August 31st of 2011."

I definitely dropped the ball on researching this, but I also feel slightly misled. As a result, I find myself 2nd guessing the material because I really don't know what has changed in the PMBOK between the 4th edition and the 5th edition. I'm also unsure about the exam now...
Does this mean PMBOK version 4 is okay to study from until 7/31/13?
If I take the exam in November 2013 will there be a version 8 of this book that I need to purchase?
Why didn't I notice I was buying a book published in July 2011 to prepare for material published in January 2013?

I'm giving it three stars because after completing three chapters I can see the brilliance behind the book. It is solid on approach and is helping me understand how to process the information. I'm just taking the material it's trying to teach with a grain of salt.

I will provide an update when I understand the impact of trying to use the mismatched editions. In the meantime, my advice is to be warned of what you're getting into. It might be smarter to buy an older version of this prep book (much, much cheaper) to get the benefits as far as exam approach and then wait it out for the version that is based off of the most recent PMBOK.
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on August 22, 2012
One thing I want to say before my review is that I am a master procrastinator and have always waited till the last minute to cram before an exam. This was the case when I was both an undergrad and graduate student and is the case more recently when I took my PMP exam. I only gave myself 2 days to really study so I really had to be careful what prep material I used for my cramming. I chose Rita's book because I have heard good things about it from others who have used it in the past to pass their exams so I decided it would be my prep book of choice. In fact, because of my very short time frame, I only used this book and only very briefly referred to the PMBOK. So in two days, I read this book from cover to cover and made sure I did all of the exercises after each chapter. I also memorized all the PMI processes using the flashcard-like cutouts in the book (very effective). That was enough for me to pass the PMP exam with proficient and medium proficient on each of the five process groups.
So here is my overall assessment of this book. If you are looking to just pass the exam this book will do it for you if you read it carefully and do all of the exercises. Does it cover everything in the PMBOK? No, it does not, but it does give you enough info to just pass the exam. If I had more time I would have reviewed all the various inputs and outputs in the PMBOK as the Rita book does not go into that much detail about each one. But then again, overall goal of the Rita book is to get you to understand the concepts well enough so you can pretty easily make an educated guess (that is, at least eliminate two out of four answer choices). In other words, it does not ask you to rely on memorization (though there are some needed) but more on understanding concepts that the PMP exam will most likely test you on (Note that on my exam most questions did not ask straight up memorization type questions but were questions that required an understanding of the concepts in the PMBOK).
Oh if you can afford to get Rita PMFastrack v7 DVD then you should get it. I believe it is sold on her website as Amazon does not have the latest version. The reason I say to get this is that this had practice PMP exams that were the most true to the actual exam. If you can consistently get over 70% correct on her practice exams, then you are definitely good to go on the real one. But even if you just have this book and the PMBOK, I think that is really all you need.
Good luck everyone!
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on November 20, 2011
I passed PMP just by reading this book (6th edition of this book). Very nicely written with real world examples. This book alone is enough to pass the exam. Some people go through CDs, PMBOK guide, etc., however, I do not see any need for them.

Rita covers many things even the topics PMBOK guide doesn't cover. She also points out where you may lack experience/knowledge or where you may make mistakes/false assumptions, etc.

If you want to pass the exam first time, you may want to do the following:

Make sure that you read the book very thoroughly first time (do not skip or browse pages).
Complete every practice exam at the end of the chapter without looking at the answers. For better results, you may want to solve 10 questions at a time and verify your answers and Rita's explanation and move on to the next set of questions. This way, you get the command on the concepts and do the next related questions better. If you wait to verify the answers after all questions are done, you may have done many questions wrong because of a simple misunderstanding of a concept.

Book your exam two to three weeks in advance once you finish Risk Management chapter. You will still have Procurement management, etc. chapter but you will be able to finish the rest in time as you have more reasons to finish because of the added motivation booking the exam.

In the last two days before the exam, go back and review main concepts in each chapter just by browsing them and complete each review exam again without looking at the answers!

Make sure that you are able to finish 40 questions under 40 minutes!! The problem on the exam is not just not knowing the answers but to answer them in time. I had very tough time maintaining time and could not take a single break in my 4 hour exam.

