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I purchased 4 materials to study from:
- The 4th edition of the PMBOK
- The PMPrepCast(by OSP International LLC)
- PMP Exam Formulas Study Guide & Cheat Sheet (by OSP International LLC)
- Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep book
With the above 4 items, and a 3-ring binder organized into sections, I began my journey. I studied for the exam much as I've studied for courses in graduate school: I followed along to Cornelius' lesson while I had the PMBOK open to the corresponding section, and wrote a ton of notes in the margins and blank spaces on the pages in pencil. If Cornelius said something was important, I flagged the page with those colored flags made by Post-it (Think: sticky notes). I also had blank index cards with me, and occassionally paused the PMPrepcast to make flashcards. This study method took a long time (roughly 2.5 months for 5-8 hours a week) but I think my understanding was more effective than most approaches. I then reviewed the PMBOK again, stopping to read through sections I was weak on. Then I printed out Cornelius' Formulas Cheat Sheet, used white out on every part of the formula after the "=" sign, and then made copies of the augmented document. I then practiced writing in the formulas by hand until I could recite almost the entire sheet by memory. Also, I printed out all the emails that correspond to the Formulas Guide and kept them in a single section of a 3-ring binder. (Other sections included PMP Application, PMP Test (the printout with the test date, exam site, and confirmation #), and PDUs.) I glanced over PMI's Practice Standards (Risk Management, Scheduling, WBS, and Earned Value Management) available to PMI Members. Finally, I skimmed through Rita's PMP Exam Prep book, and really only took the time to master "Rita's Process Chart".
Exam day was challenging. As Cornelius advised, immediately upon entering the testing area, I wrote out formulas and important information onto one of the pages of scrap paper. (AKA, a "brain dump".) The exam was as difficult as claimed, but I was significantly prepared because of the PMPrepCast above all; material not in the PMBOK was adequately covered in the PMPrepCast. Thank you, sincerely, Cornelius--in part because of you, today I am PMP#1371585.
Good question. Actually no...the test took me just over 3 hours at a comfortable pace, and I revisited questions at the end that took more time and thought. In case you aren't aware, you have the ability to mark questions during the exam that you want to revisit. I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of this feature. Answer those questions you clearly know during your first "run" through the exam, and then tackle the harder ones with the time you have left. Do not worry if you have what seems like "too many" questions to revisit. I did. If you follow the approach I describe above, you will pass without difficulty. I wish you the best of luck!
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.