5 Recommended Books for PMP Certification

Books for PMP Certification

Image credit: flickr CC:thekellyscope

So you decided to get PMP Certification credentials,
and now in search to find the best books for PMP Certification Exam preparation.

Although, there are a plethora of books available to help you prepare for PMP Exam,
but I choose some of the best books for pmp exam preparation that have helped many aspirants pass the tedious exam on their first try.

These books are not only recommended for aspirants seeking pmp credential but are good reference guides for project manager’s or someone interested in Project Management.

They could be a nice handy collection for your library or desk.

1: PMP Exam Prep, Eight Edition: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam by Rita Mulcahy (Jun 12, 2013).

Rita Mulcahy book

Rita’s book is very well organized and give you an insight of how real project management is done and what pmi expect from you.

When you start reading the book, you will feel as if Rita is talking to you. Besides lots of text, the book has pretty charts, graphs and lots of images.

Although I don’t agree its alignment with PMBOK wise chapter explanation but they done a fabulous job by not only explaining PMBOK but helping you achieve success in pmp exam.
Get it from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nBsQGF

2: PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman Eighth Edition (July 1, 2013).

PMP project management professional exam 5th edition
Kim Heldman book is another bestselling book and highly recommended for PMP Exam Preparation.
Some of the key feature in this book are its focus on important topics in each chapter and guidance on what need to done before you appear and the project case study at the end of each chapter is extremely helpful.
Get it from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1o0V2n2

3: Head First PMP: Old Title: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman (Jan 22, 2014).

A brain friendly guide 2nd edition
This book is by all means different from other pmp books and the brain friendly title definitely resonate with the book content. The book has less words and more visuals. The book is full of visually rich images and pictures that definitely will help you stick the concepts in mind.

Unfortunately, the book is not yet available and seems you have to wait for another couple months while I am writing this post, but you can,
Pre-Order from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nBt6Wk

4: CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-In-One Exam Guide, Third Edition by Joseph Phillips.

All in one Camp PMP Exam
This book is helpful for both PMP and CaPM Exam, it’s well organized and PMBOK has been explained in easy to read and understandable language.

The book has lots and lots of questions, which will give you confidence and boost your morale as you proceed with your preparation.

Get it from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JUBLh0

5: PMBOK: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition by Project Management Institute (Jan 1, 2013).

pmbok 5th edition
PMBOK is dull, dry and hard to consume but one cannot live without it. You will have to read PMBOK in order to understand Project Management concepts, definitions and terms.
Get it from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1o0VP7m


All the PMP Books mentioned above follow PMBOK’s way of explaining the concepts via Knowledge Area’s while I prefer and recommend studying Process Group and the reason is, in the real PMP Exam, you will be tested based on Process Group and not Knowledge Area.

Also in real life, we perform projects via the Process Group method, It’s a bit confusing and frustrating but that’s how PMBOK teaches us.
Go grab, any book mentioned above and ace pmp exam.

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8 Responses to 5 Recommended Books for PMP Certification

  1. Sanya December 11, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    Hi, Amir, first I would like to say that I admire your work and effort you put into this site… Your patience in answers on some really odd questions is admirable :). I have been reading the PMBOK and Rita and some other materials, but as you said they are all knowledge areas based (I suppose it is the best way to organize a lot of materials). In this post you said Process Group based approach is a real life approach and I agree… I just wanted to ask you (aha, here you will get some odd question from me :)) how can someone use that approach in studying for PMP exam? I always compare guides from PMBOK with real life projects, but I fail in organizing my knowledge in that way… That is why this process approach you mentioned triggered my comment. Maybe you have more tips about it? Thanks!

    • Amir Abbas December 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Hello Sanya,

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂
      The whole idea of PMBOK is to compare or recall your project that you have done or currently been doing.

      e.g: If you start with Knowledge Areas and try to implement it on your real project, what happens is: You are in the Project Integration Phase, You Initiate a Project and then you close the project in the same phase (It makes no sense to me at least) 🙂
      On the other hand,
      When you start studying via the Process Group, you start with the Initiation Phase, then planning and finally Closing process Group.

      But your real project may not have all the 47 processes, and that’s perfectly fine. 47 processes should not all be a necessary part of a project.
      All you have to know and understand, what’s done in Initiation, Planning , Execution, M&C and closing ..

      Hope it answer your query, if not, shoot a reply 🙂

      • Sanya December 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        Yes, definitely it makes more sense – for example, for the Initiation phase I need to consider only Project charter and Identifying stakeholders 🙂 (according to the PMBOK). The most of the work is in the Planning phase where is very important what comes when in the planning process… Anyway, thanks for the explanation and keep the good work :)!

        • Amir Abbas December 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

          Thanks and welcome..

          • Sam January 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

            Hi Amir. Do you offer classes or one on one training

          • Amir Abbas January 25, 2015 at 11:21 am #

            Hello Sam,
            I only offer bootcamp classes in Pakistan.
            and online classes via skype to individuals from round the world.

            Kind regards,

  2. Joe July 4, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Rita’s PMP and headFirst PMP are quite popular.
    But I will definitely add another top book in the list:

    Brainy People’s Guide To PMP® Credential.

    Combination of any of the two books mentioned above would work.
    Especially any book with Brainy People’s guide as it summarises everything.
    I read PMBOK® Guide (5th edition) and Brainy People’s guide, it even covers some topic which are not clearly mentioned in PMBOK® Guide, but essential for exam.

    Rita’s PMP is excellent, but it fails to clarify ITTO sometimes, HeadFirst PMP is good, but to focus on the drawings and simplicity, it skips many important points. On the other hand, Brainy People’s Guide summarises everything in 255 points, amazingly simple.

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