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TOPIC: Tips from a fresh PMP

Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 8 months ago #1938

  • Amar Roy
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Hi there,

I passed my exam last week , 29th March at 4:18 pm :) And now I will share my tips with you all so that the uphill journey to become a PMP suddenly seems manageable...

First thing first, please decide for a timeline when you want to sit for the exam and based on that, plan your preparation. I have given myself 3 months (including the time required to complete PMPrepCast for 35 contact hours). I will recommend once you get 35 hr. certificate then you register for the test. As Cornelius said this will fast track your preparation. For me it worked! It took me 1.5 months to complete 35 contact hrs., but as soon as I registered for the certification my focus has increased dramatically.

*** The application process for PMP is a time taking affair.You need to provide brief description , role responsibility and break up of the PM effort across the 5 different process groups. Please be ready with your detailed project history and effort break up before your start filling up the application. This will help you completing the application quickly.

*** One more thing to note, it is better to get PMI membership before registering for the exam. In this process you will save some money ( around $50 if you consider the soft copy of the PMBOK) besides the regular benefits.So please consider this.

1. Study Plan and Materials:
I have relied on the following materials,

a. PMBOK 4th Edition (read cover to cover twice)
b. The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, Fourth Edition by Andy Crowe (comes with some handy online material which is great)
c. PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam by Rita Mulcahy (Did not used much though)
d. Also, read JIMBOK which you will get from the PMP forums.

The first time you read PMBOK it will be very difficult to progress. While you read this please take the chapter test from Andy or Rita's book. This will let you know how much you have retained. The most important thing in chapter test is, you should analyze your answers. This is a good concept builder.

Reading the PMBOK for the first time will be a daunting task but you can take some practice test in between to make your reading interesting. I have tried to score 75% or above in the practice/chapter tests while I was reading the PMBOK for the first time.

Now, you need to read the PMBOK for the 2nd time, but do it 2 weeks before the exam. In between take practice tests (full length), chapter test and skim through the materials in Andy/Rita/ or the other prep book you may choose. This will build your grip over the chapters. Also, it will be good if you make your personal note on the PMBOK, you don't need to go back to different books for specific information.

Few chapters needs more attention, Procurement/Integration/Risk/Scope. You may expect good mount of questions. However, Human Resource/Communication/Quality/Cost/Time needs clear understanding and will help you score well. I had a lots of struggle with HR so had to do focus reading on various motivational theories. Similar for quality...Important thing is the tools and difference between QA and QC :) Be careful about the Professional Responsibility. The chance of getting these questions wrong are pretty high if you did not understood the concept well.In the PMPrepCast there are some additional materials provided for some special topics. Please make sure you listen the martial on Critical Chain and Authority. This will help you in the exam.

But if you can take 4-5 full length tests you will have fare idea what are the areas you need to focus on. Another thing you needs to be careful about is the Earned Value. This is over hyped one. You understand formula do some practice calculations and you will be ready...but for exam you needs to focus on other formula like Expected Monitory Value, 3 point Estimate, PERT, SD, Network related calculations (float) , communication channels are also very important. But none of these formula are rocket science. You do good amount of practice and they will reap rich dividend for you.

One last thing here, during your practice tests you will come across many new concepts. Make note of them because 25% of PMP questions comes outside of PMBOK:(

2. Practice Test and how many of them are enough

I took 6 of them. My mean score was 78% , highest was 86% and lowest 76%. Though it is recommended that you should score 80-85% in the practice tests, please don't loose heart if you are not meeting that target. The key is take test from different sources and score 75% and above.And after 2-3 tests when you are clear (PLEASE ANALYZE THE ANSWERS AFTER EACH TESTS) about the areas to focus on your score will definitely improve.

Now which are the good free and paid tests. I could not avail the simulations tests the Cornelius has developed as it was release 4 days before my exam :( But I have taken their 2 sample tests and found the quality of the questions are pretty high. So that is one paid test I will recommend. The second one is PM Study 4-Practice test package which I took. I scored 76%, 76% and 81% and I believe this has provided a close simulation of the actual PMP tests. However, there are few good full length tests available in Internet. Do take them but do supplement them with the paid ones.

Try taking full length tests at home. Initially sitting for 4 hours will be tough. Even tougher for me was doing revision after completing the test. Normally the questions should not take more than 2.5 hrs to finish. However utilize the rest of the time to revise.