The night before the exam, take it easy!! You will be a PMP in no time!!! Good luck.
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on December 4, 2011
I have had access to each edition of this book since the Fourth Edition, and essentialy every PMP prep book published since 2004. As someone who would absolutely know, I can tell you this is not only the best PMP book RMC has published thus far, but the best PMP prep guide on the market right now. And for me, it's not even close. Unlike the rest of the PMP guides out there, which simply present information from the PMBOK Guide in a slightly different format, Rita figures out ways to boil down critical exam concepts into real world applications and scenarios. Which makes Rita's book user-friendly, interactive, and valuable as a resource long after students pass the exam. People who teach PMP classes for a living or for their companies understand the true value of this book. I certainly do.

Regarding the previous review...Rita was admittedly a very direct person, whether she was teaching or writing or speaking. Anyone who ever met her knows this, and I had the pleasure of spending time with Rita on about a half-dozen occasions. Rita's co-author for this new edition (Laurie Diethelm) has made a wonderful effort to soften Rita's tone, which I admit was not for everyone. In fact, most (if not all) of the sections the previous reviewer refers to have been completely re-written. The result of Rita and Laurie's joint contributions is a great book--both in tone and content. Clearly this person is either reviewing a previous edition, or has another agenda (I am always wary of negative reviews that so specifically recommend other books...)

And finally, one caveat for people in the market for a PMP prep guide: in case you hadn't heard, nearly one-third of the PMP exam changed this past September. As far as I can tell, this book is the only one that has been updated so far. Do NOT buy any book that was published before June of 2011!
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on September 1, 2012
After deciding to get my PMP certification, I spent time reviewing the Certification process and coming-up with an attack plan. I gave myself a year from start-to-finish (from filling out the application to passing the test). I started in August of 2011.

The process to get to the point of scheduling my exam took more energy than I had thought it would. Documenting my Projects, completing the Application, taking/documenting my Professional hours and becoming a local chapter PMP member seemed a bit grueling---but that is what was needed, so I did it. At the end of December of 2011, my PMP Application was formally accepted and I was now in a position to schedule my Test. Phew! I had until December of 2012 to pass the Test (within 3 try's).

I gave myself 8 weeks to study for the PMP---and scheduled the test for April 2012---which would give me some breathing room around the Holidays. But then work/life got in the way and it was March before I knew it and I had yet to open a book! I rescheduled for June---and then rescheduled for August. I remade the committement to finishing (I only had until December to pass) and blocked off July and August as Study months.

But what/how to Study? Before scheduling my Test (the first time), I read lots of reviews/searched many sites and finally settled on Rita Mulcahy's Prep Book/FastTrack Testbank. My plan was to complete Rita's book, read the PMBOK and then take 3 simulated Tests (Full, 4 hour long, 200 questions) using the FastTrack Software. I decided that I was going to spend at least 1-2 hours a night and every weekend studying. Additionally, if it was harder than I anticipated, I would take off Mondays over the 2 months and use those as extra study days.

What actually happened was that it was harder than I thought it was going to be to study, grasp and memorize all of the information. (Which surprised me because I have a graduate degree and have been a Project Manager on multi-million dollar Projects for a fortune 500 company for 5 years. Go figure!) After the first week I kicked-in my backup Monday's and truly cleared my calendar for the full 2 months as much as possible---declining social events was a pain, but getting time from work was difficult with my current Project, but I had too or I knew I wouldn't pass.

2 weeks into my Studying of Rita's book, I knew I had to do something different---the book format and amount of information was overwhelming me. I went back to the web for more research to find another Approach and/or Study Materials.

My first thought was to just bite-the-bullet and take a Prep Course (my company paid for all of my cost up to this point, but I knew they wouldn't pay for a Prep Course.) I found several 3-5 day, Instructor lead Prep Courses offered within 4 hours of me. I debated taking a weeks vacation and immersing myself in the material for a week. A quick calculation put the cost at about $2,500 when I factored in course & hotel---commuting wasn't an option because the courses were from 8am to 6 pm with some forms of homework. Setting aside the cost (which is no small amount) I had family and work committements that would suffer (and mentally distract me) if I went this route. I decided this wasn't the plan for me. I would choose a self-study course and if I didn't pass the first time I would re-evaluate a formal Prep course.

