Student Profile: Paolo Santinelli, PMP
I am a senior Aerospace Engineer with several years of experience in the space and aviation industry to get the PMP because I wanted to consolidate my project management skills and to boost my career. I have to thank the PM PrepCast team for the material they provide to their students. In fact, without the PM PrepCast training course and the Exam Simulator, I doubt that I would have passed the exam considering every limited available time to study I had.
In my case, to prepare for the exam took very long, because I only had a couple of hours in the evening to study and, frequently, the weekend was dedicated to the family business!
What I did to prepare for the exam was:
- read the PMBOK once. Based on my experience, I would say that for a proper study the PMBOK should be read twice. The first time to get familiar with the subject and understand all the processes and relationships. The second time to try to memorize as many details as possible relevant to the ITTOs and every single info provided by the PMBOK.
- I would recommend that during the second review of the PMBOK, sample questions should be done after completing a Chapter. It is my opinion that doing this would effectively help in memorizing the concepts. To do that, it would be enough to find free sample questions online.
- Absolutely attend a course like the PM PrepCast. Hearing at the instructor's voice kept my attention focused on the subject much more than reading the PMBOK. Personally, after completing each lesson, I did a summary using OneNote. I found this very useful when had to check again a specific topic or simply to refresh my memory.
- Absolutely training with an Exam Simulator. I have to say that the PM PrepCast Exam Simulator is very good, a most probably it granted the success of my exam. I did only 6 exam simulations due to time constraints, but I would recommend doing all of them ( 7 exam, 1 ITTO exam ). The simulator is essential to train to keep the concentration for 4 hours to complete the exam. The first time I was getting nervous and tired, 4 hours in front of the laptop without drinking and without leaving the desk. Personally, I found the exam simulator a bit harder than the real exam. The exam simulator also helps in building up the confidence to go for the real exam.
I liked the way the PM PrepCast Exam Simulator tool is structured because it is very similar to the real exam set up. Furthermore, the simulator offers several tools to analyze the score achieved during the simulation, offers a detailed explanation of the answers.
- In my case, I have also used online research to get a better clarification on specific topics.
For the exam, it was my first experience with this type of exam and the Pearson Vue Test Center. I did it in Switzerland, Losanna, and I have to say that the first "sign" I got at the test center was not good! I was wearing a simple sweater with a zip but the personnel considered it as a jacket and ordered me to get rid of it to grant the integrity of the exam.....so, I had to do the exam only with the underwear T-shirt...
In my case, I did not do the Brain Dump, do not know if this is correct or wrong. I felt secure on the formulas so I preferred to start immediately answering the questions. Toward the end of the exam, I was running with approximately 25-30 minutes left until when I lost about 10 minutes on a question and eventually completed the exam with 12 minutes left. Of course, I spent 10 minutes on a single question because I knew I had plenty of time and I was almost at the end but this is something I would not recommend. Better to pick an answer and then review it. With the left 12 minutes, I started reviewing the marked questions and change 2-3 answers. I do not know if I got them correct but for sure it is good to review the questions after some time if the answer does not come immediately.
Paolo Santinelli, PMP