From reading other posts, I'm not sure my story is typical...
Due to the demands of my current job in a hostile work environment, as well as family obligations and economic concerns, I knew it was going to be a long road. My PMP Schedule Baseline was ten months, and I stuck to it without the need to go through the Integrated Change Control Process...
Subscribed to PMP PrepCast and Simulator and bought the Andy Crowe workbook. Tried to Read PMBOK, but only used it as a reference. I didn't go to any classes or find study-buddies. I subscribed to many online forums, but rarely participated. I tried the sample PrepCast Flashcards, but quickly remembered that I hate flashcards so I didn't bother.
Listened (rarely watched) Prepcasts on lunch hour walks and walking the dog. Goal was at least two podcasts per day. I found that I burned out and my mind drifted if I tried to do more than three. I found Cornelius' voice soothing and reassuring.
Took Prepcast Exams after completing each Process Group, then reviewed same info in Crowe and took his tests. Didn't do so well. 65-79%, but I pressed onward.
Once I completed all knowledge areas, I activated my Simulator and felt like the classes were over and the time to study had truly begun. I tried to do at least a 25-question random timed quiz every day. My focus was on figuring out why I didn't choose best answers, and would refer back to Crowe and PMBOK. I was sometimes frustrated that the Simulator didn't tell me why my incorrect answers weren't the best answers. However, I was extremely impressed with the responsiveness of the PrepCast Staff to my inquiries. They wrote back promptly, even on weekends, explaining answers in great detail.
I only took three full 200-question tests, mainly to make sure I had the endurance to complete the actual test. The time commitment for a four hour study session was too difficult for me. Time limitations on the quizzes were never an issue for me.
I scheduled my exam before I felt fully confident, and the hard date definitely addded to my commitment level to get through it. I found that over time, I was scoring in the 90's with Crowe and the 80's with the Simulator. Ten days prior to the test, I checked out the Prometric Facility, as recommended. I felt I was probably ready, but didn't feel it with certainty until two days before the exam, when I took a 100 Question Prepcast Simulator Quiz and realized I wasn't anxious at all - I was bored with test-taking and couldn't wait for it to be over.
I then re-listened to PrepCast Lesson 00.34 - The Day of Your PMP Exam. Hearing Cornelius' voice again after a long hiatus filled me with confidence. He KNEW I was going to pass and that I was as prepared as I could be.
The day before the exam, I took it very easy. No studying, no review, no quizzes. Minimal alcohol with dinner, an early bedtime, and an Ambien just to be sure I got a good night's sleep before my 8AM start...
No Brain Dump for me. That's just not my style. Within 15 minutes of starting, I knew that the real PMP exam was actually easier than the PrepCast Simulator. None of those awful questions that always tripped me up by saying that five of the six inputs are...
The Simulator was a terrific way to feel very comfortable with the feel of the actual test. There was one major difference I found. On the real exam, one can right-click on an answer to strike-out that answer. This was actually very helpful on questions where I had to take the time to eliminate answers down to the two most likely, and was super helpful in speeding up the review of Marked Questions.
Finished 200 Questions with two breaks and 20 minutes to spare for review. I finished my marked questions after 15 minutes, changed two or three answers, took a deep breath and pressed the End Exam Button. I hadn't thought about it in advance, but I wound up humming the Final Jeopardy Music while it said "Please Wait..." When I was offered to take the survey, I gladly accepted so that I could focus on something else.
The results were far better than I expected. The best I had ever done on the simulator was Proficient in 3 of 5 Domains, so a 5P result was quite a surprise. My eyes welled with tears as I walked to my car and I was bawling by the time I unlocked the car door. I hadn't cried tears of joy like that since my son was born 19 years ago...
Final Conclusions - Both the PrepCast and the Simulator were perfect for me. It is absolutely true that if you can consistently score 80% on the Simulator, you will most likely pass your PMP Exam. Thank you Cornelius and Crew. You were inspirational!
Daniel Levy, PMP
The following user(s) said Thank You: Markus Klein, PMP
Thx a lot for this one; gave me some great insights.
I feel much better now awaiting my exam date.
Everyone - yes, even Cornelius - is telling you: do a brain dump!
But like you wrote it: it is just not my style!
I considered doing it, cause really everyone do recommend it, but now i know, it isn't mandatory at all. At least for the process groups; KA's and so on. OK, may be i will write down some formulas ... but thats it ... for me.
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This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam.