Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam

Preparation Suggestions

Randal DeHart passed the PMP exam in 2004 and since then several people has asked for helpful suggestions. There is not a lot of tricks and tips here because the web is full of them. Here you will find a collection of ideas and concepts designed to help you overcome any anxiety you may be facing and I trust you will find value in them. Please feel free to pass these along to anyone you want too.

Treat The Exam Preparation As Project #1:

  1. Follow all the steps for a project even though it will appear some steps unnecessary
  2. Document everything as you would in a normal project
  3. After the exam, pass or fail, complete the lessons learned
  4. Up until you sit for the exam most of your learning is academic
  • Flying an airplane in a simulator is where you learn about it
  • Actually flying an airplane is where you begin to understand it
  • The difference is huge!
  • This one step will do more for your understanding than you can imagine because it is real world
  • You will be far ahead of your peers since most people do not test their skills until they are up to their ears in a project
  • Project #1 is where new PMP's are judged
  • Failure in Project #1 can cost you several career advancement opportunities
  • Project #1 will become part of your portfolio; better it is one you can control
  • Nobody wants to be patient #1 of the new doctor, dentist or PMP
  • Hiring managers look favorable PMP's with proof of Project #1 successfully completed and documented
  • The true value of any exam is to expose your knowledge gaps so that you can review those areas and embark on further studies and improve your understanding.
  • The best resource for detailed information and study guides I have found is RMC Project Management, Inc. Click Here Please understand they do not pay me for this endorsement; I am only sharing my experience
  • Plan to invest some money into preparing for the exam
  • Get involved with a serious study group with 1-4 people total committed to passing the exam
  • Understand The Communication Model and you will know why I suggest limiting your study group to no more than four people
  • Commitment is not the same as Involvement. Ham and Eggs for breakfast means the pig is committed and the hen is involved
  • Study with people who are committed not involved. See Leveling

Thirty Days Before The Exam:

  1. Decide where and what time you are going to take the exam
  2. Find all the rules and regulations, print and review them thoroughly
  3. When I took the exam one important rule was no talking
  • If someone other than a staff person talks to you ignore them
  • One person did not follow directions and was escorted out of the building

The Night Before The PMP Exam:

  1. Eat some type of pasta for dinner; if that is part of your normal diet
  2. Do not do any last minute cramming the night before
  3. Get plenty of rest
  4. Pack a bag/small cooler to take with you to the testing center with:
    • Water / Juice / Gator-Ade type Beverages
    • Energy bars / granola
    • Apples, oranges, assorted fruit
    • Three or four light sandwiches
    • Any other light snacks you enjoy
    • The key is comfort food - you will need some comforting

The Day Of The PMP Exam:

  1. Leave early and plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early
  2. Check in and practice SHUTTING UP!
  • This is a problem for project managers as 80% of our skillsets involve communication

Final Thoughts:

  1. Visualize yourself passing the exam
  2. It is O.K. if you do not pass it the first time
  3. After passing the exam do not reveal your score; there is power in mystery
  4. Understand the difference between Optimization and Maximization for your preparation and your career going forward and you will generate optimal results in all your endeavors
  5. Your PMP is your admission ticket to run with the Big Dogs; just know the competition is tough so continue learning and optimizing yourself
  6. Understanding the differences between how to optimize human capital, business assets and financial capital will serve you well in your PM career
  7. If you are involved with the construction industry you may like to review our Business Strategy Program
  8. If you are so inclined you can review some of my personal Thoughts and Inspirations that have helped me continue to achieve new levels of success


Any questions please fill out the form and Randal will contact you!

After you take the exam please fill out the form to the right and tell us how it was for you at your exam and any suggestions you can offer!

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About The Author:

Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA The Construction Accountant Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood Washington. He is the leading expert in outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services for small construction companies across the USA. He is experienced as a Contractor, Project Management Professional, Construction Accountant, Intuit ProAdvisor, QuickBooks For Contractors Expert and Xero Accounting Specialist and Bill.Com Certified Guru. This combination of experience and skill sets provides a unique perspective which allows him to see the world through the eyes of a contractor, Project Manager, Accountant and construction accountant. This quadruple understanding is what sets him apart from other Intuit ProAdvisors and Xero accountants to the benefit of all of the construction contractors he serves across the USA. Visit to learn more.

Our Co-Founder Randal DeHart - Is a Certified PMP (Project Management Professional) with several years of construction project management experience. His expertise is construction accounting systems engineering and process development. His exhaustive study of several leading experts including the work of Dr. W. Edward Deming, Michael Gerber, Walter A. Shewhart, James Lewis and dozens of others was the foundation upon which our Construction Bookkeeping System is based and continues to evolve and improve. Follow Randal on Google+

Our Co-Founder:

Sharie DeHart, QPA, is the President of  Business Consulting And Accounting (Fast Easy Accounting) in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations. She offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or