The exam wasn’t as easy as I expected, however, with proper preparation and the required experience you can pass it. A good course of project risk management and/or a PMI-RMP preparation course can also help you. Just make sure the course teacher is a PMI-RMP credential holder with real-world risk management experience. If you don’t have experience leading project risk management efforts it may be complicated for you given several questions are about real-world scenarios or situations where you have to think about what would be the best thing to do in each situation. In addition, as you will read later on, having risk management experience is a PMI requirement to apply for this exam.
The time that you need to prepare for the exam depends on your starting point, meaning how much you know about the PMBOK® Guide and your experience in risk management. You don’t need to be PMP or CAPM credential holder but if you are, you have an advantage given the PMI-RMP exam also includes some project management generic questions (this is because as a project risk manager you also need to know about how to work in projects in general). This means that you will see some questions about project risk management, stakeholders, procurement, communications, etc. Needless to say, the exam focus is on risk management.
I prepared the exam in one month but I am a PMP credential holder, I specialize in risk management, and I wrote the book Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects, and besides that I have been a facilitator of PMI Mega Certification Events where PMP exam questions are developed; all of this gave me a great expertise in this field, but I know this is not the case of everybody, thus, I suggest that you dedicate yourself for two or three month to study risk management, and one month to focus on answering exam questions.
In order to apply to the PMI-RMP exam, you must be eligible. This means that you need to meet some certification requirements in regards to your education, project risk management experience, and project risk management education. Below I indicate which these requirements are. Click the tab corresponding to your education, if you have a bachelor’s degree (four-year degree or more) or a secondary degree (less than four years).
You don’t need to be a PMP or CAPM credential holder to apply for the PMI-RMP exam. However, given the PMI-RMP exam has questions about project management in general, I recommend that if you are not a PMP/CAPM credential holder, study a PMP/CAPM preparation book to be ready for project management questions. If you are a PMP/CAPM credential holder, then review your PMP/CAPM preparation materials. Make sure that when you study or review those materials, they are aligned to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition, not to prior editions.
The PMI-RMP exam is comprised of 170 multiple-choice questions. Of those questions, 20 are considered pretest questions and do not affect the exam score, they are considered as a way to test future questions. The allotted time to complete the exam is 3.5 hours, and it tests your knowledge and experience on the following DOMAINS and areas:
I had read that at the exam, many people fail in questions regarding communications and/or soft skills, so when I prepared for my exam, I focused on reinforcing those topics. In my Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects book I wrote two entire chapters dedicated to risk communications. Other sources of information to reinforce those topics are the chapters corresponding to Human Resources, Stakeholders, and Communications at the PMBOK Guide and in PMP/CAPM preparation books. The exam dynamic is similar to other PMI credential exams. It includes questions where you need memorization, scenario-based questions to test your experience and reasoning, questions with formulas or computations, as well as questions to test your knowledge of concepts and theory. I recommend that you memorize the inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques from risk management and communications management chapters of the PMBOK Guide. You will need to know a series of risk management formulas. All the rest can be studied and reasoned without the need to memorize. My Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP book has all the formulas, tips, key terms list, etc. that you need to know and/or memorize for the exam. Below I indicate where you can study each exam domain:
(*) Exam questions at: Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP book or PMI-RMP Online Simulator. NOTE: Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real World Projects must be in its SECOND or THIRD edition to be valid for this exam, FIRST edition is not applicable. PMBOK Guide applicable edition is the FIFTH edition only.
At the end of the online exam, you will know if you passed it or not. Based on your performance, you will be assigned one of the following three levels of proficiency for each domain:
PMI requires a project risk management education of 30-hours (if you have a bachelor’s degree) or 40-hours (if you have a secondary degree). You can meet this requirement either with a project risk management course and/or with a PMI-RMP preparation course. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree and you have two project risk management courses that in total add to 30 hours, then you meet the requirement and you don’t need to attend a PMI-RMP preparation course. PMI doesn’t require that you attend a PMI-RMP prep course, it requires that you attend a course in the specialty area of project risk management. Thus, a PMI-RMP prep course is valid to meet this requirement but it isn’t the only way to meet it. You can also have risk management training via several courses and thus you sum up all of their durations. For example, you have a bachelor’s degree and a certificate from my 16-hour Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects workshop + a certificate from my 8-hour Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP workshop + 6 hours of a risk management course at your university. This adds to 30 hours of risk management education and is valid to meet this requirement. It is NOT a PMI requirement that the courses that you attend are from R.E.P.s (Registered Education Provider of PMI). They must be delivered by a PMI-RMP credential holder teacher but they don’t need to be from a training company that is R.E.P. Feel free to contact me if you desire to organize a PMI-RMP prep course in your company anywhere in the world in English or Spanish, either face-to-face or virtually. You can also consult my calendar to see if I have scheduled training close to your location. My two training offerings regarding this preparation are Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects workshop, and Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP workshop.
Below I share how I studied and what I believe led me to pass with proficiency levels in most domains. I also recommend the study materials (some of those I developed them when I was preparing for my exam). My PMI-RMP certification prep pack is described below and if you have this pack plus the PMBOK Guide, you DO NOT NEED ANYTHING ELSE to be successful in your exam.
