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This page is devoted to news, tips, and any other information the Project Management community may find useful or interesting.

Classroom PMP Exam Preparation Training

I'm frequently asked about the effectiveness of different PMP Exam Preparation training products. I always tell my questioner to avail themselves of a classroom course whenever possible. These courses are taught by trainers who are experienced project managers and also experienced trainers. Instructors on PMP Exam Preparation courses offered by R.E.P. certified training service providers are also PMP certified project managers. These folks have a lot to offer the trainee. Candidates who have an employer willing to pay for a classroom course should take advantage of the offer.

Some employers may send their project managers on a PMP Exam Preparation course simply to meet some HR or customer criteria. Most will have other objectives to meet that will solve project problems the organization is encountering. The primary objective for any PMP Exam Preparation course should be to prepare the student for passing the exam but many will also meet project management objectives as well (ours does). The instructor of these courses will elicit students project management objectives at the beginning of the course and attempt to meet them during the course. They will survey the students at the conclusion of the course to ensure that all objectives have been met. You should ensure that you understand all your organization's objectives for the course before leaving for the classroom. You probably won't be given these explicitly so you'll have to do some investigating. Find out what problems your organization's projects have been encountering and formulate your learning objectives to solve those problems. Articulating the problem and solution as a learning objective will help the instructor to meet the objective.

The project managers you meet in the class are also a valuable learning source. It is very likely that you will encounter a PM with the experience and knowledge necessary to mentor or coach you, in the class. Even PMs with 20+ years of experience managing projects are being asked to get certified! Some of this experience may rub off on you when students engage in class discussions of topics related to the course, or even topics which are not directly related. Pursue the solutions to your project problems when discussion turns to a topic that is closely related.

Group exercises are also a great learning opportunity (our course includes these). These exercises will provide participants with the opportunity to put the theory they have learned in the class into practice to solve a problem. Look for an exercise that covers a project management area where your projects struggle and then broaden the discussion to address your problems. You can still pick your coach or mentor's brain if none of the exercises suits your purpose. Buy your coach a coffee and ask for them to apply their knowledge and experience to the solution of your problem. Most seasoned project managers will be more than happy to help you.

Preparing students to pass the certification exam is a 2 step process: the first step is to teach the processes, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques in the PMBOK and the second is to teach students how to pass the exam. All courses will get you passed the first step. Look for courses that provide a component that address the second step. The second step is important because over 40% of the questions on the exam are "situational". These questions require you to apply your project management knowledge to solve a real life problem. Your course should provide you with some experience in answering these questions successfully. They may also test your ability to memorize the processes, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques. "Boot camp" type courses are typically good at this, particularly those that include the exam. Look for a software or CBT product to augment your class if it does not include this component. Do not attempt to pass the exam straight from the classroom if you haven't practiced answering exam questions. You'll know you are ready to pass the exam when you can consistently exceed the passing score for the PMP Exam.

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Hans Garre 5 years ago
Poor Comment Good Comment
In comparison to the classroom based PMP Exam Preparation Training, I found the online courses to be more convenient andflexible. But a learner will miss the regular guidance and assistance of an in-house trainer. Further,the students joining online