PMP®️ Study Resources [updated 2021]

Fakhar Imam
August 1, 2021 by
Fakhar Imam

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Studying is vital before any exam. Knowing which study resources are necessary for your Project Management Professional (PMP) exam helps you concentrate on the primary study material instead of focusing on the irrelevant material. In addition, successful PMP test-takers always benefit from multiple study aids, including self-study, study groups and different courses.

There are several great study materials for preparing and taking the PMP certification exam. Consistently studying the right material can be the difference between passing and failing and can earn you the best possible results in the quickest time.

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PMP Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

What are the best books and study guides for the PMP exam?

The Project Management Institute (PMI), the vendor which oversees the PMP certification, recommends candidates to review self-study books published by Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) and other reputable training organizations.

Below are some valuable books for PMP exam preparation.

"PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition"

“A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge,” or just the "PMBOK Guide," is one of the essential publications of the PMI. The book includes vital information on agile practices along with traditional approaches in this sixth edition. Other additions to this guide incorporate:

  • Tailoring considerations
  • Trends and emerging practices
  • A new section discussing the role of a project manager
  • Concentrating more on strategic and business knowledge

Together, the "PMBOK Guide" and the "Agile Practice Guide" (see below) complement each other and provide a powerful tool for project management services. If a candidate orders a "PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition" in English, they will be able to acquire a complimentary copy of an "Agile Practice Guide."

"Agile Practice Guide"

According to the PMI, many stakeholders associated with the project management industry use agile practices, and many more asked them to focus on related content. To meet the demands of the industry, PMI partnered with Agile Alliance to create the "Agile Practice Guide."

This resourceful guide helps the student understand, evaluate, and use agile and hybrid agile practices to produce better results. The "Agile Practice Guide" is more beneficial for those project managers looking for more agile approaches. Below is the list of sections in this guide:

  • Introduction to agile
  • Life cycle selection
  • Implementing agile — creating the agile environment
  • Implementing agile — delivering the agile environment
  • Organizational consideration for project agility 

The "PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition" and "Agile Practice Guide" are available together in one bundle. However, you can buy the latter separately.

"PMP Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide: 2021 Exam Update 10th Edition"

This book provides new tasks that show agile approaches, changes to best practices, the project manager's critical role and other iterative and adaptive practices. This comprehensive book covers the project manager’s necessary skills, including leadership, business management, strategic management, the PMI Talent Triangle and technical management.

In addition to providing plenty of hands-on, real-world scenarios, the book includes an interactive online learning environment and study tools such as practice exams and electronic flashcards. 

You can buy this book here.

"PMP Project Management Professional Exam Certification Kit: 2021 Exam Update Fifth Edition"

This kit encompasses a pair of books: the "PMP Project Management Professional Exam Deluxe Study Guide, Tenth Edition" and the "PMP Project Management Professional Exam Practice Tests, Second Edition."

The "PMP Project Management Professional Exam Deluxe Study Guide" is another comprehensive study aid for the PMP certification exam. Like other PMP books, this one also covers the agile approach and hands-on, real-world practices. A comprehensive list of topics is given before the start of each chapter. The book covers 100% of the exam outline and related domains:

  • People
  • Process
  • Business environment

The other book, "PMP Project Management Professional Exam Practice Tests," has a total of 1,000 practice test questions that can prepare you for exam success.

You can buy this certification kit here.

"Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook"

If you’re a beginner and don’t know anything so far about the PMP exam, this handbook is for you. This comprehensive guide includes all essential information regarding the policies and procedures for obtaining and maintaining the PMP credential.

You can download this handbook here.

What are the best online resources to prep for the PMP exam?

Exam preparation strategies include looking for online courses. Consider enrolling in a formal study course offered by PMI chapters or accredited Authorized Training Partners. 

When preparing for the PMP exam, students can benefit from some of the online resources mentioned below.

