The Effectiveness of Various Risk Management (RMP) Exam Study Techniques

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Hello to everyone,

at 12th of October 2016 Mr. Cornelius Fichtner wrote a post about “The effectiveness of various PMP exam study techniques” so I was inspired to write a similar one about RMP exam!

If you want to study for the Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP®) Exam, you probably already know that in order to pass, you need to fully understand the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition” , the “Practise Standard for Risk management” both by Project Management Institute, Inc as well as to choose a good study guide book. All these because Practise Standard for Risk Management in pg 2 is mentioning the below guidence for RMP:


At the beggining of my prep courses I advice my students the following:

  1. Between the lessons, just read the pages of the preparation books that I am giving to them through Study Plans. For example when we finish “Identify Risks” process, just read the appropiate pages. This helps you remember more easily the key points.
  2. After the course has finished and before they start the Mock tests, study in detail at least 2 times the preparation books. Any questions they have about a tool or an output we discuss it but also they must search for anwsers to various textbooks and study guides.
  3. Usualy they are telling me that they spend a lot of time thinking about the number of study techniques that are available so as to follow the proper one.


So lets see some study techniques and some possible alternatives so as to help you pass the RMP exam:

Technique 1

Reading and Highlighting / Underlining the PMBOK Guide and Practise Standard

Reading a text and highlighting or underlining what is important, is a technique many of us learned and used during our school days, so it is a familiar one. But studies have found that although 84% of students use this technique, it is ineffective cause the students are actually more focused on highlighting or underlining text rather than learning the concept. Moreover, it doesn’t help the long term recall of the study material.

Highlighted Section of Book


So the alternative is:

Be more active while reading and try to relate the concept to a real world example (case study) in order to easily recall it when it comes up on the RMP Exam. In our RMP Exam prep classes we discuss a big number of case studies so as to hear the concepts of the instructor but also to learn from the other participants.

Technique 2

 Using Flashcards 

Flashcards are a quick study aid that typically covers one question, formula, or tidbit of information per card. Flashcards provide a great method to be able to spread out learning and easily breakdown RMP concepts into smaller “bite sized” chunks to ensure you review and master the material one concept at a time. Also, you can create your own from taking information out of the PMBOK Guide or other exam prep material, or purchase some.


So the alternative is:

Greate additional flashcards from the mock test questions you answered wrong. Additionaly to your flashcards, you can download and hear a number of audio interviews and podcasts for PMI official sites so as to help you fill in the blancks you have. Cornelius Fichtner podcats are a great source of knowledge.

Technique 3

Taking Notes on the PMBOK Guide and Practise Standard

Taking notes is the act of write down important information while you are in class and also while you reading at home. This technique can be very time consuming and if you take notes that simply regurgitate information then it would be similarly ineffective as highlighting or underlining.


So the alternative is:

Use your notes to create Flashcards in the following way. When taking notes create two columns on a single page where the left column contains the terms and the right column contains the definitions. So you can hide the definitions with one hand and try to repeat them.


Technique 4

 Taking Mock Tests

After reading carefully a couple of times PMBOK and Practise Standard it is time to start practising with Mock Tests. You can test yourself one question at a time or sitting in a quiet location and taking a full length 3,5 hours simulated RMP Exam. You can find free mock tests at internet or buy one.


There is no alternative for Mock tests, you have to take a few. Practice tests are definitely recommended and studies have shown that taking practice tests is a very effective learning technique in a wide array of situations. Self-testing as you read RMP related study material and in parallel using flashcards are both effective methods.


For your RMP Exam preparation spend your time wisely by knowing the best combination of study techniques. Understanding the PMBOK and Practise Standard is fundamental to preparing for the RMP Exam, so you need to read each chapter as actively as possible and learn the concepts from a variety of resources.

Practice tests and distributive practice have been found to be highly effective study techniques, so consider using flashcards and exam simulators when studying for the RMP Exam. The more active rather than passive you are in your learning the better.

Check our new on-line Seminar for RMP here:

On-Line RMP Seminar starts at 22nd of November 2016

Read what participants have said:

Participants comments


Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, President at OSP International LLC, post of 12 October 2016 at Linkedin

* PMP, PMI, PMI-RMP and PMBOK Guide are registered trademarks of Project Management Institute, Inc


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