1) Join the Project Management Institute before paying for the class or test – it saves you more than the 1 year membership dues.
2) Textbook to get: The Rita Mulcahy prep book text. It was so much better than the one from Prep class. Some, who routinely get 85-90% on the other test prep books then struggle to get 65-70 on Mulcahy. The course was great, the books were great, but I am doubtful I would have hit the threshold without that extra study guide/prep book. My test was full of procurement and risk management questions. I also ran through the review of the prep course online (the note card glued to the back page of the Crowe text). That helped reinforce what we learned.
3) Study time: A middle management level candidate who took the PMI prep course and two Master’s level PM courses studied for about two weeks, 4 hours each night solid (weeknights only). He said he was slightly over prepared based on my resulting test score. Remember your fundamentals: work-in = work-out. Nothing is ‘easy’. Adjust the above recommendation for your variation in experience, education, etc.
4) Recommended Study Techniques: Be able to draw the 42 process chart and label the blocks verbatim using the verb/noun nomenclature. Learn the visual structure of how many blocks were in each category and knowledge areas. If you know the blocks and where they go, you can learn the small ‘chunks’ of each area and then assemble the whole thing in your brain. Think back to trigonometry and the unit-circle: MEMORIZE! Memorize the one page of equations – you can break them down into thier four main areas.
Nothing about these equations and the numbers is hard. The questions will twist you around the axle, and if you do not know the formulas COLD, you WILL slip up. Work several communications channel questions too – these questions can be presented and cause you to put the wrong answer down even though this is the easiest equation in the bunch.
5) Test Day: You get a few pages of blank paper and the opportunity to “learn” how to use the computer to press A, B, C, or D. They give 15 minutes to do this. Spend 13 of the 15 minutes regurgitating the above info for ready reference.
Much of this will make more sense as you start to explore the process/test. Recommend taking the prep class. It cost around $650 and the test was $400. Joining PMI will give you a break. Yearly membership dues were approximately $125, but being a member took off more than this from the prep/test prices. Recommend taking the prep and the test. It will open your eyes to a new way of thinking much like Lean Six Sigma/Green Belt does.