Project Management

Three effective PMP exam training options

When preparing to take PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam, follow this straightforward advice on training for it.

When you survey the landscape of training opportunities for the Project Management Institute's Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam, you'll be faced with a lot of options. The PMP exam has indirectly created an entire market for training, certification, and continuing education providers. In fact, there are more than 1,400 registered training providers.

Before you decide on a training option, I encourage you to set a target date to take the exam, pay the exam fee, and create a plan for reaching your goal. It's also important to factor in your budget and your learning style when planning your training strategy.

PMP exam prep and training tips

Below are possible ways to prepare for the PMP exam. You might choose to go with one of these options or incorporate more than one of these suggestions into your training plan. I also found that scheduling time for studying was an important part of my PMP prep work.

1: Attend a PMP boot camp

If you learn best in a classroom setting, consider going to a 3-4 day PMP preparation course. You can participate in exercises that reinforce the course learning objectives and ask the instructor questions face-to-face. These boot camps provide accelerated learning, which also comes at a high cost. (Tip: I don't recommend completing a 4-day boot camp and then taking the PMP exam the next day.)

These are three providers of PMP boot camps: RMC Project Management, Inc., International Institute for Learning, Inc., and Cheetah Learning. You can also search PMI's database of the Registered Education Training Providers.

2: Take advantage of online training

If traveling to a boot camp doesn't fit your schedule, budget, or learning style, consider taking an online training course or incorporating online quizzes and study materials into your plan. PMI offers a variety of online learning options, including sample quizzes, on-demand training, and instructor-led training. 

The PM PrepCast provides 140 PMP exam prep videos that play on PC, Apple, and tablet platforms. The podcast is a useful study aid to play during your drive to work. The PM PrepCast is $179.99, which makes it an affordable option if you have to use your personal funds to pay for your training.

Udemy is another good resource for online training. It's an innovative platform where you learn from self-published authors, teachers, and practitioners.  You can find PMP courses for under $100 by searching udemy.

3: Join a study group

If you're looking for peer support, search for a study group to join in your area. PMI members, your local PMI chapter will have information about study groups, as well as other training materials and tips on passing the PMP exam.

Another option is to start a study group with project managers at your workplace. I was fortunate to find a work-based study group of aspiring PMPs. We met for eight weeks and reviewed the core areas of the PMBOK, took sample quizzes, and discussed PMBOK concepts. I found the study group very helpful, especially when we reviewed earned value (EV) management in detail. It took me a long time to understand the EV, planned value (PV), and actual cost (AC) concepts.

My approach to training and studying for the PMP

After setting a target date to take the exam, I followed these steps to prepare for it.

  1. I purchased a web-based training program with sample quizzes for each knowledge area and two comprehensive exams.
  2. I developed a study plan that included reviewing the PMBOK and taking sample quizzes.
  3. I joined a study group to review the PMBOK processes, tools, and techniques and take more sample quizzes.
  4. The weekend before I took the exam, I spent four hours on Saturday and Sunday reviewing the past quizzes and sample exams.

Two hundred questions later, I walked out with a passing grade and a smile on my face.


Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of How To Use Microsoft Project and Project Management Interview Questions Made Easy. For more project management advice visit


Very well written and detailed plan but since most of the resources mentioned in the list are paid would recommend adding these free online exam simulators to the list -


I created the first four day accelerated learning program to pass the PMP exam almost 14 years ago.  What Cheetah Learning does is most certainly NOT a boot camp.  It is a transformative experience that changes the way people approach both learning and taking exams.  Additionally this writer recommends against taking the exam after the four day program - and yet has never done Cheetah's four day program.   We have had over 60,000 students go through Cheetah Learning's four day program and the majority of them successfully take the exam on the fifth day - which we highly recommend.   This is not just a way to pass the PMP exam, it is a way to learn how to learn in ways that are far more effective than most people have ever experienced and it is why over 95% of our business is from referrals from very satisfied students.

Ruchi Singla
Ruchi Singla

Thank you for your tips and advice as i am preparing for PMP certification from WiziQ.

These tips also help me to prepare for PMP certification exam

Ruchi Singla
Ruchi Singla

Thank you for your amazing tips and advice as I am preparing for PMP from WiziQ and these advice helps me a lot for my PMP certification preparation.


Andrew what web-based training program did you end up using?


Yeah, I agree that was very effective idea when preparing your pmp certification. Thank you for sharing this wonderful information. 


The landscape of training opportunities for the Project Management Institute's Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam, you'll be faced with a lot of options. The PMP exam has indirectly created an entire market for training, certification, and continuing education providers


very thorough....thanks for the advice

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