Social media has been awash with info on the changes to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam that take effect in June 2020.
My inbox has been full of people asking what they should do. Take the exam now or wait until the new version? Because it will be different.
My advice is if you know you want to do the PMP exam, do it now before the changes come in.
This article is an honest PM PrepCast review and gives you the lowdown on one of the top courses I recommend for PMP prep. Let’s get you started and on the way to certification with the PrepCast!
Scroll down for the latest PM PrepCast coupon code to get a discount on your training.
- What is the Project Management PrepCast?
- What’s included in the PM PrepCast?
- Who is the Project Management PrepCast for?
- PM PrepCast Exam Simulator Review
- Claiming PDUs
- Refund Policy
- PM PrepCast coupon
- Summary & Recommendation
- Recommended CAPM and PMP Prep Books
The changes to the exam content don’t actually look that sweepingly different, but with any new exam comes a period of adjustment for candidates and examiners, and testing how the questions score. It’s possible that “settling in period” might influence how you feel and perform in the exam.
Why not spend the next few months getting ready and then just do the exam? Get it out the way before the end of the year. And start benefiting from the career prospects of having letters after your name!
It can be insanely difficult to find time to study, especially when you are working. That’s why I love the Project Management PrepCast as an exam prep tool for both PMP prep and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®, because the learning comes in bite-sized chunks. I’ve been doing the PMP prep course myself, albeit incredibly slowly!
I’m a Fellow of the Association for Project Management in the UK and hold several other certifications relevant to project management in the UK, so I’ve never really felt a need to get PMP certification as well. But 2020 might be the year to do it!
So, what’s this course I’m doing and recommending to you?
What is the Project Management PrepCast?
The Project Management PrepCast is an incredibly popular, formal, online 35-hour training course from Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM. His company is a Registered Education Provider for PMI, so you know the course has been vetted and is top quality.
The course meets the PMI requirements for formal project management education and provides you with a certificate for evidence in case your PMP application is audited.
The course is delivered via video and audio, through an online course platform. You login, and everything is there for you inside one website.
When you login for the first time, this is what you see:
What’s included in the PM PrepCast?
The course comes with:
- Over 50 hours of webinars
- Access to the online forum to discuss your study plans with other students
- A free email course to help you stay on track
- Access to an exam simulator with 1,600+ questions
And most importantly:
- A 35 contact hour certificate!
Having the certificate is a must if you want to apply for the PMP® exam and either don’t have any prior project management education or can’t be bothered to dig out all those certificates from years ago to evidence your education.
What the course is like
Here’s an image from my iPad of what you get when you login. You can use the contents list and mark items as complete. For me, that list acts as my study plan.
Who is the Project Management PrepCast for?
The PrepCast is a full exam prep course for PMP® aspirants.
If you want to prepare for and take the PMP® exam, this is the course for you.
PM PrepCast Exam Simulator Review
I recommend you get the version with the exam simulator. It is so hard to pass a 4 hour exam with no exam practice. Even if you know all the topics inside out, you need to have exam skills to get you through the hours in the exam room.
The last time I did an exam it was an essay paper. Test taking online is a different skill set. You need to be able to navigate through the questions, confidently skipping the questions you don’t know and then going back to them at the end when you have more time.
There is a PrepCast bundle that comes with the course itself and access to the simulator. Get that one, the Elite version.
And don’t worry if you think it is going to take you a while to get round to using the exam simulator. Your 90-day access to the test exams only starts when you start your first exam, so you can study, and then test yourself when you are ready.
I have used the exam simulator too, and I think it’s very realistic. At the moment, the simulator includes a strikethrough feature, which was something available on the Prometric testing centre system. As I understand it, the new Pearson Vue testing centre system doesn’t have a strikethrough feature.
I asked Cornelius about this and his team is looking at what it would take to update the simulator to remove the strikethrough option. Meanwhile, I would recommend you don’t practice using strikethrough in your mock exams, so you don’t rely on it in the real thing.
I found the course easy to use and very comprehensive.
The course content has been designed by PMP® certificate holders. The material is clear and easy to understand, presented in a logical order.
I liked that I can do it in my own time, without the effort of going to the classroom. With my job, there is no way that I could take a week out for study, which is effectively what you’d have to do (at least) to get through all the material in a classroom setting.
It’s reasonably priced.
The customer service is amazing and the team is really helpful.
And… I probably shouldn’t judge a course on this but…Cornelius’s voice is lovely! And I enjoyed his gentle sense of humour too.
Some of the videos are quite long. I am more used to studying with videos that are more like 10-15 minutes. That says more about my attention span than the course material, and you can obviously pause the videos and go back later to watch the second half.
Many of the lessons are split up into multiple videos, but they are more like 20-30 minutes long. That’s still short enough to fit one into a commute or lunch break.
You have to remember to do the work. With any online course, it’s your responsibility to login and study. If you struggle to motivate yourself, you’d be better off with a classroom course.
I think the design of some of the slides for the webinars is old-fashioned.
Here’s an example slide so you can see what I mean.
I mean, it’s OK, but it doesn’t look modern to me. So – know you are getting the course for the content, not the style! Wouldn’t you rather the price was low instead of funding a fancy design team?
If you are not yet a PMP, you do not need to claim PDUs (Professional Development Units – PMI’s scheme for continuing professional development).
However, if you want to brush up your skills, for example, refresh your knowledge against the latest version of the PMBOK® Guide then you can claim PDUs if you take the PM PrepCast. It could be a fast, interesting and relatively cheap way to gain all your PDUs for one recertification cycle in one go.
I know buying a course is a big deal, even one as reasonably priced as this. The Project Management PrepCast comes with an iron-clad refund policy. If it isn’t for you, you can ask for a full refund at any point in the first 90 days. No questions asked.
That makes it a safe bet!
PM PrepCast coupon
Summary & Recommendation
If you’re on the fence, there are three options as I see it:
- You carry on as you are, looking for a way to finally get your CAPM or PMP
- You buy the Prepcast, you don’t like and you’ll get a refund (full 90 day refund, no questions asked)
- You buy the Prepcast, do the course and (hopefully) pass the exam (of course you will, be positive!).
I recommend this course, if you are prepared to be self-motivated and do the work.
If you need someone else to hold you accountable, or you are too busy to find time to schedule your study, then this course isn’t going to work out for you.
What are you going to do with your next few months? I’ll be squeezing in some study time!
Recommended CAPM and PMP Prep Books
- The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe
- PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy
- CAPM Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy
- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide from PMI