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Complications When Studying for the PMP Exam
By Brian Denis Egan, B.Sc, M.Sc., M.B.A., PMP – Global Knowledge Course Director

The biggest mistake that people make when preparing for the PMP exam is to treat the PMBOK® as a training manual. The PMBOK® is not a training manual. It is a reference tool. Imagine trying to learn English by reading a dictionary – pretty tricky. Anyone who “studies” the PMBOK® is wasting a lot of time.

Another common error is misinterpreting the nature of the PMP Exam. Is it not a test of project management knowledge. It is a test of your knowledge of PMI’s terminology.

Seventy years of project management experience will not get you a passing grade on the exam. The exam does not test your general knowledge; it tests your specific knowledge of PMI’s version of project management and its terminology.

The point is that actual project management experience might even work against you. For example, if you do not use the term “scope definition” in the same way as PMI, you are going to give incorrect answers. You must know its terms and use them its way.

In order to pass the exam you need to know how to think like the PMI.

About the Author

Brian Denis Egan is CEO of a manufacturing company (Book Box Company) and a management consultant. He has written three professional development manuals and numerous white papers on aspects of management science. Since 2000, Brian has been a part-time instructor for Global Knowledge within the Management product line.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at for free white papers, webinars, and more.

© Copyright 2009, Global Knowledge. All rights reserved.

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