The Project Management Professional exam, commonly referred to as the PMP, can be quite time-consuming to study for, if one hopes to be adequately prepared. Not only do test-takers have to familiarize themselves with the test protocol itself, but they must also study the material needed to be able to answer the actual questions. There are those who take a class to help them prepare, while others choose to study alone. Still others may not sign up for a formal class, but will decide to study as part of a group. Why might this form of group study for the PMP be beneficial? There are a number of reasons as to why this might be the case.
One key reason that studying with a group can be beneficial is due to the discipline this provides. While it’s easy for a person to put off studying if they’re studying alone, this is more difficult to do if a preset time is arranged when he or she will be meeting up with his study group. This makes it harder to back out at the last minute, a fact that can prove critical for those who tend to procrastinate with things such as studying. This is all too easy to do with something like the study required for the PMP, as the deadline is far away and one can delude oneself into thinking that there’s plenty of time to study….until suddenly, there isn’t.
Furthermore, in terms of the test itself, it can be valuable to have insight from the group on certain aspects, when discussing the various themes and points that are covered, to make sure that everyone is in agreement and on the same page. Not only can other members offer helpful tips to remember key facts or points, but they may also have answers to questions that otherwise someone studying alone would have to spend valuable time looking up the answer to.
Working with others can also help mimic some of the pressures and tension inherent in test-taking. This can be critical as for many, the hardest part of taking a test is the pressure involved; many people find that they “blank” or panic when faced with a timed test, and thus waste valuable seconds or minutes trying to calm down and get their minds back on track. Having some practice in calming oneself down in order to be able to better handle the test-taking environment is always a good thing.
A study group for the PMP exam can also be critical with regard to keeping members on track, checking up on each other to make sure that progress is being made and that study group members are following a plan. The group can hand out study assignments to ensure regular study, and can also assign study buddies whereby the buddies can call each other for support as needed.