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TOPIC: My experience with the PMP exam

My experience with the PMP exam 9 years 10 months ago #4570

  • Michael McCaughan
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I passed the PMP exam on August 13th, 2014! I studied basically for about 6 weeks prior to the test, averaging between 2 hours to four hours per day. I used only the PMBOK, the PM Prepcast Videos and also the PMP Exam simulator.

I first read through the PMBOK, highlighting key areas as I went along. I also began to create an outline of each PMBOK chapter in Word, showing the Inputs, tools & Techniques, and Outputs of each process. After finishing the PMBOK read, I began going through the PM prepcast videos and I would pause it to make notes in the associated section of my Word Document. The Prepcast makes it easier to do this as the videos are organized according to the PMBOK sections.

An important note is that the PMBOK alone does not cover the entirety of the test. The Prepcast videos were a nice supplement to the PMBOK. I felt between the two, I was covered. The next step, once I felt ready, was to start taking practice exams. My number one recommendation for success on the PMP exam is to practice as many sample questions as possible. I used the PMP exam simulator and it was excellent. I was able to score in the low 80's across all my exams and that gave my the confidence to take the actual exam. The PMP Exam simulator also gets you used to sitting for four hours and focusing on the questions. Four hours may seem like a lot of time but you only have a little over a minute per question so taking multiple full exams teaches you how to budget your time. Some of the questions are wordy so you can easily eat up too much time on a single question.

I also would like to emphasize that my general study strategy involved making sure I understood all the easy things, like the Tuckman ladder, for example, or other straight memorization items so that I could afford to miss some more difficult questions on the exam, if needed. I also wrote out every morning, for the six weeks leading up to the test, the table containing all the processes across the five process groups and the ten knowledge areas. I would then flip the sheet over and write out all the formulas required. During the 15 minute tutorial on the actual test, I wrote these same things out on the scratch paper that prometric provides. It helps immensely in answering potential questions on what process was next or for being able to glance down and my formula list during any math questions, etc. I hope this was helpful. Best of luck to all who are planning on taking the exam!

Mike McCaughan
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My experience with the PMP exam 9 years 10 months ago #4571

  • Michael DeCicco
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Mike, you've laid the framework for a strong PMP training plan. I encourage you to share it with others because you've brought a lot of clarity to how and what to study.

Yours Respectfully
Michael DeCicco, PMP
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My experience with the PMP exam 9 years 10 months ago #4572

  • Dawn Upperman
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Congratulations Michael! You had a great study strategy. Some don't realize that the PMBOK alone does not cover the entire test. I'm glad you highlighted that. Your strategy should be very helpful to others.
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