The Project Management Professional exam, or the PMP as it’s commonly known, can take a good deal of time to properly prepare for. This includes familiarizing oneself with the test protocol, as well as studying for the questions themselves. Those who do not take a class to prepare often find themselves studying alone, yet there are clear benefits to studying in a group for this sort of undertaking, particularly one that can be as time-consuming as the PMP. Why might studying as part of a group be more effective? Let’s take a look.
First of all, for those somewhat lacking in the proper discipline, being part of a study group can provide a necessary impetus to actually setting aside time to study. If one decides to study alone, there is no one else relying on you. However, for those who are part of a group and choose a time and place to get together to study with others, those other study group members will be waiting for each person to show up, making it more difficult to back out at the last minute. Just this fact alone can be critical for those who have a tendency to procrastinate.
Then, with regard to the test itself, group input can be important in discussions about themes of the test, particularly when there are questions or issues. Relying on other group members to provide answers or insight can save precious time in looking for the answers to questions by oneself. There is also the fact that group study can better mimic the nerves or tension that are an inherent part of any kind of test-taking. While presumably one knows one’s study group members relatively well, the fact of working with others invariably adds an element of nerves that is not normally present when one studies alone. And this recreation of the test-taking atmosphere can be invaluable in terms of preparation for such an arduous exam.
A study group can also be critical for keeping members on track, through group as well as individualized support. The group can make sure that study assignments are handed out each week, ensuring that members are methodical about their studying. At the same time, assigning study buddies within the group will allow group members to provide support and encouragement to each other during the challenging and lengthy study period.
Finally, a study group will enable members to be more structured about the studying that will take place, by putting into place a study plan and making sure that it is adhered to. This kind of structure and discipline is important for the PMP exam in that so many different subjects and topic areas are covered, that anything less risks leaving out critical elements of the exam.