Click each of the three tabs below to read about each material:
Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects–3rd Ed. book: I recommend it as MANDATORY in your prep pack given it is the only book in the market that has all the risk management topics specified by PMI in its latest exam content outline. All the exam questions I had belonged to topics covered in this book. There is no other risk management book in the market that in only one textbook contains all these topics. However, this is not a questions and answers book, this is the book you need to learn about risk management and to apply it in practice. It is not a recipes book like “memorize this” or “do that” but it gets deeper into risk management and shows real-world examples, and this is where the book made the difference in passing with the highest levels of proficiency because that helps you understand deeply each concept so questions seem easier to you given you will be able to reason them and to pass more experiential questions, as the book shares real cases and experiences.In addition, this book covers tools that are asked in the exam but they aren’t covered neither in the PMBOK Guide nor in the PMI risk management standard. Standards only define things but don’t explain them and PMI-RMP prep books covered some of those tools but not all of them, and covered them superficially. To pass an exam you really need to know the topics, superficial treatment is not enough to increase your success chances. So this book not only describes in detail what you need to know about each tool, but also provides examples of them, with their advantages and disadvantages. This book also includes how to use some tools using software, this will help you answer more questions. At the exam you’ll see questions asking which risk response strategy was used, and this book will help you a lot with that given it has the most comprehensive coverage of positive risks and their responses. All risk management formulas that you need to know are in it.
The book is available in print in Spanish and English. Kindle edition was discontinued. The only place where you can purchase this book is in this website. We ship to all countries.
The PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition is PMI’s project management standard aligned to the latest edition of the PMI-RMP exam. It is MANDATORY in your prep pack. If you hold a PMI credential, you are already familiar with it. If you don’t, you need to study it at least once, given the PMI-RMP exam has questions about any of the knowledge areas contained in it. To avoid reading it in its entirety and given I am PMP certified, I just reviewed my PMP exam prep notes to refresh key concepts from all project management knowledge areas.
Despite being or not a PMP/CAPM, I advise you to read once the chapters of risk, communications, and stakeholder management. In addition, memorize the chart listing ALL inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques from these three areas of knowledge. Procurement is also an important chapter in the context of risk management.
Be aware that PMI-RMP exam questions go beyond the PMBOK Guide content, this is why I also recommend my risk management book, because it is not enough to study only the PMBOK Guide to prepare for your exam.
Many people fail in the exam because they only focus on risk management topics and don’t study other project areas. You must refresh your knowledge on all project management areas. E.g. I had questions about WBS, types of contracts, earned value management, etc. These questions test if despite knowing about risk management, you also know about project management.
This standard is not sold by Liliana Buchtik. Visit PMI.org Store to purchase it. If you are a PMI member you have free access to its digital version.
After you are familiar with all the theory needed, you just need to practice with exam questions. To do that you have two options, either you buy a book with exam questions, or you buy an exam simulator. One of these two elements is MANDATORY to test yourself and to pass successfully your exam.
Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP book has 300 exam questions and answers with explanations as needed and bibliographical references. It has tips, the description of each exam domain, the list of terms that you need to know, formulas requested, and the indication of what you need to memorize. There are no other PMI-RMP books in the market with as many questions as this one. 300 questions is more than enough, you don’t need to look for more questions than these ones. This book is like having a simulator in a book. It is available in paperback format and only sold in this site. It is an inexpensive option to practice questions without using a simulator. It is also great for those who like to mark and take notes while practicing questions, and those who want to study when they are offline, or when they are tired of being in a computer with a simulator.
My PMI-RMP Online Simulator has 400 exam questions and answers and is chosen by those who like to simulate the online exam with questions and answers that replicate the real computer based exam scenario, and they also like to answer questions under the time pressure. It indicates the time left to end the exam. At the end of your simulation you’ll your exam results and will be able to review your wrong answers.
WARNING: there are outdated PMI-RMP books and simulators in the market. Their questions are old (were published some years ago) or follow the prior exam structure and content. DO NOT run the risk of preparing yourself using old questions! All questions in this book and simulator are up-to-date with the current format and content of the PMI-RMP exam.
Despite knowing all the theory or having attended a risk management course, you’ll need to practice with many up-to-date exam questions. So you either need a book or a simulator with exam questions. Questions are the same either in print or in an online software. The difference lays in the investment. It is cheaper to buy a book than it is to buy a simulator. However, the simulator in addition offers you a replica of the computer based exam scenario and allows you to practice under time pressure. It also give you the percentage of right and wrong questions, etc. If you will take a paper base exam you may practice with a book, but if you will take a computer base exam, then you may practice with a simulator. The other difference between study from a book or a simulator is that when you purchase a paperback book, you need to wait for the shipping time. When you buy a simulator you can access the questions faster as it only takes up to 48 hours at a maximum to receive access to your online simulator. My PMI-RMP simulator has more questions than my PMI-RMP book has.
For offer options to prepare your exam for both, those who like to study with books and those who prefer simulators. You can check out my Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP book, and my PMI-RMP Online Simulator. The quality of questions is the same in either product. It is up to your budget and your urgency to start practicing.
The Practice Standard for Risk Management is PMI’s standard for project risk management. You don’t need to read it for the exam if you use my PMI-RMP prep pack because it is in an initial (first) edition and only addresses tools rather superficially. E.g. analytic hierarchy process tool is mentioned at a high-level but not explained, so if you are not familiar with it, you’ll need to look for more information elsewhere. Furthermore, the PMI-RMP exam has questions about tools that are not mentioned in this standard. What is more, there is content in this standard that isn’t in sync with the PMBOK Guide. So don’t worry about reading this standard, all the content that you need for the exam is in my Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects book. If for other reasons you want to check it out, this standard is accessible for free to PMI members in its digital edition.
I hope you have now a better idea of the PMI-RMP and hope my Secrets to Mastering Risk Management in Real-World Projects book, Secrets to Passing the PMI-RMP book, and/or my PMI-RMP Online Simulator make a positive impact in your exam preparation so you can pass it on your first try! I wish you all success in your exam and contact me if you need training.