PMI official online course: Introduction to Project Management

Introduction to Project Management is an online, foundational self-paced course that focuses on content outlines of the "PMBOK Guide, Sixth Edition." You can measure your progress through pre- and post-assessment tests. Some of the important concepts of "PMBOK Guide" taught by this course are listed below:

  • Introduction to project management
  • Process groups
  • Develop project schedule
  • Create the project budget
  • Risk management and planning
  • Procurement management
  • Manage project work
  • Project fundamental
  • Plan and obtain resources

This online course is appropriate for several roles, including existing project managers, new project managers and individuals who are working on project teams. More importantly, you will earn 23 PDUs and 2.3 CEUs after completing the course.

PMI official online course: Project Management for Beginners

A free online course that includes foundational topics such as: 

  • The importance of projects
  • How environments influence project success
  • The role of the project manager
  • An introduction to the 10 Knowledge Areas found in the "PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition"

This course provides an overview of project management terminology and “the foundational knowledge necessary to join a project team and can serve as the first step on your path to a project management career.” You will earn four PDUs after completing the course.

PMI official online course: The Complete Agile Project Manager

You have read about the significance of agile approaches in previous sections, and this course also revolves around these practices. This course aims to train individuals, managers and project teams currently using or planning agile practices. This online course helps you to grasp the following topics:

  • Agile project management essentials
  • Adopting an agile approach to project management
  • An overview of agile methodologies
  • Agile planning: project initiating and requirements gathering
  • Agile planning: doing estimates and completing the release plan
  • Planning and monitoring iterations on an agile project
  • Leading an agile team
  • Managing stakeholder engagement on an agile project
  • Ensuring delivery of value and quality in agile projects

“This nine-course series covers the full spectrum of essential aspects to successfully put agile practices into action.” You will earn 17.5 PDUs and 1.75 CEUs after completing the course.

“About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches, and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches,” as mentioned in the exam content outline.

PMI official online course: Certification Maintenance Toolkit

A toolkit that supports the professional development of PMP certification holders, so they are prepared to meet the demands of today’s complex business environment. The toolkit includes: 

  • 49 video-based modules
  • Hundreds of books
  • Book summaries
  • Videos
  • Syndicated content

This self-paced course reinforces key PM concepts, learning new best practices and becoming a more rounded project management professional, making you more attractive to future employers, states You will earn 30 PDUs and three CEUs after completing the course.

What are the best practice exams for the PMP exam?

Mock tests or practice exams are indispensable before an actual exam. Mock tests help candidates learn the PMP exam's quirks, build stamina, alleviate anxiety, identify weak areas, provide opportunities to improve and make you confident in the examination room. Some important practice exams for PMP certification are covered below.

PMP sample test questions

This is a sample exam provided officially by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and shows samples of multiple-choice questions.

PMP exam sample questions

The PM PrepCast has developed a free preparation test with questions taken from the PM Exam Simulator and based on the most current PMP exam content outline for the PMP Exam 2021. This is a good option to practice what you have learned. This video course that you can download to your smartphone or tablet PC for both Android or iOS is by OSP International LLC, a Project Management Institute (PMI) Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) and is a good option for project managers on the go.

What are some dependable forums and discussion boards for studying for the PMP exam?

Are you looking for an expert opinion for your PMP exam? Do you need important material such as notes and past papers from already qualified PMP professionals? Many dependable forums and discussion boards are available online to help you better prepare for your PMP exam. Some places to begin are:

In addition, PMI's Career Central is a hub for knowledge, connections and resources. Get involved to drive your career forward.

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Earn your PMP, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PMP Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

Passing the PMI exam

Study and prepare for the exam so you can become PMP certified



Fakhar Imam
Fakhar Imam

Fakhar Imam is a professional writer with a master’s program in Masters of Sciences in Information Technology (MIT). To date, he has produced articles on a variety of topics including on Computer Forensics, CISSP, and on various other IT related tasks.