I have read the following materials or at least reviewed them enough to give my honest and non-bias feedback to others going through the dilemma I went through while preparing for my PgMP Exam. I think I really over spent on study materials. NOTE: I have NOT passed the PgMP exam at this time, but it appears this review might be helpful to many on this forum.
For quick reference I have give the books, guides, pamphlets a 1-4 star(*) rating. This rating is specific to what I found useful in passing the PgMP. 4-star ratings are a must have and one-star is a nice to have if you want to review additional materials.
(****)1. The Standard for Program Management published by PMI. ($23.50, free to PMI Members, also comes with the FACT Training Solutions study pack mentioned below).Book arranged by Process Group, no sample questions.
(****)2. Crosswind PgMP Exam Review Boot Camp Manual, by Tony Johnson and published by Crosswind. ($75, 648pages, CD) used for in-depth review and concept learning. A true PgMP Study guide. Questions in the book become repetitive and thus I found myself going to the last sentence of the scenario for the true meat of the question. But all in all a very solid study guide. Book arranged by knowledge area, 20 questions at the end of each chapter along with term matching exercises, two 170 practice exam questions. Each answer explained in detail. CD includes copies of matching exercises, answer sheet and other good study material.
(***)3. Crosswind PgMP Flash Cards, by Tony Johnson and published by Crosswind.Good for quick review of concepts and terms. Around 500 flash cards with questions and answers on separate sides of the card.
(***)4. Crosswind PgMP Processes and Mindmaps Placemats, by Tony Johnson and published by Crosswind.Two very nice 11X17 laminated mats that can be used to ensure you get the big pictures and is good for a quick review. http://www.crosswindpm.com
(***)5. Crosswind PgMP Processes Review Audio CD, by Tony Johnson and published by Crosswind. ($24.95, Audio CD) Nice was to reinforce your learning while driving or walking. Covers all process groups and key inputs and outputs. http://www.crosswindpm.com
(***)6. Crosswind PgMP Processes Review Audio CD, by Tony Johnson and published by Crosswind. ($34.95, Audio CD) Nice was to reinforce your learning while driving or walking. Covers PgMP terminology.
(****)7. PgMP Exam Practice Test and Study Guideby J. LeRoy Ward, and Ginger Levin and published by ESI ($45, 276 pages, CD) review to enforce knowledge of conceptsBook arranged by Process Group, 20 questions per group, Only 1-2 page overview for each chapter, two 170 practice exam questions. Each answer explained in detail. CD includes exam questions as well with a timer. Good for exam simulation.
(****)8. Fact Training Solutions Study Pack, includes Sample Questions, Study Guide and Flash Cards ($189, numerous materials) to ensure you are ready for the real exam.This comes with three components in the study pack.
First, the Study Guide
Has a nice section to help you create a plan for studying. Has about 10 fill in the blank questions per section, nice diagrams to enforce the Standard and several other exercises per section.
Secondly, the Flash Cards
Follows the Standard for Program Management section by section. Not really ‘Flash cards’, more of a set of cards you can use to review the Standard.
Thirdly, The Sample Questions
The Sample Questions guide is arranged by Process Group, 10 questions per group, with 170 practice exam. With numerous scenario based type questions. Each answer explained in detail. Best scenario based questions I have seen.
(**)9. PgMP Program Management Professional Exam Study Guide by Dr. Paul Sanghera and published by Sybex ($60, 449 pages, CD) as backup if you feel you need additional reviewBook arranged by Process Group, 60 question assessment exam, ~15 questions per group. CD includes testing engine (good for exam simulation), and copy of book in PDF format.
(**)10. Program Management Professional (PgMP) Exam Examination Specification by The PMI and published by the PMI ($40, 50 pages) as a refresher so the concepts don’t become stalePamphlet arranged Process Group.
(*)11. The Handbook of Program Management by James T. Brown and published by McGraw Hill ($50, 253 pages) more of a practical overview of Program Management. I would suggest this book for someone starting in Program Management. However as a serious study guide for the PgMP I would say it is not a necessity. Book has 10 chapters, but no study questions
(*)12. Program Management Professional (PgMP) A Certification Study Guide with Best Practices for Maximizing Business Results by Craig Letavec and published by J.Ross Publishing ($70,343 pages) more of a practical overview of Program Management. I don’t feel this book really concentrated on ‘passing the PgMP’. As the sub title states on the cover it is more of a ‘Handbook for Program Management Success’. Book has 21 Chapters and 10 review questions at the end of each chapter.
(*)13. PgMP Exam Secrets Study Guide by Morrison Media and published by Morrison Media. ($50, 175 pages). Book has several chapters on general test taking advice. Good if you are not familiar or comfortable in taking standardized tests. Book (PgMP sections) arranged by Process Groups and has not sample questions.
(***)14. Aileen Ellis’ Online Study Questions by AME Group. ($24.95, 74 online questions). Online practice tests that help simulate the real exam. Questions seem to be randomly given and seem to cover all testing areas.
You might be asking yourself, this is nice information to have, but I want to streamline my studying while spending my hard earned money wisely. I would purchase the three items below to get started:
- Crosswind PgMP Exam Review Boot Camp Manual by Tony Johnson: Read it from cover to cover. There is a lot of repetitive materials from chapter to chapter, but it is there to give you a complete overview of the given topic. Much nicer than the author stating… As reviewed in chapter X.
- Fact Training Solutions Study Pack : Review this material cover to cover. In reviewing the questions, understand the answer. Don’t just rush through the tests. Memorizing these questions and answers are not going to help you on the exam. The Standard for Program Management is included in this study pack
- PgMP Exam Practice Test and Study Guide by J. LeRoy Ward, and Ginger Levin: Review this material cover to cover.
If you are curious to see exactly what the PMI has set out as the objective for each section and the weighting for each section, you can purchase the Program Management Professional (PgMP) Exam Examination Specification by The PMI. Although this is more suited for the folks writing the study materials, it never hurts to review it just to ensure you have a level of understanding.
To reinforce your learning while driving, you can purchase the Crosswind audio CDs. The same basic information is in the Crosswind PgMP Exam Review Boot Camp Manual. Good additional questions are available from the Aileen Ellis’ Online Study Questions by AME Group.
If you still feel you need additional training materials get the PgMP Program Management Professional Exam Study Guide by Dr. Paul Sanghera. If you still don’t think you are ready you can read The Handbook of Program Management by James T. Brown and Program Management Professional (PgMP) A Certification Study Guide with Best Practices for Maximizing Business Results by Craig Letavec, However I don’t feel the later two will help you past the exam.
If you have any questions or comments about this information please feel free to contact me at kendallpierceATmail.com. I have been as unbiased as possible and this information is strictly my own opinion. I realize others will have a different opinion.