How to Get the PMBOK for Free or at a Discount

In the course of your PMP exam preparation, you will need the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK, currently in the 6th edition) as a core source of information and knowledge. As the exam fee will inevitably set you back a few hundred bucks, you might be interested in saving a few dollars when getting the PMBOK. Read on to learn how to do it.

Download the PMBOK 6th Edition for Free

The most preferential option is getting the PMP at 0 cost at all. The only way to do this is becoming a PMI member. Although this will cost you another 129 USD per year plus 10 USD registration fee (at the time of writing in early 2020; check latest fees on pmi.org) which however will be offset by a discount on your exam fee and a free digital copy of a PMBOK – not to mention the access to other interesting information (some may even yield PDUs) and to the community as such, e.g. through participation in local chapters.

If you are a registered PMI member, you can easily download the PMBOK for free on their website. To do so, you need to sign up on their website, become a member and download the digitally protected PDF. Whenever you wish to open the electronic book, you will need to enter your PMI.org password.


PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

The digital copy of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge can be opened with most, if not all, usual PDF readers. Its use is not limited to PCs though, you can also open it on your phone or tablet for learning on the go. However, its format is not exactly mobile-friendly as it does not adapt to the small screen size. But for reading on a tablet with >= 7” screen or on a PC, the version works perfectly well. If you prefer reading on the phone, check out the Kindle version of the book which we are introducing below.

However, this option only exists for the digital version of the PMBOK. If you prefer a hard copy, read on to learn how to get that one cheaper.

Get the PMBOK at a Discount

If you are not a PMI member and do not consider a membership for whatsoever reason, you will have to buy the PMBOK. However, there are several ways to save a few dollars without additional effort. In this section, we are telling you how to do this.

Compare Prices of the Paperback Edition

Different shops and sellers have different prices. You can use a price comparison site to find the cheapest offer. One of the most convenient options though is using Amazon: They are selling the PMBOK themselves (often at a competitive price) but also show you the prices of other sellers where you can conveniently order through your existing Amazon account.

You will find them by opening Amazon’s PMBOK product page for the paperback version and look at the “More Buying Choices” section or the “Other Sellers” tab where you will find all available offers for new and used copies. Thus, it is easy to compare prices and find the most sensible offer (be aware of possible shipping costs though).

Note that there might be 2 different products on offer: A stand-alone PMBOK and a bundle that also includes the Agile Practice Guide – depending on the prices and your needs, the latter can be a good choice, too.

Rent the PMBOK

An economic option is renting the PMBOK for a few months. Amazon will show you renting options (if they’re available) on the product page which can help you keep the cost down.

Obviously, you will have to return the book at the end of the rental period. Thus, it is only an option if you know that you’ll need the book for a limited time only.


The PMBOK is also available in a bundle with the Agile Practice Guide.

Download the Kindle Version

When being in the market for a PMBOK, also take the Kindle edition into consideration. Compare its price with those of the other, previously introduced options. If you are interested in reading the PMBOK eBook you will need the free Kindle app (available for all major computer, mobile and tablet systems) or a Kindle device.

Reading the PMBOK as an eBook has the advantage of being able to learn anywhere without having to carry a large and heavy book with you. In addition, the Kindle version has 2 convenient advantages that can make it a worthwhile consideration even if you’ve already got the free pdf version as a PMI member:

Firstly, the Kindle book adjusts to the size of the respective device and screen size while font size and other appearance options can be changed as well. Tables and figures can normally be enlarged for better readability.

Secondly, annotations, markups, comments and reading positions are shared across all devices. If you read the PMBOK on your PC and highlighted key passages, for instance, you will later be able to access these mark-ups from your phone. This is a considerable advantage if you wish to learn with an eBook that you intend to use on different devices.

You can find the Kindle version on the previously mentioned product page, or by using this direct link to the Kindle edition.

Conclusion

PMI members and those who intend to join that organization, a free copy is available for download on the organization’s website.

Even if you’re not a PMI member, you have a chance to save a few bucks. Comparing prices, considering a used copy or renting it can be economical choices.

The same is true for the Kindle version which however can also pose a convenient alternative to the PMI-provided pdf version.