Project Management Professional (PMP)® Student Profiles:

Student Profile: Jim Remmell, PMP

Student Profile: Jim Remmell, PMPMy career to this point has been as an engineer and project manager for computer companies in the Silicon Valley.  Process methodology is something I learned in school via the "scientific method", used in the early-middle stages of my computer engineering jobs, then it was formalized when I trained to be a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Certifications seem to have become a very important credential in the job search arena so I decided to take the PMP exams.

Time management has been the most difficult part of my PMP exam studied -- initially in adhering to my study plan, then in taking practice exams.  As I started executing on my study plan, the material were all things I've previously learned and used in my work, so I felt that I could "cut corners" on putting in the study time; then the first few practice exams showed me how much I did not have available for quick recall.  Also, 200 multiple choice questions in 4 hours seemed real simple to achieve, until I got into some complicated questions with formulas!

I was exploring ways to obtain the 35 hours of formal education required to submit the PMP Application.  The PM PrepCast was highly recommended on many of the "how to get PMP" websites, and it is the best value, assuming that one is personally motivated to put in the self-study time versus signing up for a 4-day instructor-led class.

I'm not sure if I'd say these things are "missing" from "The PM PrepCast" ... rather that they are "a la carte" on Cornelius' "menu" of items / products!  I initially bought the nominally priced "PM Formulas" product with the PM PrepCast in a nicely-priced bundle, and the 2-page "PMP Formulas CheatSheet" (one part of the "PM Formulas" product) is an excellent tool (the best I found) to help me memorize all of the Formulas.  I also bought their "PMP Exam Simulator" product, outside of the initial "bundle" offered in buying the PrepCast, as the 90-day limit on the Exam product was outside of my study plan, however I later found out that Cornelius' company offers a nominal charge to extend one's time limit, plus gives you a free extension if you fail the PMP Exam.

My #1 recommendation: You MUST read the entire PMBOK Guide, get one of the good PMP Exam Study Guide books and go completely through it, and take at least 5 Practice Exams (full 200 questions over 4 hours or less).  And during your practice prep, practice doing a "brain dump" cheatsheet in 10-12 minutes, one page of which is the "PMP Formulas" and the second page is the "Process Groups and Knowledge Areas" table from the PMBOK Guide (p.43).  I had already considered doing this (a "best practice" from college days) and saw it highly recommended (and legal) in the PM PrepCast videos/docs/forum, and you have 15 minutes and 8 sheets of blank paper prior to your Exam Clock starting, so using that time to recall all of the PMP key reference information saves you so much time and stress -- versus repeatedly trying to recall formulas and process names / order from your brain while the Exam clock is running.

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