Now, the number of breaks. I have followed 75-75-50 strategy while taking the practice tests and during the main exam. Take 5 minutes break after 75 questions each and then a 10 minute break after completing 200 questions. Then start doing revision. you may need to take 1-2 breaks here because it is boring ( but very helpful)....

3. Be familier with the testing center...
Please be there in person 1 week be fore the test. This will reduce the exam day stress a lot! Ask them about what is allowed / not allowed. Just carry the Id you want to produce the test day and show them. Passport/DL is a good option.

4. During the test...
Have a good night sleep, light food before the test and relax before your exam .Carry some food and a bottle of water in the test center. I felt very hungry during the breaks :) Take short breaks, stretch yourself, drink some water during your breaks and they will recharge your quite well.

Contrary to popular belief my PMP exam questions were not very lengthy or full of EVM questions :) But some questions were very tricky and I was finding it difficult to decide on the correct answer. You needs to mark them and re-examine those.


5. How I have fared...:)
I believe I could have done better. But still, I got proficient in "Executing" and "Monitoring & Controlling" process groups and "Moderately Proficient" in rest. But if you are carefully study you can get "Proficient" in rest of the process groups as well. All the best....


Do ask me questions if you need any further information....

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1959

  • Leena Dilawari
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How can you be contacted with additional questions as I prepare for the PMP exam? This is all very helpful tips you've provided so far.
In reading PMBOK twice, are you recommending reading each/every chpter and page twice? Are you making notes from PMBOK book?

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1967

  • Amar Roy
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You may post your questions in this forum...

Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1980

  • Amar Roy
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Hi Folks,

I am happy to answer you questions...not only on the prep but other stuffs like application process etc. Do ask me...

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1985

  • VASANTH DHARMARAJ
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Hi Amar,

I am little skeptic on filling the documentation of project experience on application section. If you have some documents or information about project exp time break up, roles and responsibilities, that will help me a lot. Thanks.

Regards,
Vasanth.D

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1987

  • Amar Roy
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Hi Vasanth,

You need to remember following things while completing your PMP application,

1. You need to update a your CV. This will save lots of time while you are filling your application.
2. Please let your supervisors (whose name you will mention in the application) in advance so that in case of a PMI review they don't get surprised.
3. complete the application in 3-4 days because that is very monotonous process.

regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1988

  • Vasanth.D
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Hi Amar,

Thank you for tips. I will do the same. Cheers.

Regards,
Vasanth.D

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1989

  • Duraid Ali
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Hi Amar,
Thank you for your tips, can you please recommedn a website / resource to get PMP exam question. I am looking for real exam environemnt.

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1990

  • Amar Roy
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Hi Durad,

Following are some of the site you can get good questions,

a. www.pmstudy.com ( 1 test is free / But if you Pay $50 you can get 3 additional test)
b. www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/75-free-questions.htm
c. www.oliverlehmann.com/contents/free-down...Sample_Questions.pdf
4. www.free-pm-exam-questions.com/
d. www.headfirstlabs.com/PMP/free_exam/
e. www.examcentral.net
f. www.simplilearn.com/slportal/login/login.do
g. www.pmpexamsimulator.com/ (this I have not tried but from the sample questions I understand these are very good)

regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1998

  • Samreen Ahmed
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O.M.G.... Amar thank u so much to share ur over all experience about PMP. u shared really even ur little thinks about studies. whatever queries I've about studies & exam prep material u answered all....:cheer:

one thing which is most complicated for me that is, should we have any experience about Project manager, before the studies or certification???:dry:

hope u'll will reply for my single query soon;

Thanks & Best of luck to U for your future...


Samreen Ahmed

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 7 months ago #1999

  • Amar Roy
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HI Samreen,

You should have prior experience to sit for this certification. It will take 4500 hrs of PM experience if you have BE degree. Please visit the PMI site for more information.

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 6 months ago #2049

  • Amar Roy
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Are most of the aspirants going to get their 35 hr. training online?

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 6 months ago #2071

  • Cezain Khan
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Good Stuff Amar... though what if i don't have any previous project experience, yet i am willing to educate myself with PMP course/training/exam ??

