December 13, 2017

Your timeline to become PMP before exam will change! [Updated]

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by Markus

December 13, 2017

timeline PMP prep path

Updated: Well, time is running out now. But I am still convinced that it is most important for you to have enough time working through all the content and knowledge stuff. On the other hand, I did assume that you still want to have the chance for at least two exam attempts (failing rate in the first attempt is a quite high cause of the unknown). To assure that there is still enough time to go for a second try I have shortened the time to study for each knowledge area to a week. This is still enough time, but of course, you need discipline, engagement, and motivation to do so.

To have enough time for practicing you should start working with the simulator regularly somewhere in between (the Milestone in our sample timeline is just a suggestion!); so you need to include this part in your daily/weekly learning routine). Finally, we have shortened the time between first and second try, Of course, you can decide to go for just one try and so have a bit more time for prep and practice. The decision is all yours. 

You still can –  and should –  do it before the exam change takes place! All the best!  ) 

I am sure meanwhile most of you do know, that the PMP Exam will change at 26th of March 2018 based on the already released sixth Edition of the PMBoK Guide (this new edition was released on the 6th of September 2017; for details about the changes, please refer to this article: PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition will be released on 6th of September 2017 – everything you need to know about the new PMBoK guide Edition and the related exam changes!)

If you plan to become a PMP before the exam changes significantly at the end of March 2018, you need to obtain this certification until March, 25th, 2018 at latest! You may ask yourself: “Why that? What is the reason for the pressure?”. Well, the changes coming with the new PMBoK Guide Edition are significant andso the PMP exam changes will be significant too.

“We all know that the preparation for the PMP exam needs time and dedication and if you do prepare based on the actual prep material available (which is all based on the 5th Edition of the PMBoK Guide!) then you need to assure to obtain the credential before the new exam will be in place, right?!”

Of course all the providers for the PMP preparation material will update their materials to be aligned to the 6th Edition of the PMBoK Guide, but like we know from the past it will take some time for those updates and we can expect that the new courses/simulators/books/flash cards and so on will not be completely ready in time.

Some may need towards the mid of 2018 to completely align their materials to the new PMP Exam version. This can cause you to start your preparation later in 2018 than you might have planned to.

The generic timeline in our picture at the top of this article shows you an example of a possible timeline and it shows you also, that you should not lose any time to start your preparation now!

Yes, there is still enough time, but you will need it. For instance, you could run into a PMI audit (selected by random) what may cost you additional time to satisfy.

btw: best you can do about being audited is being well prepared for that case. You may have a look here for helpful information: ☛ Audit Kit

My PMP application has been audited and I have used this Audit Kit to be as well prepared as I could and it paid of. I have satisfied PMI’s requests within short time and could process with application and exam preparation as I have planned.

Well, a wise man said sometimes: “Always start with the end in mind!” and so let’s do it this way:

Exam Date:

While creating this timeline we had assumed that you want to have the option for using all of the offered three attempts (of course we hope that you just need the first try … but who knows? …) This is also kind of a backup plan in the case you may fail the first or even the second try.

Between the exam dates, we now have calculated about 10 days to refocus and for additional practicing.

Ok, now let’s switch back to the start of your PMP journey.

First of all you should

prepare your learning environment:

You should take your PMP preparation as a project on its own and as you are a professional already (otherwise you wouldn’t fulfill the PMP Exam requirements, right?) you should be professional here as well. That means you should prepare your learning environment and create all the preconditions (including your personal learning strategy!) for a successful undertaking.

You can find detailed instructions and guidance for creating your learning environment within the first section of our Let me be your PMP guide program – totally FREE!:

If you have finished this task you will

start your preparations Knowledge Area wise (KA1 – KA10):

Now you will start deep diving into the several “Knowledge Areas” (KA’s) mentioned in the PMBoK Guide and your prep book(s). Of course you could follow the PMBoK Guide structure here (and most PMP exam prep books are structured in the same way), BUT we would highly recommend NOT to start with “Project Integration Management” (what would be the first KA in the PMBoK Guide!).

In our Let me be your PMP guide program (free) we do follow another sequence and we do also explain why this makes a lot more sense from our perspective (but in the end it is your decision of course!).

To support your studying you should utilize a complementary training course which will also help you to fulfill the PMP exam application requirement regarding the 35 “contact hours”!

You can do this either by joining a live class/boot camp or alternatively by using one of the available online training courses (mostly much more less expensive than live classes!)

Here are our primary recommendations for such online training courses:

PM PrepCast

obtain the probably best PMP online course available!

PMP online course by SimpliLearn

actual no Discount available, please come back later or write us a message

If you have worked through all the content you should start

intensive practicing:

I can’t underline this more: The key to PMP Exam success is practice, practice, and practice! And to maximize your chance to succeed I do always strongly recommend using a professional online exam simulator. Yes, this may need to invest some bucks, but from our experience, we do know that this will definitely pay off,

Of course, you should also practice while working through the several KA’s (i.e. by doing the end of chapter questions provided in every good prep book). But now is the time to really simulate the PMP exam situation. This does mean that you should do several (at least three!) full time and fully loaded exam simulations (200 Questions/4 hours)!

And professional online exam simulators are designed and optimized to do exactly this!.

By utilizing such a simulator (or may be even two different ones) you will be able to assess your exam readiness by analyzing your mock exam results intensively (and those simulators will provide you the tools for this analysis!).

Here are our recommendations for the best available PMP exam simulators out there – make your choice!:

Exam Simulator and Course

PMP Exam Simulator

claim a 20% Discount by using bonus code: MarkusQ417 while checking out!

PMAspire Exam Simulator:

claim 15% Discount using Code: MK15PASS

And if you feel ready finally it has come the time to go for your first try.

We wish you all the best for your PMP exam preparation journey and much success for your exam taking!

You (should) know that preparing for your PMP Exam requires time and focus…

A lot of time and focus

This can be a real challenge, especially when you are so busy at work that you need to ‘steal’ time to study. And it gets even harder if you don’t know where to start and how to best prepare. So wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to guide you through this challenging process?

Exam-Prep-Guide-FREESomeone with a proven, focused, and methodical plan?

Someone who used the plan and passed… First Time.

Join us now: Project Manager’s PMP Exam prep guidance program – totally FREE!:

You will get a complete Exam Prep Guidance program with 14+ modules

I will show you a clear ‘red line’ to follow, from start to success.

With tips on:

  • What resources to buy
  • Where you can get the best free resources
  • How to study – what order and how to practice
  • When to practice test questions (and where to find them)


Numerous personal lessons learned accounts, so you can learn from people who have gone before.


A great community of fellow aspirants whom you can share your knowledge and experience and of course ask questions and clear your doubts!


Exam Prep Guidance Program
PMP Exam change based on the new PMBoK Guide 6th Edition will take place at:
We appreciate any feedback about this offer, our blog and how we may improve it for you, please use the comment function below to let us know. Thanks!

About Markus

Markus Kopko, PMP

20+ Years of Relevant Experience

Markus has more than 20 years of management and leadership experience, including more than 18 years in Project and Program Management.


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One of Markus's central objectives and motivations is to implement and deploy the PMI project philosophy and a PMI-based project management methodology in his company.

Social Media Thought Leader

Markus set up a few PMI certification related LinkedIn groups and is co-administrator of the biggest and most active PMP related LinkedIn group:'I want to be a PMP'. Markus is also one of the most viewed contributors in PMP and PMI related content/questions at Quora. He also founded his own Project Management related website at

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