In Search of the Best PMP Book

Do you want to take the PMP exam and need a PMP prep book for self-study? In this article, we will compare 3 books and tell you which one is the best PMP book.

Finding Best PMP Book

Many PMP candidates are not really available to take both online PMP training and PMP classroom training (live class) but they would like to prepare for PMP certification. In this section, we will provide you with the general characteristics of a good book and study materials as below,

1. The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, Sixth Edition by Andy Crowe

The good point of this PMP prep book is that it's easier to read. It's very well-structured and the complex concepts are explained very well. The glossary section is also useful, however, the questions are a bit too easy when compared with the actual questions (according to many previous test takers.)

Our comment is that this is a well-rounded book that everyone can use for exam preparation easily.

2. Head First PMP: A Learner's Companion to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam, Fourth Edition by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman

If you are a visual learner, you will find this book super easy to digest. The reason is that there are a lot of diagrams and illustrations so difficult concept is broken down for you to study. The exercises at the middle of each chapter are to ensure that you understand the concepts every step of the way.

Our comment is that this is the PMP prep book that is the easy-to-read book for even beginners.

3. PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide, Ninth Edition by Kim Heldman

This PMP prep book uses the case study method to teach project management knowledge. If you love case studies, you will find this book really useful and easy to read. However, it explains concepts by project management processes instead of knowledge areas (as in the Project Management Body of Knowledge - PMBOK.)

Our comment is that this is one of the top books for the executive level, busy people and working professionals.

PMP Book Ranking

Since each PMP prep book has both a strong point and weak point, we believe it is necessary to compare them in a systematic manner as below,

- First, we determine the quality of each book by using citation analysis. Citation count tells you how many times each book is used as a reference by other related publications.

- Then, we determine the influence of the author. The basic idea is that the influential author should have many books cited by other publications. From our perspective, the author who writes 10 books but only has one successful book is not considered an influential author. To track the influence of each book author, we use the metric called H-Index. The high H-Index score means the particular author has many books that get cited by many publications.

- After that, we determine how much each book is used. We check how many copies of each book are stored in the libraries worldwide. To track the numbers of copies, we use the WorldCat database. Numbers of books held in the WorldCat database correlate strongly with the popularity of the book.

- Then, we calculate the composite score of each book using the Citation Count + H Index Score + the Number of Copies Stored in the WorldCat database.

- Finally, we use the editorial decision to choose the best PMP prep book to recommend ( and the book we pick is actually quite popular because it's so easy to read.)

Best PMP Book is as below:

Head First PMP: A Learner's Companion to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam, Fourth Edition by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman

Do you like this PMP book?


- Hirsch, J. E. (2005). An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output. Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences, 102(46), 16569-16572.

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Last review and update: May 27, 2020
All contents are written by Ben Benjabutr unless marked as [Guest Commentary]

About the Author and Editor:
Ben Benjabutr is the author and editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in supply chain management. You can connect with Ben via Twitter, and Quora or drop him a line via e-mail.