How to crack the PMP Exam in 30 days

If you have already completed a required 35-hour contact hours prep course, this article will teach you how to crack the PMP Exam in 30 days.  The only thing you’ll need for this accelerated study plan is to be dedicated and be prepared to put in lots of study time. 

The best place to start is by following this carefully crafted study plan.  Your study plan will include a blend of reading the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK) and completing practice questions. 

What you will need to crack the PMP Exam

First and foremost, join the PMI.  Not only will you receive a free download of the PMBOK guide, but you will also receive a discounted price on the PMP Exam.

You will need the following resources:  the PMBOK Guide, ExamsPM Exam Prep, Mock Tests and Practice questions (available here).

If you haven’t already done so, sign-up here to receive access to over 200 practice questions. 

30-day study plan format

Week 1:  Focus on the MAIN DOMAINS in the PMBOK Guide.  Integration, Scope, Schedule, and Cost.  After each chapter, try some practice questions.  Towards the end of the week, complete your first mock test.

Week 2:  Read through the rest of the topics in the PMBOK Guide.  Quality, Resources, Communications, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholders.  Complete more practice questions.  Read through ExamsPM Exam Prep.  Attempt two more mock tests.     

Week 3-4:  Complete 4 mock tests. Pay attention to any weak areas that the test(s) highlight.  Look at the first three chapters of the PMBOK guide.  Roles of PM, Types of Matrix, PMO.  Also look at Agile Concepts, Professional Conduct.  Continue to read through the PMBOK Guide, and ExamsPM Exam Prep, focusing on any of your weak areas.

Background to this Study guide

If you are looking to complete the PMP Exam, chances are you already have a few years behind you managing projects. 

Perhaps you have taken a 35-hour contact hour’s prep course, to get a feel for what lies ahead. 

You have probably also thought about taking the PMP Exam, but it hasn’t been the right time.  You wonder how to crack the PMP exam.

Does this sound familiar? 

Exam Format

If you want to succeed, you’ll need to feel comfortable with the PMP Exam format.  Begin by looking through the PMBOK Guide to get an overall picture of the exam content.  From there, use online sources such as ExamsPM to refine your understanding.

How can these online sources help to refine your understanding?  While the PMBOK Guide is great at explaining concepts, it lacks practice questions. 

This can hinder a test-takers performance, as they familiarize themselves with the format of the exam for the first time as they are sitting and writing the PMP exam. 

Practice Questions and Mock Exams

To avoid this scenario, complete practice questions and take mock exams.  Lots of them!  The more test questions you complete, the better equipped you are to pass the exam. 

As you may already be aware, the PMP Exam is 4 hours and consists of 200 questions.  Completing practice questions and mock exams will allow you to become comfortable with the format of the exam questions.

When it comes to mastering how to crack the PMP Exam, there is no such thing as too much practice.  Test takers who completed many practice questions before taking the exam report feeling more confident in the exam. 

Why is that?  Those practice tests will point out to you exactly where your understanding is weak.  By focusing on your weak areas, you will be focusing on the finite details that you would have missed if you only read through the PMBOK. 

Most often, it is finding those finite details that makes the biggest difference with the PMP exam takers.

Less is More

It might be tempting to scour the internet to find every source available with any questions, but this will ultimately set you back.

Why?  Many sites have low-quality questions, and a high-score on their test could give you false confidence.  It is best to stay focused on a few, high-quality resources, than several questionable ones.

Keep to the two main resources:  The PMBOK Guide, and the ExamsPM Exam Prep.  Between these two resources, you will have everything you need to pass the exam.


Spend about 2-3 hours on each chapter, or a chapter per day.  It is recommended that all candidates read the PMBOK at least twice before taking the exam. When reading the PMBOK, take notes particularly focussing on: 

  • ITTOs (Inputs, Tools, Techniques, and Outputs)
  • Process Definitions
  • Definitions mentioned in the Glossary

Try not to memorize the ITTOs, rather, try and understand each process.  On a sheet, make a list of the ITTOs, and refer to this sheet often as you read through the PMBOK. 

When will I know I am ready to take the PMP Exam?

When you can reliably score 70% or higher in the mock exams, you are well on your way to passing the PMP exam.  Do not try the real exam until you are consistently achieving 70% or higher.  You risk failure and the expense of taking the exam again.

Tips to maximize your 30 days

Read the PMBOK Guide.  This is a must; it is the most reliable source for the PMP exam.  Highlight or underline any important points.

Use the resources at ExamsPM to fill in any gaps in your knowledge, and for reference.

Study!  Mock tests and reading through blogs alone will not enable you to pass the exam.  You will need to dedicate time to studying and gaining a deeper understanding of the concepts.

When, and only when, you are consistently achieving 70% or higher in mock exams should you apply to write the real PMP exam.

Keep practising the mock tests, even if you have not completed the syllabus.

Want to pass your PMP Certification in the next 6 weeks? Sign up for a FREE class to learn how!