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TOPIC: PMP in less than 2 Months

PMP in less than 2 Months 6 years 8 months ago #1590

  • Mohamed Ahmed Gad
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PMP lesson learnt
I have been working in IT field from 1999 and I have been involved in hundreds of projects, ranging from mid-sized to national wide projects, within the last few years, I was involved in Project Management activities and I knew about PMP and I decided to study it and be a certified Project Manager, I followed one of my oldest friends blog - Kareem Shaker PMP ( ), he inspired me and encouraged me to get certified; Thank you Kareem.

So, I have started my trip full with enthusiasm I have brought the most know materials:
1. PMBOK Guide 4’th edition
2. PMP Exam Prep – Rita Mulcahy
3. The PMP Exam: how to pass on your first try – Andy Crowe

For the Project Management Training – 35 contact hours, Project Management PrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner.

So, I listened to the PrepCast and I become an PMI Member and downloaded the PDF version of PMBOK and it really wasn’t that easy for me, as a family man with two kids (2 and 1.5 years) it was so hard to study, but, I did, then, while I was skimming around the PrepCast forums I found Ruxandra from Romania was looking for a study partner, so, I have decided to join her group and we started to work on Integration Knowledge Area as the first KA, and it was too much for me to master it from the first time, but, I had to optimize my studying strategy so, I have decided to do:

1. Subscribe in for test questions and final simulation test.
2. Listen to PrepCast
3. Do some test questions
4. Go through PMBOK KA
5. Study RITA’s book
Actually, I didn’t stick with the plan as some of the topics were very heavy such as Procurement and others were easy, especially, I didn’t use PrepCast that much (even it has a great value, really, Cornelius Fichtner made a great job in simplifying and shorting the learning curve) and Andy Crowe was just sitting on my couch waiting (till now).
I have started the journey in mid of May and I did not apply for the PMI yet till I have finished about 60% of the PMBOK and I did the PrepCast test to obtain my 35 contact hours certificate then, I applied for the PMP the day after, I didn’t got audited and after that I scheduled my exam on 13’th of July 2010 (my birthday :)), just to add a deadline to my studying process.
Again back to my study group, it was amazing we were two then Leo from France joined us and it really was great, we enjoyed our sessions, we discussed what we don’t know and they always do brain dumps but, I didn’t join them, because, I’m not good at memorization, but, I was focusing on understanding how things going and what are my knowledge gaps through answering questions, really, Thanks you Rux and Leo it was really cool sessions, at first, we had just 1 hour, then it wasn’t enough, we scored more than 3 hours sessions, but, we never got tired from typing on Yahoo messenger ;) but, we have to work the other day or any kind of interruptions, so, sometimes we keep it short.
For the whole June the studying process was not going OK for me, because, my kids got sick and as well as myself but, my goal is approaching and July was very near, I thought about rescheduling but, I knew that it will affect my family so, I decided to stick with my exam on July.
I took about a week (actually 6 days) off, but, I didn’t do much at all as I was planed as I was tired and needed time off, just did simulation tests and review my weakness points even I have subscribed in and I took 2 tests one of them I didn’t complete because, I got tired.
Before the exam day, I went to visit my Prometric building as it was just 10 minutes by car and because, my exam starts early at 8:30AM so, I had to go and sleep early, on the exam’s day I went early and filled some papers and had my KitKat before the exam to fill my powers (yes Ninja’s Powers but, they eat Pizza :)).
I have started the exam and the 15 minutes tutorial reminded me with Windows 3.1  and it’s first time windows user’s guide, so, I took the advantage of the time and wrote all the equations I remember, then the 200 questions road began, I did about 161 questions in about 2:45 hours and I started to get really faint, I could not even see the letters, so, I took a break, my aim was to finish as soon as I can in 2:30 hours, but, I guess, the exam was going and I didn’t notice the time till I got fainted.
I got out of the testing room, even I can’t sign the check in/out sheet, washed my face and walked around for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, then I went back it, and to tell you the truth, the last 1:15 hours were like hell the worst 1 hour in my life, I could not stand it, it was very hard, anyway, I had 45 minutes to review my Marked questions, and I didn’t review all of them due to I was already tired, then, before the exam ends by about 2 minutes I clicked on “End Exam” button, and it took about 15 to 20 seconds I thought that the PC is hanged :D, then another 10 minutes survey started, even, I could end the survey but, I thought I must fill it out, it took about 3 minutes then, voila; “Congratulations”.
Wow, the first thing I have done is Thanking ALLAH and prayed that he gave me the strength and blessing me with PMP.

The conclusion:
If you really want to pass PMP you should:
1. Set an Exam Date (yeah, it’s very important)
2. Develop a plan.
3. Get involved with study group
4. Try to answer as much questions as you can
5. Start doing simulation tests in earlier stages as well
6. Read PMBOK KA
7. Read Rita KA afterword
8. After you finish, try to consolidate the subject as a whole and Re-read the Integration KA again, you will be surprised that things are connected somehow.
9. Another important tip, try to push Project Management in your daily life, most of the time, I used PM-isms in my general talk and it was really great.
10. Relax; I have done it in less than 2 months with normal study timings or less sometimes.

All the best,

Mohamed A Gad PMP
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