How Much Time is Required For PMP Exam Preparation?

Pmp Preparation Time - TaskQue Blog

We conducted a survey in the year 2016 and then published the best responses on the average time of preparation for the PMP exam, which went viral and garnered great appreciation by project managers from all around the world.

However, a lot has changed since then. The new version of PMBOK was launched in the year 2017. Now, in 2019, things have gotten quite tricky.

We again asked around for the average preparation time of PMP exam now in 2019 and got quite interesting answers. We have compiled the best responses here in this article.

First of all, lets highlight responses over Linkedin groups:

Luis Duran, PMP, ITIL V3, SFC   PMO Manager | Portfolio Manager | Program Manager | IT Project Manager in Montreal Canada says:

“For those aiming to get the PMP certification, my advice ( I wish someone had given me advice like this at that time) is to dedicate at least 4 months of practice tests mixed with a diverse content of Project Management material.

I suggest you get at least 80 in a full practice test before the exam so you are sure you will pass. Below this score, the chances that you fail are big when taking the real test.

At least 3 – 4 months with 20 hours of study per week for an Above Target result in all areas.”

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, PhD, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS says:

“I’ve been doing PMP courses for 32+ years now and for English as a Second Language (which most of our clients are), we figure best case it will take 160 hours of honest study effort, worst case, 250 and most likely, 200 hours.

And it has nothing to do with how much experience you have but how willing you are to forget what you’ve done in real life and mostly memorize what PMI advocates, much of which is pure BS.

To put things in perspective, when I got my PMP #740 in 1987 or early 1988, the exam was 8 hours long, consisted of 320 questions with 5 possible answers, not 4, and you had to pass each of the 8 knowledge areas with a 70% minimum score. PLUS, there were no “cram for the exam” books such as”Rita, Cheetah or PMP Exam for Dummies” to streamline the process.”

Georgios Baltzis, PMP says:

“2-4 months, less is too early to study and digest knowledge. After 4 months too late to sustain effort and focus.”

Codrin-Dan Nicolau, MBA, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA says:

Iti depends on your experience aligned with PMBOK. If you had luck and worked in a such PMI oriented environment, then it’ll be easier to recognize in theory what you did in practice. If not, then the time to unlearn will be added to the time needed to learn. So, the proper answer   may be this: it depends on many factors 🙂 Some people learn faster and have a photographic memory, some people learn only from numerous tests, some only from PMBOK and take no tests, some of them use “Rita”, some have family and other obligations and have little time for learning, and so on.

On Twitter: we got an interesting response:

Emily Luijbregts says:

“I’d say at least 2 months of intensive preparation to include prep courses/ exams etc. I used a wide array of media/manners to prepare and I can recommend that you don’t just look at the PMBOK for your preparation (e.g. @rmcproject ).”

In a project management group on Facebook, we gleaned some valuable nuggets of wisdom as well:

There are so many variables. The number of hours available for you to revise daily matters.

I prepared full time for 2 months. This meant I did like 6 hours a day on a good day. Did myriad of preparation exams.

If you are working during the day, then you’ll need much more time to prepare.

The key is to sit for the exam when you feel ready to tackle it, not because the exam date has dictated so.

If you can maintain a constant 85% or more on full prep Exams. You are ready!!!

Manish Kaduskar, PMP Professional says at Quora:

“Depends upon how much time you can spare.

The exam is situation based, and out of the four options, 2 to all 4 options might seem right. But only one answer is the ‘expected’ answer. You will need to read three books – Head first PMP (just to whet interest), Rita Mucahy’s book (to gauge your knowledge / depth) and finally the actual PMBOK (which is a very dry technical book). Exam has questions based on PMBOK and they expect you to know all inputs, major project management tools , techniques and outputs – so you will need to read the book a few times even if you have lot of practical knowledge.My suggestion would be to give one of the online exams that are available for free. If you are able to score above 65%, then go for the exam sooner, else take out some more time and study.Some of the sites with free exams are given below:PMP/CAPM Coaching : Targeting Success

Edwel Programs Oliver lehmann   test (tough)

Head First Labs from O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Simplilearn LMS

Register for Realistic PMP exam simulator , PMP Practice Mock Exam.

Anand Vijayakumar, A certified Project Manager with the PMP Certification for over 5 years at Quora says:

“There is no one standard – how much time you should study/prepare. It depends from person to person.

firstly, you need formal PM education/training to satisfy the PDU requirement for you to be eligible to take the PMP Exam. There are a few online courses that train you for this PDUs and there are classroom courses.

Secondly buy Rita’s book on PMP Exam prep. It is arguably the best PMP Exam prep book out there. If you want another book, try the head first PMP prep book. These two books should be sufficient for basic prep. Check out online blogs that have training/study material, tips n tricks etc that can help you. you will find a few at the end of this answer.

Personally, a minimum of 3 months would be required in order to clear the PMP Exam in your first attempt. Take at least 8-10 mock exams and don’t sched.”

Nguyen Si Trieu Chau, certified PMP, PMI-RMP & PMI-SP says at quora:

“200-400 hours are enough for the preparation (for non-native English speaking). You can learn 2-3 hours per day and complete the PMP in 3 months. The duration is various depend on your project management experience (that align with PMI method), English skills, and your learning ability. “

Clint Potts, Certified Project Management Professional with over 15 years experience at Quora says:

“You should spend enough time studying that you learn the difference between what you believe to be right from your experience as a “de facto PM” and what PMI tells us is the correct way. Don’t make the mistake of assuming what you have done is correct. I had been a de facto PM for 9 years before I took PMI training and learned that much of what I had been doing was not the correct way to manage projects. I got better because of my certification process.

First, you must get training in order to qualify to take the exam. You are required to have 35 hours of approved PM training in order to apply for certification.”

Sasha Fleur says at quora:

“For the PMP Certification exam you need to clear the eligibility criteria. You can have a regular study time fixed on everyday basis besides your regular work for the day. You should take a PMP training which will give you the 35 Contact Hours Certificate which is mandatory for the PMP Certification exam. You should also be sincere for your preparation as PMP is not an easy task to pass. You can go through the following to get few more details about how you can prepare for your PMP :Efficient Tricks to Prepare for the PMP® Exam “

Polisopher shares his experiences at Reddit:

“After reading the PMBOK I then took the 35 PDU prep course and will only have studied for 2 weeks before sitting for the exam on Tuesday. Probably should have added at least 2 more weeks to the study routine because my confidence in passing isn’t very high, although I know I am on the precipice of where I’d like to be. I’ve scored 58% on two different practice exams. I think I need to be scoring at least 65% on those exams to have a legitimate shot at passing. I’ll let everyone know how I do.”

Ken-E-Powers says at reddit:

“My opinion is allow at least one month after your prep course to study on your own. After the prep course I personally studied nightly with Rita’s book, no exceptions, even with little ones at the house. It’s been a while now but I would recommend at least 1.5-2 hours per night. My post-exam post is in this sub somewhere with probably better details because it was fresh.”


In the light of the above responses, it can be said that the preparation time of PMP exam varies from person to person, but a minimum of 2 months is required to get prepared for the exam.


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