The Best Study Resources for the PMP Exam

The Best Study Resources for the PMP examstudy resources

There is an abundance of resources present online from which you can receive ample help from. However, navigating through these sources and picking those best suited to your learning styles can be a tough task.

Listed below are some of the resources you can utilise to maximise your preparation and performance. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many more resources available online.

  • The PMBOK Guide

The “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK Guide) is published by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMBOK Guide is currently in its 6th edition. With each edition to the PMBOK, the PMP exam is also updated. The PMP exam is now based on the fifth edition of PMBOK Guide.  An update is scheduled for June,2020. The exam change is prompted by the expected June 2019 release of a new PMP Exam Content Outline. The PMP Handbook suggests candidates to make use of the PMBOK Guide as one of their references and it is estimated that the PMBOK Guide contains around 80% of materials required for the PMP exam.

Unless you are super confident of your project management knowledge, it is highly advised to read through the PMBOK Guide at least once during your exam study. A survey conducted among 100 PMP certification holders showed that 95% of them relied heavily on the PMBOK guide.

Once you have become a PMI member, you can download the electronic copy of the PMBOK Guide for FREE together with the Agile Practice Guide. It is an encrypted and watermarked version that allows you to only read and print pages but not copy and paste the text. Care should be taken to not to distribute the file among others as it is watermarked with your name on every page. PMI takes intelligence property infringement very seriously.

However, many of the PMP aspirants expressed that the PMBOK Guide was a difficult read. A possible solution to this dilemma is to focus on a PMP Exam Prep Course or PMP Study Guide.

  • PMP Exam Prep Books and Study Guide

PMP Exam Study Guides are imperative in helping you understand the PMBOK Guide and also learn the remainder of the knowledge required for the PMP exam. This is because the PMBOK Guide only covers around 80% of the exam syllabus

Some of the most popular PMP exam prep books include:

  • Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep Book (8th Edition)

This book is very detailed and provides key insights into the PMI. There is an abundance of sample questions present within the book which are comparable to actual exam questions. However, this is not a standalone resource and is best utilised when used alongside other resources.

  • The PMP Exam – How to Pass On Your First Try by Andy Crowe (6th Edition)

Clear and concise instructions that are easy to understand. However, practice questions are lacking in terms of level of difficulty and are not comparable to actual exam questions.

  • How to get every Earned Value question right on the PMP Exam by Aileen Ellis (Volume 1)

The volume comprehensively covers the EV portion of the exams and contains relevant and challenging practice questions. However, the preparation might be considered to be a bit too detailed for a relatively small portion of the actual PMP exam.

  • Head First PMP: A Brain-Friendly Guide (4th Edition)

The book is geared towards visual learners. It makes use of the latest findings from cognitive research by including a lot of illustrations, charts and games. It is fun to go through the book while studying for the PMP exam at the same time. However, some serious readers might find the layout of the book to be too chaotic.

  • PMP Exam Study Guide by Belinda S. Goodrich (6th Edition)

The book contains a meticulously organised guide which includes tips, tricks and other practices that can take your exam preparation to the next level. However, the book’s complete resources are not freely available.

  • PMP Practice / Sample Exams (Mock Exams)

Taking an exam with 200 questions for 4 hours continuously requires not only full preparation but also your stamina and strategy. All PMP instructors would advise you to sit for a 200 questions PMP sample exam at least once. You need to know when you need a break to refresh and to go to the bathroom. But it is more advisable to take as many as PMP practice exams as you can. How to obtain as many practice exam as possible without breaking your bank is another pressing question. Luckily, many quality mock exams are available for free.

Ultimately, the level of preparation for this exam is completely up to you and your study methodology. For further guidance and mentoring, visit our training calendar for our upcoming PMP workshop or contact us at


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