After ruling out the formal prep course (at least for the first round of Testing), I focused on finding other study materials that might work better for me. (I was still at somewhat of a loss because I am typically a self guided, book/manual focused learner.) I decided I would get the 2nd option from my previous materials review--Andy Crowe's PMP Package (Book, Flash Cards, CD's and some Web Based Study Materials). I'm was well into week 3 when the study materials arrived. I opened the book and---Deja Vu. A bit easier for me to read/understand compared to Rita's but maybe it was just because I had already studied that material in Rita's book? Now what? I looked over the other material in Crowe's Package and found a 6 month on-line Access Key to their web site "Intuit"---can't hurt to try it...

And there was the answer for me! On Andy Crowe's web site ("Intuit") there was an entire Self Guided, Video based presentation that mirrored/supplemented his book AND offered an on-line Test Bank. The entire presentation was long---50+ hours, I think, but it covered every facet of the PMBOK and was broken into manageable sections. Additionally, the material was presented in a very interesting/engaging format (well, as interesting as this material can be). I completed each section, read the book and then took the 20 question test from the book for each chapter. I was starting to feel like I could really do this!

By the end of week 5 I had completed the on-line course and had read Crowe's book. I had also listened to the CD's---not very deep, but good context setting. I tried the flash cards but not much value to me.

At this point, I had 3 weeks until my Test. I decided I was going to take three, 200 question/4 hour practice tests from the Intuit site----one every Monday. I would take the test (using the full 4 hours) and then review each answer---which was a great feature of the test bank in that it explained the right answer/told you why the other answers weren't correct. Unfortunately, to review all the questions/answers took my another 2-3 hours. A full day committement. Two weeks later, I had scored a 75% and then an 82%. Sweet! I'm feeling really good (dare I jinx myself and say Prepared?)

On my last 'Study Monday', I decided to use Rita's FastTrack test bank---still taking the full test/studying the answers. Ugh: a 65% on the test! What the %^%}?!? The questions seemed a lot harder than Crowe's. Time to Panic! My test was Friday of that week (yesterday actually). I was worried that I didn't have much buffer between passing (61%) and my Studying. Now what? I decided to take off an extra day from work and take one last test from Rita's FastTrack, review the answers and then close the books. On Thursday I got a 74%. Closer. More buffer, but still not a lot of 'wiggle room'---especially If I'm stressed or the real test is harder....at this point, time was up and after a good nights sleep (sleeping pills did the trick!), I was off to my 9:00am PMP exam. (After doing a 'dry run' to find the location earlier in the week.)

I arrived an hour early (just in case!), and did a last minute review of the 42 processes and the dozen formulas. After checking in (I was assigned a locker/given a key, ID checked, an inspection of my pockets and a quick metal detector sweep), I sat in front of a monitor that had my Name/Test ready for me (my test site apparently offers all kinds of other test---there were two people taking CPA exams and someone taking an electrical test that I spoke too.) I started the tutorial and quickly made my way through it because I had read that I could use the 'extra' time to write down the information I wanted to make sure I didn't forget (or misremember) during the stress of testing. I'm glad I did! I was more nervous than I thought I would be and I had a hard time jotting it all down. [The tutorial was 15 minutes---it took my 5 minutes to get through it and then I took 10 minutes to write down the 42 processes (in Knowledge/Process grid) as well as all of the EV formulas.]

The test was hard, no doubt about it: But I passed! Let me say that again: I'm officially a PMP!

As for the Test: The first 3 questions I didn't know the answer---but I at least I knew the concepts. I forced myself to mark an answer and move on. The level of questions were more similar to Rita than Crowe's. Drat. That meant I had 'less buffer' if I believed my Prep test results. I focused on my Test Taking Strategy (answer every question, complete all questions in 3 hours--or less, take a 10 minute break and then review as many questions as possible). During my Prep Tests, I had run into the situation several times where I was feeling good about the testing but then I would come across a whole group of questions that I was unsure of the answers. As I chugged through the test I was feeling good---at least about getting enough questions right that I was passing, but I kept waiting for that group of question that would throw me off. I'm happy to say, I didn't run across that group during the test! In retrospect, there were about 5 questions where I didn't know the concepts---let alone the answer. I made educated guesses on those questions. The rest of the questions were very reflective of the testing questions from both Rita & Crowe---but I give Rita more credit on accuracy of Test questions. It took me longer to get through the actual test than it had during my Prep test. I could make it through all 200 questions in about 2 hours during my prior testing---it took a full three hours on the actual test.

