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  Review: iStudy PMP Exam Simulator for the iPhone

There are iPhone apps to train your pets, apps to count your calories, apps to fart, belch and burp, then why not an app to prepare for the PMP exam, which is a much more noble cause after all? So here I am today, reviewing a new PMP Exam Simulator app called iStudy PMP ® Exam, for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. This app is specifically designed to help you pass the PMP exam. Interestingly, the publisher's website says that the questions have been developed by a "PMP Examiner".

So how does this PMP exam simulator stack up against hundreds of others out there? Is it really outstanding or just one among the crowd? What is its unique selling proposition (USP)? Is it even worth your time? Let's find out.


Update 1/1/2011: Worried about ITTOs for the PMP exam? Check out:

brainBOK - PMP and CAPM Certification System


Note: Due to technical reasons, I could not get my hands on to the full version of the app. So my review is based on the free version of the app that comes with 20 questions. I did manage to talk to the publisher and get a few points clarified. I may update this review if I get access to the full app, in the following weeks.


Product Facts
  • Product Name: iStudy PMP ® Exam
  • Total Number of Questions: 200
  • Compatible Devices: iPhone and iPod Touch
  • Current Version: 1.1
  • Publisher: Panacea Solutions Limited
  • Price: $9.99

Pros
  • Clean and simple interface: The app is really simple. You are pretty much onto the exam, within 3 secs of launching the app.
  • Option to resume the test: If you exit the application, or your battery runs off or the exam gets interrupted by an incoming call or a message, you can resume from where you left off. This is a very important feature for an app that runs on a phone. This app does a really good job here.
  • Stress Test and test by Knowledge Area: Stress Test is a really interesting option. You choose the number of questions, and you choose the time per question. The concept is really good, and something I haven't seen in other exam simulators.
  • Mark for review: You can mark questions for review, just as you can do in the real PMP exam. However, when you go into the review mode, it doesn't really show the list of marked questions (as you would see on the PMP exam) and instead takes you straight to the marked questions.
  • Random order of questions: Questions appear in a random order. If you were to take the test multiple times, the order of the questions would be different each time.
  • Study on the go: Last but not the least, mobility is the biggest strength of this app.

Cons
  • Question bank size: The question bank is too small, which limits the real potential of this app. I won't mind spending a little more to get a pool of at least 600 questions. Currently, it's more like a one time use item - use and throw!
  • No situational questions: Though the quality of questions is good, the free sample questions mostly test the knowledge of PMBOK terms and their definitions. I didn't see any situational questions among the 20 free questions. I mentioned this to the publishers, and they clarified that they have plenty of situational questions in the full set, and deliberately didn't include their best questions in the free set.
  • Navigation: Going back and forth on the questions is a bit quirky and not as smooth as you would expect.
  • No answer explanations: This is almost a must-have for a commercial exam. According to the publisher, detailed answers are being added in the next version, which would be out within couple weeks.
  • No tracking of past score history: It is good to have, but not an absolute must for me.
Update: April 29, 2010

Many of the issues mentioned above, have been fixed in the latest version (2.5). For example, it provides detailed answers and a reference to the PMBOK Guide for each question. The navigation is also much smoother.


Conclusion

The USP of the tool has to be its mobility - the option to study anywhere. Though the product lacks some key features, given that it's really in its nascency, I'm willing to give it a chance. I'm quite impressed with its interface and some of the features, but I would really like to see the answer explanations added and the size of the question bank grow. I'm sure the publishers are working on all the feedback they have received from reviewers like me, and will develop it into a really useful app in the coming weeks. As it stands today, I'll give it only 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Given a low price tag, I would say it is worth the price and worth a try. But, my recommendation is to try the free version now, and wait a couple of weeks to get the next full version, which will have detailed answers to each question.

Link to full version: iStudy PMP ® Exam


Disclosure

I do NOT have any affiliation with the publisher, and do NOT get directly or indirectly benefited from the sale of this product.


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