How Does Our PMP Prep Course Compare with Other Schools?You may have found PMP Prep courses at other schools for less and wonder why you should pay more for our class. You might not need to. Ask these questions to decide if there is value in the extras that we offer.
1 - Will you help me understand the exam application?
2 - How many students will be in my class?
3 - Is a PMBOK® Guide included?
4 - Is a study guide included?
5 - Can I check my email during lunch and breaks?
6 - How many sample exam questions will I get?
7 - Is there a lending library?
8 - Are other study materials provided?
9 - What are the course notes like?
10 - Will I meet other PMPs besides my instructor?
11 - Is the classroom comfortable?
12 - Are lunch or snacks included?
13 - Who will be in the class with me?
14 - Small class hospitality?
15 - Can I speak with my instructor before and/or after class?
16 - How long has the instructor taught this class?
17 - Has the instructor contibuted to the PMBOK® Guide (core exam material)?
1 - Will you help me understand the exam application?You might get lucky with an instructor that will spend some individual time with you. I generally spend an hour or two with each student individually either prior to class or after class. (That's me helping a student on the right.) Much of the time is spent reviewing the application in detail and answering student questions.
I supply an excellent spreadsheet to help you determine your hours and months of project experience. A spreadsheet is necessary for anyone that has more than a few projects to claim; so necessary that students often come to me with one they already started on their own.
You might ask, "How hard is the application?" Many people find it a daunting task. For those who have to claim many small projects, it can be many days of work. Students regularly thank me for the spreadsheet because it makes it so much easier to prepare their exam application.
2 - How many students will be in my class?Many classes in the area are seminars involving 25, 40 or even 60 students in a class. QCP classes are limited to 4 students. Our students tell us often - before and after class - that the small group made a big difference to them. (1)
PMP Prep students are managers and many have not been to 'school' in many years. For some people, learning in a classroom setting is not for them. We are a small informal group, students feel comfortable asking questions and interacting with the instructor throughout.
3 - Is a PMBOK® Guide included?Many schools, including ours, include this book (key material for the PMP exam), but some do not. It is about $55 CAN. Do you need this book?
Since it is the core material for the exam, it is hard to do without it, but one can get a soft copy by being a member of PMI® ($139 USD). Some students may find that borrowing one from a friend or colleague will work for them.
A survey on PMI's website showed that only 25% of PMPs read the PMBOK® Guide, but most read some of it and use the remainder in a reference-like fashion. How did these PMPs learn the material? From prep classes and/or third-party study guides.
Having said that, because the PMBOK® Guide is included with your PMI membership, and you need your membership anyway because it is the least expensive way to apply for the exam, most students choose an alternative book that we offer. It is the User's Manual to the PMBOK® Guide FIfth Edition, also by PMI (and Whiley). This way, they get an extra book that explains the material in the PMBOK® Guide in an easier to understand format. Although it is more expensive, we are happy to supply the alternative to those who wish to have it.
Some students have previously bought their own PMBOK® Guide or one of the recommended study guides also included with the class. In this case, we are happy to provide a discount for the cost of the books.
4 - Is a study guide included?A good study guide is invaluable. I estimate that 95% of PMPs used a study guide as core study material. Since there are many guides on the market, I have decided to include a choice of three good ones with the class to ensure students use one of the most respected guides.
A good study guide is between $45 and $120 CAN. You might borrow one from the library (hard to get) or a friend or colleague. If you do, be careful to get one that is based on the latest edition of the PMBOK® Guide (currently Fifth).
We provide a discount for those who already have their own study guide.
5 - Can I check my email during lunch and breaks?Internet access is available from several computers. Although it's not required for class, feel free to bring your own laptop. The office is WiFi enabled and there are many places in the classroom to plug in.
6 - How many sample exam questions will I get?Everyone needs to practice exam Q&A's. We include a 250 Q&A companion guide to the PMBOK® Guide from PMI that is valued at approximately $33 CAN.
The study guides included with the class also include between 400 and 800 sample exam questions. Extra Q&A's are included throughout the course notes and at end of chapters.
A CD is supplied with the class. A list of free online practice questions is one of the many extra study resources on the CD. In addition, you may find the online crossword puzzles prepared by our school a nice way to study.
You will not need to buy any other practice questions or study materials with our class. Besides the course fee, the only thing you will need to pay for is the exam application ($544 US that includes a PMI membership) to PMI. After that, the only thing you need is time and motivation to study.
7 - Is there a lending library?Many students find additional PMP Prep books and study materials helpful. Our lending library consists of additional books and CD's with practice questions, as well as, sample project management forms. Students never have to spend money for extra study materials.
The library includes materials by renowned authors like Kim Heldman, Harold Kerzner, Andy Crowe, Rita Mulcahy, Joseph Phillips, Cynthia Snyder Stackpole any many others. In addition, for those who like magazines, we carry several years' back copies of the PM Network® Magazine and Project Management Journal®, both published by the Project Management Institute, for students to take home to keep. These magazines are excellent to familiarize with very large projects and the large project mentality expected on the exam.
