For those who don’t know, the Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. If you’re an experienced project manager responsible for all aspects of project delivery, leading and directing cross-functional teams, then the PMP is the right choice for you!

My journey started almost 6 months ago when I decided that PMP was the right certification to consolidate and certify my knowledge in project management. The purpose of this testimony is to share my experience to become PMP and share the study materials that I used. I hope this can help new aspirants on their own journey.

Study - Phase 1

My first logic decision while preparing to PMP certification was to buy the PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition. After all this book was published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the same institute that controls the PMP certification.

After reading the book for some days I started to realize that the book was not developed in a way to teach you (in my humble opinion) project management concepts. Rather the book is a collection of project management concepts and standards and doesn’t try to teach or explain in detail every concept.

After two weeks I stop reading the book because I was getting a hard time to assimilate some concepts and the whole experience was not being gratifying as I thought it would be.

Study - Phase 2

After some weeks I decided to give another shot to PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition and started reading the book from scratch. But once again the result and feeling were the same!

Study - Phase 3

This time I was decided to create a plan for my studies and find a good alternative book to introduce me to PMP. I decided to buy the Head First PMP 3rd Edition ( and this was one of my best decisions. I really liked to read the book. After reading this book I then read the PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition and this time I was able to understand everything from PMBOK! Please note that Head First PMP does not contain all information that is included in PMBOK and should not be used to replace PMBOK. After reading those two books I bought the PM PrepCast ( to accomplish the mandatory 35 contact hours. I also followed the Edward Chung blog ( and used his PMP notes as a base to do my own notes. Thanks Edward! I finalized my studies with PMP PrepCast Exam Simulator (9 full exams – 1800 questions).

Study material

  • Head First PMP 3rd Edition (1 full reading)
  • PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition (2 full readings)
  • PM PrepCast (listen to some podcasts)
  • Edward Chung Blog (used his notes and read all PMP blog entries)
  • Write my own notes
  • Read my own notes (4 full readings, 40 pages)
  • Answer to 8 exams from PMP PrepCast Exam Simulator

Exame Scores

  • Exam 2 First Score – 83.5 %
  • Exam 3 First Score – 80.5 %
  • Exam 4 First Score – 85.0 %
  • Exam 5 First Score – 87.5 %
  • Exam 6 First Score – 84.0 %
  • Exam 7 First Score – 89.5 %
  • Exam 8 First Score – 86.5 %
  • Exam 1 First Score – 91.5%

After answer to 1600 questions with an average score of 86% I felt very confident that I could pass the PMP examination. In my experience the real PMP exam questions were more difficult than the PMP PrepCast Exam Simulator questions and free exams that I could find on the Internet. However, if you have good scores on those tests (>= 80%) you may be prepared to face the real questions!

I passed the real exam on my first attempt in 30/05/2017 in Lisbon. I got “Moderately Proficient” in all domains except in Initiating where I got a “Proficient”.

I hope this post can help you on your journey!

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