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TOPIC: Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info

Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info 2 weeks 20 hours ago #23335

  • Jules
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Hi there,
since I checked the lesson learned infos here regularly, I think its fair to also share my personal (!!) point of view and experience. I passed my PMP exam yesterday.

PMP in general

The reason I started the PMP certification was basically because I was searching for a lockdown activity in the evenings instead of netflix. Honestly I still don't know if it was worth it. It is definitely a big benefit to be familiar now with all the PMP terms since they appearing more and more in my daily business. Working now 9 years in project management on the third continent I must say that all the good project managers which I worked with have not been the ones who follow a scheme or have a M.Sc, PMP or whatever. They were technical experts who were anticipating, spontanous in solving situations, fantastic in leadership and most important: social skills. I personally have the feeling that the PMP might give people the feeling to follow scheme F because its written anywhere - but thats only my personal feeling :).

Preparation

I went for a self-paced online course (simplilearn) which I felt was kind of useless for me. Mostly it was just reading the slides - done much better self-paced trainings before. I would probably try prepcast instead if I could start again or if money is available probably would select a face2face course where you can ask questions. That would have definitely saved me 2-3 weeks in preparation because I had to get the knowledge on my own and find answers to questions which appeared. In addition I bought crowe book which was also very supportive. In general I would say you dont need more than PMBOK+SUPPORT BOOK. After the exam now I would say that you dont have to know the PMBOK in depth but of course have an understanding of all processes and how they are interlinked. One additional source for a quick check for me was the Quick Reference Guide from Crowe and after having a look at it now I think if you can go over it and understand everything whats on it - you know everything to pass. It is very important to understand the link between the processes - try youtube (Vargas) or make your own process flow sheets, you must know that. Also I printed a blank table according to the PMBOK and wrote down the processes a few times - just to get familiar with them. You will anyway memorize them at any time - so better get them in the right order.

As many people written before: The PMP Prepcast is the best preparation source. I did a few of the simplilearn exams, the crow exam and some other - the Prepcast simulator is the closest to the real thing. I started around a month before and did one full exam on the weekend - inbetween I went through all (!!) questions afterwards and made another full exam during the week. It is very important that you dont start with the smaller quizzes and do the full exams later on if you want to know where you are standing. You can do quizzes in between and select "questions I answered wrong" to check if you understood your mistakes. All together I think I over-prepared since I did all 7 exams and some quizzes. Its also very important that you get used to a full 4h experience to train your concentration. For those who are interested in: My first result was 68 % at the very firstexam and then constantly something from 72-81% in Exam 2-7. I just tried for fun exam one after I did all others and made 95% -thats only because I memorized the answer of the tricky ones.

All together I probably did the 35h course, 40 hours book preparation and 40h with Prepcast Test Exams. Dont get stressed out here when you read how much time and how much stress people had for preparation. Keep in mind that there are people with different backround from all over the world and of course for some it might be very, very stressful..Talking just for myself (german, M.Sc, engineering manager) I had much harder exams in my university - honestly 4 hours higher mathematics, mechanics or dynamics was a total different thing. So dont get stressed :-)

Exam

Also as written before the questions are very comparable to the prepcast. Anyway you can train as hard as you want but will still find the one or other question in the exam where 2 answers are correct and you dont know which one is correct. That was the same experience for me in the prepcast and therefore I was kind of relaxed. I had two critical path (very easy) and three easy EV calculations. I think when you know SV, SPI, SV, CPI all 4 EAC, TCPI and ETC - you know everything you need. I wrote them down before I started to just have them at my hands - tried that a few times and only cost me 60 sec.

I had 30 minutes left, checked a few marked questions but didnt change anything - since I tested that in the prepcast simulator too I found that I changed some answers from correct to wrong. Maybe you check that aswell.

That was it then. For the record I got also 5 AT.

Cheers,
Jules
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Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info 2 weeks 8 hours ago #23341

  • Yolanda Mabutas
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Congratulations on your great achievement, Jules!
Yolanda Mabutas
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www.pm-prepcast.com

Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info 1 week 6 days ago #23344

  • PATRICE WALLACE
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congratulations! i will be sitting mine on Sunday

Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info 1 week 6 days ago #23349

  • ERKAN OZMERIC
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Jules Danke for the info. Your background is similar to mine. I was in PM world in Germany NATO forces and Boeing in the USA. I found Crows book a bit superficial after I started facing Prepcast exams. What do you think?
Danke schone for info again

Lesson Learned PMP Exam and some Info 1 week 6 days ago #23351

  • Jules
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Well, even after the exam its hard to say. I found that a lot of questions in the prepcast test exams went much deeper into the knowledge areas than the final exam did. On the other hand I also fell over a few terms in the final exams which I couldnt remember to have seen them in a prepcast exam. For example I cant remember that I have seen the answer SME (subject matter expert) in one of the prepcast questions, it was always expert judgement from what I can remember. Also in the prepcast there are more direct ITTO questions like select the correct data representation method (scatter, histogram or whatever). I think I only had one or two of those in the final exam and it would have been possible to answer them with the knowledge from the crowe book. I think you should use any supportive book to understand the process, the flows/interactions and the main tools/technics and then the exam simulator to prepare yourself for the way the questions are going to be asked in the final exam. As I said, you can check out the quick reference guide from crowe and if you understand whats on there (not remembering, but understand) then your knowledge base is good enough imho. Then its important to train your skill to use that knowledge. I think the people who are well prepared and fail made two mistakes:

1. They focus too much on the PMBOK knowledge, learn this by heart but are not used to the way their knowledge is questioned in the exam.
2. They only focus on small quizzies, get better there every day (because of course same questions are coming up and it gets easier to answer the tricky ones) but are absolutely not used to 240 minutes exam.

With my experience I would also say that scoring above 80% as a measurement is not correct and too superficial. I think scoring constantly above 70% on the first try (important, only first try without quizzes gives you a real number) is more important than hammering out one quiz after another to get above the 80...

All above is only my point of view - the PMP experts from Prepcast here definitely have a much broader knowledge about the entire thing than I have. :-)
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