8 - Are other study materials provided?18 puzzles/flash cards are included with our class.
They are excellent for after-class review and final memory work for your final exam preparation. It is hard to retain information from reading. Using puzzles makes memory work much easier. (2)
9 - What are the course notes like?Excellent. They have been reviewed by hundreds of students and instructors and are continually updated to provide the best learning experience. Approximately 180 pages of course notes are in a tabbed binder.
The majority are handouts of the actual PowerPoint slides presented during class. Chapter Q&As, additional handouts, a section for your own notes and a handy quick reference bookmark are included. Students don't need to bring anything to class except a rested mind and body ready for a full day of learning.
10 - Will I meet other PMPs besides my instructor?We spice it up and bring in an experienced PMP who is a Project or Program Manager. They will present one of the project management areas of knowledge while your regular class instructor adds information as needed.
Guest speakers are alumni enjoying an opportunity to meet you, as well as earn professional developement units required for their continued PMP certification. Students find this experience a definite plus and we find that networking with PMPs helps us all stay in touch with the latest practices and trends in project management. (3)
11 - Is the classroom comfortable?Looking at our class pictures with testimonials, you will find that many students wanted to comment on our comfortable room setup. There is a couch and desks. In the summer, we enjoy lunch on the balcony. Students who smoke can enjoy the balcony chairs outside although many like to stand and stretch their legs while enjoying the view.
12 - Are lunch or snacks included?This varies greatly by school. We serve a hot and healthy lunch that's often prepared onsite; more spices - no problem. We do our best to accommodate special diets like vegetarian or halal. All-day snacks include coffee, tea, juice, pop, a variety of sweet snacks and fresh fruits.
Since this is a boot camp, a relaxing lunch is important. Having a full-hour sitdown lunch with the group rather than packing a lunch or running to the mall is something that many students appreciate.
Lunch is also a good time to network with your classmates or just enjoy their company. Your instructor may join you for lunch, too. Many students have developed continuing friendships or continue to study together after class is done.
13 - Who will be in the class with me?We don't just take anyone with a credit card. Students are screened by the instructor before being accepted in the class. The instructor ensures students have the background needed to effectively participate in the class group and pass their PMP exam.
We do not take government sponsored students.
14 - Small class hospitality?Because we've consistently run classes with small groups of professionals (over 5 years at this location), we were able to setup a special environment just for PMP Prep classes and can say yes more easily. Do you have an aspirin? Can you give me some advice on my resume or ideas on job hunting in my area? Since I already have a supplied book, can I get a discount? Can I borrow an extra study guide?
These typical questions are all yes at QCP and less likely to be yes at larger schools. A few times, students were able to help a classmate by agreeing to adjust class times for interviews or emergencies so their classmates didn't miss valuable class time.
15 - Can I speak with my instructor before and/or after class?Yes. Please feel free to contact your instructor by email or phone. Sometimes an extra visit with your instructor might be just what you need. Smile. Those students who send the most emails tend to be the first ones to get their PMP. I am rewarded for the extra time I spent when I get the excited emails and phone calls that they passed!
16 - How long has the instructor taught this class?Many schools contract instructors who are PMPs between projects. Michele J. Jones, PMP, our instructor has taught this PMP Certification Prep class for over 10 years.
She taught the PMBOK® Guide 2000, 3rd, 4th, and now 5th Editions. She also reviewed the exposure draft and contributed to the 4th and 5th Editions of the PMBOK® Guide (see pages 490 and 499 for her name), as well as, PMI®'s standards for Organizational Project Management Maturity Model Second Edition, and the Practice Standard for Project Estimating.
Michele also serves on the Professional Advisory Committee at the Sheridan School of Business's Project Management Division in Ontario Canada. We invite you to view Michele's profile on Linked In.
17 - Has the instructor contibuted to the PMBOK® Guide (core exam material)?Michele has contributed and is greatly interested in the development of this ANSI Standard and guiding light to the project management profession. You will see ‘Michele J. Jones, PMP’ on pages 490 and 499 of the Fifth Edition. She has also contributed to PMI's The Practice Standard for Project Estimating and Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) Second Edition.
Although our course is not the cheapest, we are confident that you will find our course to be the best value in the area. This is backed up by many student testimonials. We feel confident that we provide the best learning experience for someone preparing to sit the PMP exam.
We are a specialized school that cares about each and every student's individual needs. Preparing people to write their PMP exam is our predominate form of income. I'd be honoured to help you on your PMP journey.
(1) Due to student illness or otherwise missing class, up to 2 days of the 5 class days, could have a 5th makeup student
(2) Beyond Bells and Whistles: Retention Rate Model. College Home - College of Charleston. Web. 30 June 2010.
(3) Occasionally, we are unable to book a guest speaker.