Bottom line: I spent a lot more time persuing my PMP than I first estimated I would need---in both completing the Application and Studying for the Exam. As for Study Materials: (1) Studying on Crowe's web site tutorial is my number one recommendation---again, for my learning style (2) Both books (Rita & Crowe's) were about equal for what they offered me in way of breaking down the PMBOK (3) Rita's FastTrack Test bank was more indicative of the level/style of questions. ***Good Luck***
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on February 9, 2012
I used this book along with offcourse PMBOK 4th edition to pass the PMP.
I have not compared how well other practitioners have updated their books but this book aligns with PMBOK4 very well. Here's my plan for 3 months- (hrs a week really depends on your existing knowledge and how much time you can give)

6 weeks: Rita + PMBOK. Do ALL her exercises. Do NOT skip anything. Create an excel with column for attempt #1 and a tab for each chapter
4 weeks: revision. Rita and all those points you marked as "imp", highlighted and you got wrong. In your excel note attempt #2 and go through her end-of-chapter exercises. The ones that you got wrong AGAIN are your weak points. Read again.
1 week: Go online and find some practice sites. I do not want to post any links lest it sounds as recommendations. But there are sites which offer free questions. Use them as practice. See what you miss and read PMBOK. That also gets you in the mode of sitting down non-stop for 50/100/150 questions gradually
1 week: take time OFF. Highly recommended. Take practice tests. Here i wish i had got some test simulators from Rita or someone else. I used one site which offered an exam mode and did 2-3 exams.

Schedule exam for a Monday.. so if you cannot take time off for a week, at the least give 2 tests on the weekend.

Finally, the exam:
- Rita says most exams can be done in 2.5 hrs. The online site, i used to wrap up in 2 hrs. The actual exam was tougher. I took 3.5 hrs. Maybe i spent more time on some questions. I do not think 2.5 hrs is possible unless you are already in a PMO role. But thats me.
- The online sites do not come close in terms of complexity. I scored 85% in 2 hrs time. NOW PMI does not give any %. Just below, at par or above proficient. (I got 3 above and 2 at par).
- So Rita's questions come close in complexity to the real exam but i definitely recommend some PMBOK4 updated exam packages

- Lot of PMP insight about what is material and what is nice-to-have for the exam
- Excellent exercises. I think that saved my exam
- Spot on in telling that you should assume you are managing a large multi-team $$$ project. That itself will help you get some answers right.

- She has missed some aspects of the PMBOK.. very very few but i uncovered some when i took some online practice. For example: she does not talk about 'quality' and 'grade' in Quality management. I had skimmed the PMBOK there so i just missed it. But an important point. And
- Some questions and her rationale of answers i just dont agree. That could be subjective but in my real life that would NOT fly. If you have managed projects, you will find a few of these.

Best of luck!!
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on March 3, 2013
I am not a project manager, I work in sales. I thought that project management would be a great area to learn as a plan "B"! I didn't realize how challenging studying for the PMP exam would actually be. I read the PMBOK, but it was very hard for me to retain the information. I heard about Rita's book so I went on Amazon and I read all the reviews. Everyone was right, this book is amazing. After reading Rita's book (I READ IT 3 TIMES) and completing her questions at the end of the chapter, I felt better about taking the exam. What also helped me was the 200 question pocket PMP exam book of questions that is offered on her website. The questions are taken from her PMP simulation exam. The pocket PMP exam book was only $20. It was a great review of the types of questions on the exam. I reviewed those questions over and over and figured out why I got certain answers incorrect. Do not get me wrong, it took me time to really understand how the questions are structure and how think the way PMI wants you to think to pass the exam. I studied for the exam for about 4 months before passing it. There is a technique to studying and passing the exam. Rita's questions in the pocket pmp exam book are very simular to the exam. If you can afford it, I would recommend purchasing the stimulation exam that Rita's offers. That will prepare you for the exam and the stress of taking a test under the time pressure. You do have to study. You will not pass this exam if you don't. I PASSED MY PMP EXAM ON DECEMBER 9TH 2012!
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