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Review of the iStudy PMP App for iPhone and iPod Touch

Disclaimer: Though I recommend this product, I am not financially benefiting from this review.

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Main Screen

Questions and Answers

Question and Answer

Result

Correct/Incorrect

The iStudy PMP is an iPhone and iPod Touch application specifically designed to help those aspiring to pass the PMP® Exam.

If you have seen sample questions from the PMP exam, you know the pain points; double-negatives, lengthy questions, what is the “best” answer…  When I prepared for the PMP Exam a few years ago, I spent several hundred dollars for a program that simulated the PMP exam.  I’ll admit, it worked great!  But, what if I could have passed the exam and also saved several hundred dollars?  If this application was around when I was preparing to sit for the exam, I would have purchased it first.

Interface

iStudy PMP contains 200 questions that intend to replicate the PMP exam. The interface is clean and it allows the user to concentrate on answering the questions.  If you come to a question you’re not sure about, you can Mark (skip) it.  I thought I ran into some problems with the Mark feature.  Swiping my finger across the screen didn’t always advance me to the next card.  After some practice, I realized it was just me. The application was working just fine.

Not to get ahead of myself, but there is a results page to see correct/incorrect results.  One thing missing is a similar navigation page showing the skipped questions.  You’re given the opportunity to go though the skipped questions at the end of the exam but you can’t see how many skipped you have.  You just have to go through them one by one.  I contacted the creator of the application and he confirmed this is something to be resolved in a future update.

Tests

iStudy PMP has 4 different modes designed to cater to different learning styles.

Normal – This mode displays all 200 (randomized) questions and allows you to sequentially browse. You can go back and forth as many times as you wish, but you have to go in sequential order.

Exam – This mode is similar to the Normal mode minus the fact you have a time limit of 4 hours to answer all of the questions. You can go back and forth between questions as many times as you need to change answers.  If after 4 hours you have not answered all of the questions, the exam will automatically end and your results calculated.  This is good because if there was one thing I took away from doing full length practice exams, they help you build up your stamina.

Stress Test – This is a pretty interesting mode. I like that you choose the number of questions you want to answer (out of 200) and an amount of time you wish to allow yourself.  If you fail to answer a question before the timer hits zero then that question is marked as incorrect and the application advances you to the next question.  Let’s say you set the stress test to 15 questions and 2 minutes per question.  Your stress test will be done in 30 minutes.  Pretty cool.

Knowledge Area – The PMP Exam assesses your competency from 9 Knowledge Areas. This mode is like the normal mode but it allows you choose a specific knowledge area.  This is a nice feature when you know you have specific knowledge weaknesses.

Results Screen

Once you have completed a test, or if you intentionally end it, you will be presented with the Results screen. Here you will see whether or not you passed the practice exam. Results will be broken down by knowledge area so you can see where you need to improve.  All questions will be listed as either correct and incorrect with an option to display the entire question and answers.

Summary

For $10, I say go for it!  One feature I really like is the questions appear completely random.  So, each test should be unique.  If you’re interested in this app, you can get it from the iTunes store, go to www.istudyapps.com or click here.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

10 Responses to “Review of the iStudy PMP App for iPhone and iPod Touch”

  1. January 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Pretty interesting. I have a few questions though:

    1. Is there a pause and resume option? Spending four hours on the iPhone can be tiring. There could be other reasons to pause and resume – you could get a call (after all it’s a phone), it runs out of battery.

    2. What happens if I accidentally press the home button and exit the app? Does the exam end?

    3. What is that “More Questions” option. Does it give additional (bonus) question above the 200 questions?

    Thanks.

    • Derek Huether
      January 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      These are great questions.
      [1 and 2] You can abruptly leave the application at any time. There is no pause or resume buttons. Upon launching the application later, a “Would you like to continue your last session?” message appears. Confirm yes or no. You will be directed back to the mode/question and “time” when you left the application. I don’t know if I 100% agree with being able to do this during the Exam mode, but I do like the fact I can just leave and pick up where I left off. This option appeared in all of the modes offered (Normal, Exam, Stress Test, Knowledge Area)
      [3] Actually, you got me there. I’ll admit, I pulled the graphics from the vendor’s site. It could be, since I was provided an evaluation copy to pull from iTunes, I didn’t get the “More Questions” option. I’m going to contact the vendor and get an answer for you. I’ll both email you and post the answer here.

      Thanks again for the excellent questions!

      Regards,
      Derek

    • Derek Huether
      January 19, 2010 at 1:03 am

      As a response to Harwinder’s question: [3] What is that “More Questions” option?

      From the vendor, the “more questions” options, which I list in the enclosed graphics, was originally included in the app and led to a “coming soon” prompt. However, when submitted to Apple, the app was rejected because of the “coming soon” feature; apparently this goes against Apple’s SDK standards.

      They are looking to include the “more questions” options in a future update where it will be fully functional.

  2. January 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Pretty interesting. I have a few questions though:

    1. Is there a pause and resume option? Spending four hours on the iPhone can be tiring. There could be other reasons to pause and resume – you could get a call (after all it’s a phone), it runs out of battery.

    2. What happens if I accidentally press the home button and exit the app? Does the exam end?

    3. What is that “More Questions” option. Does it give additional (bonus) question above the 200 questions?

    Thanks.

    • Derek Huether
      January 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      These are great questions.
      [1 and 2] You can abruptly leave the application at any time. There is no pause or resume buttons. Upon launching the application later, a “Would you like to continue your last session?” message appears. Confirm yes or no. You will be directed back to the mode/question and “time” when you left the application. I don’t know if I 100% agree with being able to do this during the Exam mode, but I do like the fact I can just leave and pick up where I left off. This option appeared in all of the modes offered (Normal, Exam, Stress Test, Knowledge Area)
      [3] Actually, you got me there. I’ll admit, I pulled the graphics from the vendor’s site. It could be, since I was provided an evaluation copy to pull from iTunes, I didn’t get the “More Questions” option. I’m going to contact the vendor and get an answer for you. I’ll both email you and post the answer here.

      Thanks again for the excellent questions!

      Regards,
      Derek

    • Derek Huether
      January 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      As a response to Harwinder’s question: [3] What is that “More Questions” option?

      From the vendor, the “more questions” options, which I list in the enclosed graphics, was originally included in the app and led to a “coming soon” prompt. However, when submitted to Apple, the app was rejected because of the “coming soon” feature; apparently this goes against Apple’s SDK standards.

      They are looking to include the “more questions” options in a future update where it will be fully functional.

  3. January 23, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Hello Derek,

    Thanks for following up on my questions.

    About leaving the app abruptly in the middle of an exam, you said you could pick up from where you left off. Does this mean that the timer stops and resumes too? Or does it keep ticking while you are away?

    Thanks again.

    • Derek Huether
      January 23, 2010 at 5:16 am

      To clarify, the timer does stop. I don’t completely agree with this. When I sat for the exam, I took a break and that timer just kept ticking. I think people need to plan for that. From an application point of view, if the timer continued to run, it would probably put a drain on the battery.

  4. January 23, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Hello Derek,

    Thanks for following up on my questions.

    About leaving the app abruptly in the middle of an exam, you said you could pick up from where you left off. Does this mean that the timer stops and resumes too? Or does it keep ticking while you are away?

    Thanks again.

    • Derek Huether
      January 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

      To clarify, the timer does stop. I don’t completely agree with this. When I sat for the exam, I took a break and that timer just kept ticking. I think people need to plan for that. From an application point of view, if the timer continued to run, it would probably put a drain on the battery.

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