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Critical path method drill—boost your PMP exam score!

We spend a lot of time talking to people who are preparing for the PMP exam, and one concept that comes up over and over is using the Critical Path Method. Itís a somewhat tricky thing to study. Project managers preparing for the exam often have trouble with it, because itís not just something you can memorize. Which is a shame—because once you understand the ideas behind it, itís really useful... and a quick way to get some extra points on the exam. (Not to mention that it can help you in real life too, by helping you find the activities in your project that have the most risk.)

But even though this material is important, itís often neglected in PMP preparation materials. Weíve found that a lot of people donít understand it very well, and take the exam anyway. And itís not surprising. When we were studying for the PMP exam ourselves, both of us were disappointed with the lack of a good guide to really help you learn these concepts. Itís one thing to memorize a bunch of stuff for test day. But it you really want to get it, you need two things: a good understanding of the real ideas behind critical path analysis, and a lot of practice. Thatís whatís in these pages. Weíll take you through the concepts and their applications, and drill you on your knowledge. By the time you finish this, youíll have a good handle on it... and youíll definitely do better on the exam!

Our partners at OíReilly have set up a free online PMP study forum to help you learn and connect with other people studying for the exam. We both read the forums, and do our best to respond to all of the questions and take part in the discussions. If youíve got questions about the PMBOK® Guide, the exam, or any of the material, please donít hesitate to post a question about it. If you still have questions about finding the critical path or calculating early or late start and finish—or questions about anything else on the exam—thatís a great place to post them. And when youíre ready to test your knowledge, weíve put together a free 200-question practice PMP exam.

One other thing: weíre software project managers, and we write about software development in our weblog, Building Better Software. We also regularly post PMP study tips. You can read it at http://www.stellman-greene.com, and weíd love to hear your comments there as well.

Good luck with the exam!
Jennifer Greene, PMP and Andrew Stellman, PMP
Authors of Head First PMP

Hereís a tip:

If youíre reading this PDF on your monitor, it looks best if you view it in "Two-Up" or "Book" mode, so the pages are side by side. This page should be on the left!

Looking for more help studying for the PMP® exam?

  • Here's a free 200-question practice PMP exam, including explanations of all the answers.

  • The Head First PMP Forums: Our partners at OíReilly and have set up a free online PMP® study forum to help you learn and connect with other people studying for the exam. We both read the forums, and do our best to respond to all of the questions and take part in the discussions. If youíve got questions about the PMBOK® Guide, the exam, or any of the material, please donít hesitate to post a question about it.

  • Building Better Software: Weíre software project managers, and we write about software development in our weblog. We also regularly post PMP® study tips. Weíd love to hear your comments there as well.

  • Free Chapter download: Go to the book page to download the chapter on Risk Management from Head First PMP for free!