I took the PMP on December 12, 2018 and passed above target in all areas on my first try. I did not even open the PMBOK and used only two sources: Andy Crowe’s Book and Rita Mulcahy’s book. Andy Crowe has a website and I also purchased access to one of his 200 question practice tests. I purchased Andy Crowe’s book on Amazon and Rita’s book on the RMC website. I originally started studying right when the test switched to the new version which made things really difficult due to the fact no resources were available. When I bought Rita’s book it was $100. I studied for roughly 6 weeks and used Rita’s book for the first 3 weeks, Andy’s book for the next 2 weeks and then did just practice questions the last week. The test is 200 questions at took me all 4 hours to complete. The test is fairly difficult and the thing that I think helped me the most was doing hundreds of practice questions to help in understanding how the questions will be worded on the exam. The best questions were on Andy Crowe’s website (Velociteach Insite). The questions there helped me to understand the type of questions on the exam. I also like how Andy Crowe’s book is setup in the form of showing all process areas and the ITTO’s. I did not memorize the ITTO’s and don’t think it is necessary but I was able to memorize the process chart which I think is important in order to pass. If you are studying right, memorizing this chart is an outcome of studying. The majority of my 200 questions were situational asking what the PM would do next or asking about different tools. I had 1 question asking about a network diagram which was an easy question and maybe 5 asking about Earned Value. Rita’s book and Andy’s book are very different in how to study for some of the questions which was frustrating and confusing. For example, Andy teaches the critical path method for network diagrams and Rita does not use this as the main method. The other confusing point was whether to start a network diagram at day 1 or 0. Rita also has many different formulas for calculating EAC and Andy Crowe just said to memorize one. Before the test I was able to brain dump 19 different formulas and only needed two of them for the test. Overall, the test isn’t easy but if you study and do hundreds of practice questions, you can pass on your first try. Spend a few weeks studying and you’ll be just fine. If I had to choose only one source for studying, I would choose Andy Crowe’s book and his online practice tests. I don’t think you need more than one book. Andy Crowe’s questions in the book are closer to what is on the exam. Rita’s practice questions are easier than on the exam IMO.
I failed the exam twice, both times by the slimmest of margins after studying for many hours per week for double digit weeks on each test. This book was pretty much the last thing that I had not covered, so I gave it a try. After dedicating two weeks straight to read the book from cover to cover, I passed the exam in the above target category. It's clear that this book was the difference, and no way that I can't give it 5 stars. You should still reference the PEMBOK (read that from front to back also), but this is a much easier read. Very conversational in tone and practical in nature. Each person will read this book differently since it focuses on identifying the gaps in your own experience/knowledge versus the test material. That exposes what you should key in on. It also gives invaluable notes on what to expect and how to interpret the different questions on the exam. Chapters 4-13 match the PEMBOK knowledge areas, along with chapter tests, however there are two chapters dedicated to understanding the perspective of the exam questions, and tips for taking the test. It's a thick book, but well worth the money and time if you are serious about the PMP goal. This is not to say that all you need to do is solely read this book and take the test in 2 weeks, however this book should DEFINETLY be part of the test prep to get the most out of your effort. I walked in the third test with a calmness and confidence during the test that I had not had prior.
I never review anything ever, but I had to share my gratitude for this text. I passed the PMP on my first try yesterday and can confidently say it was thanks to this text. I read the PMBOK, but it was so dry and I heard that it doesn't cover everything that you need to know. Rita's book helped me understand project management conceptually and covered all of the areas that were needed for the exam. I read this book thoroughly once and completed the activities, then skimmed it again for context and clarification in areas I had difficulty with (hello manage v control quality!!). If you plan to take the PMP, just buy this book. It's an absolute essential!
This book is wonderful prep material. My gameplan was 1) Read this book and highlight important parts 2) Read some parts of the PMBOK as suggested in the book 3) Read this book again and type up the most valuable material in Evernote (probably a couple of pages a chapter) and 4) do 1,000 practice questions from PM Prepcast -- bought their simulator software for $139 -- I can't say how extremely useful that was to practice and their explanations are top notch. Between this book and the practice sim I barely read any of the PMBOK and passed the test the first time with Above Target in all domains!!