I just finished the Exam portion of the PodCast and have officially scheduled my PMP test for November 23rd. I also just spend $555 (PMI member + Exam Fee) so my goal is to pass it on the first try. How did you plan for the exam? Here is my initial plan:
1)Review all notes + sample exam questions from the videos. 1 hour a day
2)Review flash cards (Bought from Prepcast) 1 hour a day
3)Every Friday go to the local library and take one full practice exam from the simulator.
I am trying to keep it as simple as possible because I have read that some people tried to memorize too much and used too many tools. I plan on focusing a good amount on ITTO but I don't want to make it my main focus. Any advice for people who passed would be greatly appreciated.
Derek, your plan is consistent with the objectives I've seen posted by others. So my first advice is remain confident and follow your plan. My other advice is feel free to read the recent posts of PMPs who passed their exam. We have had some excellent, thorough Reports that could give you further ideas. Third, don't hesitate to ask a question on this forum if you need help during your studies.
Michael DeCicco, PMP
Hey Derek, sounds great. Generally what I tell students while coaching them is be less concerned about the inputs and the outputs as far as memorization goes. They will come in time as you are studying. Plus there are shortcuts to remember such as, "work data input = work information output" or, "monitoring and controlling = change request output EVERY TIME". You want to know the differences between the different tools and techniques within the knowledge area. There are pretty quick ways of doing that which we discuss in our coaching. But ITTO's are good to know.
Also remember that there are the big four sections that PMI will test on: Quality, Cost, Risk, Procurement. So if you are uncomfortable with those, think about getting some help because those are knowledge areas that you need to know. It has seemed that the PMP exam will be heavy handed with at least one of those four knowledge areas when creating your exam.
You mentioned taking exams, fantastic idea. You need to get your testing endurance up for the exam. Most people struggle with the fact that you are taking at 4 hour long exam. With that said, use the exams as a report while you are getting your testing endurance up. Example: you take an exam you see the lowest score for knowledge areas is in risk. Go back, read PMBOK Risk chapter make up new flash cards, study the ones you have, take some quizzes on risk to raise your score, then take another 200 question exam. I would do a Plan-Do-Check-Act with it.
Lastly just know speed is the key, but efficiency and well calculated study methods are as well. People generally don't get the results that want on the exam not because they didn't study - rather they didn't study the right material at the correct depth.
I would consider adding two other elements to your studying:
Spend some focussed time working on formulas. On the exam, there is only one right answer and knowing your formulas will ensure that you spot the answer quickly and you can sail through these in the exam.
Practise writing out a 'brain dump' to the point that it becomes mundane. When you go into your exam, you can take 10 minutes to jot your brain dump down. I found this was helpful to calm my nerves. After writing everything down, your brain won't be cluttered with processes, formulas or definitions. You can focus on the exam questions knowing that you can refer to your brain dump if necessary.
Thanks for the advice on the brain dump. My neighbor took the Exam and said he had 15 minutes to write down his own notes on paper and it helped a lot. I am going to take some time soon to see what I should have memorized to write down prior to the test. Thanks!
And yes, don't forget the brain dump. I had practiced this so much that I was able to write it down, but didn't refer back to it because it was ingrained into my head. The formulas are handy to have right there in front of you for reference.
Hi Derek, I strongly recommend the brain dump as well. It really helped me. You seem to have good plan for study. I would reiterate taking as many practice exams as possible and understanding the material. Good luck!
Personally, I did a brain dump and kept it to only the formulas. This was invaluable, as the time spent doing the brain dump in one go saved me thinking/questioning the needed formula on the questions.
In fact, just having them all on the dump page allowed me the chance to catch a mistake in using the wrong formula since they were all together for visual comparison.
For a brain dump it's recommended normally to do page 61 in the PMBOK guide and also the formulas. You'll want to practice writing them down a couple times timed. Make sure that you can do it cold. If you have page 61 memorized you should be able to keep a lot straight in your head when it comes to answering some of the questions.
Also you might find that some of the inventors you have trouble remembering, things like that I would jot down too.
Everyone's brain dump is going to be unique to them at the end. With that said doing the math formulas and the page 61 is pretty standard protocol.
Thank you, I will make sure to start on Page 61 and the formulas and go from there. I took my first practice exam and score a 61 and I still have two months to study. I exit the military in July 2016 so I want to knock this test out so I am better prepared for the job hunt. Thanks for the advice!
Moderators: Yolanda Mabutas, Ahmed Amin, Scott Gillard, Mary Kathrine Padua, ERIC BARTLETT, Gail Freedman, Kevin Nason, Steven Mudrinich, PMP, Mark Wuenscher, PMP, John Wolverton, Tracy Shagnea, PMP, Jada Garrett
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.