What is the percentile of PMI reviews? AFAIK, only 2-3% of the registrations are reviewed & data is verified.. true?

Goodwill,
cK~

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 6 months ago #2075

  • Amar Roy
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PMI expects that only practicing project managers applies for certification. The reason is PMI does not want to teach Project Management methodology rather wants the practicing PM to be aligned with their framework.

Yes it is true that they reviews only 2-3% of the applications. However,there is a change in an unfortunate incident yours' application might get audited. In that case if PMI find anything falsified, they reserve the right to cancel your application and prohibit you from taking that in future.

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 5 months ago #2203

  • Amar Roy
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Any idea when is the new PMBOK out? Anybody planning to sit for that exam based on that?

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 4 months ago #2331

  • Amar Roy
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Disclaimer: Some part of my preparation might not be applicable to the newly released PMBOK. But most of it will, I believe...:)

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 4 months ago #2332

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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The new PMBOK Guide is scheduled for release on December 31st, 2012, which is about 18 months from today.

So the coming changes to the exam are NOT because of the PMBOK Guide.

The changes that PMI is introducing in 2011 are because PMI has made changes to the PMP Examination Content Outline. The most significant change being that Ethics is no longer a separate performance domain, but is now considered to be an integrated part of each of the 5 other domains.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 4 months ago #2340

  • eriakmoos
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Nice stuff. You have provide excellent tips for PMP exam. It is very useful tips. Thanks for sharing.

__________
PMP Exam Software

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 3 months ago #2400

  • Amar Roy
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Love to know how is everyone doing in terms of collecting the PDUs? Is it always has to be a paid program?

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 3 months ago #2401

  • Lynn
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This may be a hair off-topic but deals witht he application and recording hours. I was active duty military and took all my project hours from that experience. Anyone who is in the military or was in the military and is using those hours, you have to do sort of a comparison on what you actually did in order to cross it over into the application.

Any military member knows that initiation of a project is someone simply saying "get it done." All the work tends to be mostly in executing and monitoring and controlling and in fact 80% of my hours were in those two areas. Planning tends to be "as you go" and closing is just a matter of closing and filing the file since the bean counters take care of the contracts.

I will reiterate that it is important to let the listed people know they are being listed and what you are actually submitting. I had to do some digging to find people as many had scattered as military tends to do, but, every person had a list of the hours and what I was claiming. When I was audited, I sent the paperwork off after e-mailing a warning to those people that the paperwork was coming and had the entire process completed in under 10 days.

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 3 months ago #2403

  • Saurabh Gupta
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Hi Amar,
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was really helpful!
I wanted to know what kind of NPV (net present value) or IRR (internal rate of return) questions you encountered in the actual PMP exam. I have experienced some of those in my practice tests but they were lengthy calculations.

Also, if possible, what kind of EVM or TCPI questions did you encounter in the exam.

Thanks again for your help!

Saurabh

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 3 months ago #2404

  • Amar Roy
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Hi Saurav,

Thanks...! I am happy that it has helped you.

On your request, I can't discuss exam questions as per my professional responsibility. But I can tell you that if you practice these problems on EVM/TCPI/NPV/IRR , it is very easy to solve the problems.

Regards
Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 3 months ago #2459

  • Amar Roy
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Page view for this blog has crossed 2500 views...never expected that so many folks will get interested this! A big thank you to you all!

-Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 2 months ago #2513

  • Amar Roy
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I am pretty excited to get the 3000th visitor...

- Amar

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 5 years 1 month ago #2591

  • Amar Roy
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Is the number of people taking PMP come down after the changed exam format?

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 10 months ago #2668

  • Amar Roy
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Good to see that I still receive visitors....

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 10 months ago #2676

  • Chris Carter
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Well well well thanks for all the great information. You are really inspiring to all PMP certification aspirants.
Last Edit: 4 years 10 months ago by Cornelius Fichtner.

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 10 months ago #2681

  • Amar Roy
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Thanks Chris!!

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 10 months ago #2685

  • dev mishra
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Happy to know that and i want to talk to you.

Regards.
Mishra.Chennai.
9677157144

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 10 months ago #2700

  • Amar Roy
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You may post your comments over here...

Re:Tips from a fresh PMP 4 years 9 months ago #2716

  • Amar Roy
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Will be thrilled to get the 5000th user
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