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TOPIC: Lessons Learned from my PMP Exam

Lessons Learned from my PMP Exam 5 years 9 months ago #1764

  • Girish Sherikar
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I passed the exam almost a year ago - Jan 22nd but hopefully what I am about to share helps.

I started this process in Apr’2009 with a lot of start-stops-starts
and false starts, even giving up for a while due to hectic schedule
and travel. I finally managed to put focused effort in 3 weeks since
start of 2010.

In general it is definitely a good idea to have study guides/exam
preparation material. I purchased the following material as PMBOK
alone will not help:
1.Obviously the PMBOK supplied by PMI, of which I happen to be a
member for last 5+ years.
2.Cornelius Fichtner’s PM Prepcast . It is excellent and was a life
saver for me as I could pretty much use it on the road, in the gym
etc. Convenience aside, Cornelius has really explained the concepts in
PMBOK guide very well. I will always remember the “I am a wire cutter
….” explanation, whenever I think of difference between grade and
quality”. Likewise there are many other examples. The visuals, graphs,
tables, pictures etc. really make it even more effective.
3.Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition along with PM FASTrack
PMP Exam Simulation Software. These resources too were extremely
useful and hats off to Rita for putting down the process chart and
explaining many-many concepts, the dos, don’ts, whys and why nots.
The exam simulation was also very effective in getting an idea about
how to tackle certain types of questions.
4.PM Prepcast Formula guides – Good explanation of concept behind each
formula and a 1-page summary to memorize.
5.PM Prepcast Flashcards – did not use much. In fact hardly used at

Last but not the least, I had joined the PMP aspirants forum on Googlegroups which also helped immensely.

The Test itself:
1.I had gone with the intent of utilizing all 4 hours and wanted to be
there till the end. In general at a somewhat relaxed pace I finished
all 200 questions in about 3.5 hours. I ran out of time when reviewing
my answers that I had marked but by then I had a gut feel that I would
get through. I did not do this but others may want to consider; As
you are progressing through the test, it may be helpful to keep a
counter of questions that you are 100% confident of having answered
correctly. After each hour, it can help you gauge how you are going in
general and could boost your confidence or make you take a break, deep
breathing techniques etc. to bring back your focus to do well in
remaining ones.

2.If you are planning to write down your memorizers on the scrap paper
provided, then practice as much as you can to make them concise and
fit them on one page – with a standard simplest pencil, not the push
button or fancy ones. Although I did not need another booklet of scrap
paper, I believe you have to deposit your first one in order to obtain
a fresh one (so your memorizers may go away if you end up using 2 sets
of scrap book). The ones I wrote down were the formulae, Rita’s
planning process sequence and the entire project management knowledge
areas and process groups matrix. Whether you use it or not, doing this
as the first thing before test also get your mind ticking on the
topics and warms you up before the match.

Hope this helps.

Girish Sherikar
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