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TOPIC: Passed the PMP exam on 5/14 (my 1st attempt)

Passed the PMP exam on 5/14 (my 1st attempt) 5 years 9 months ago #2018

  • Christina Hale
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I definitely owe a big THANK YOU to PrepCast and all of the tools and exam insight PM PrepCast provided. I am very lucky I stumbled across this site when I began searching for information about becoming a PMP. There is a tremendous amount of useful information offered here. I pretty much followed all of the site tips and I passed the exam on my first attempt.

Lessons Learned:
-I began with the PrepCast course for my 35 hours. I did probably have the hours from various classes and experiences in the past, but I wanted a fresh start with an easily verifiable 35 hours.

-I signed up for the PrepCast formula guide and email lessons. I bought a 3 ring binder with dividers and printed up the daily lessons as they came in, the formula guide, and the PMI Code of ethics. I also used the binder for my notes as I did the 35 hour PrepCast course.

-Once I finished the 35 hours, I joined PMI and then signed up for the exam. I'd recommend using the experience verification worksheet provided by PrepCast before you start the online application. It makes the application process much easier and less time consuming. Once I had an exam date, I mapped out on a calendar my study plan which included most of Mr Fichtner's suggestions.
1. I read the Code of Ethics...twice
2. I read the PMBOK...twice. The first time I read just to understand the layout and ideas, noting major gaps in my personal knowledge/experience. The second time I read through it to digest the concepts and to go through with a highlighter noting key points.
3. I purchased Rita Mulcahy's Test Prep Book (recommended in one of the emails from PrepCast). What a HUGE help this book is for anyone studying for the exam. I read through this book twice as well, taking the practice exams twice and comparing my test results. I played RMC's process game (from the book) every day until I was able to complete it correctly 3 days in a row.
4. I went through the PMBOK glossary and made flashcards of the terms I was not familiar with or had trouble understanding. I also made flashcards of the questions/concepts I got wrong both times on my practice tests.
5. 10 days before the exam, I timed myself (10 min) and practiced my brain dump sheet once a day.
5. I purchased the PMP Exam Simulator from this site. Of all the studying tools I used, this one was by far the biggest help. I was beyond prepared to take the exam last weekend after using the simulator to study. I planned it out so that I would take one test every day up until the day before my exam (there are 9 in total). By taking these exams, I learned which exam taking techniques worked/did not work for me. I learned how to budget my test time. And I learned a TON of verbage and concepts that I had just grazed over when reading the PMBOK (yes, even after reading it twice). The explanations of each question/answer is just like having a teacher with you. I really can't emphasize enough how much the Simulator helps prepare you for the exam.

That is pretty much it. It was a lot , but I passed so it was worth every second of studying. Other random study tips...
-Mnemonic devices for the knowledge areas/processes. It will make your brain dump sheet so much easier.
-Don't just memorize the formulas. Learn how and why you apply them. Also learn all the trigger words so you do know when to use one formula over another.
-A week before your exam, grab a piece of paper once a day and practice your brain dump sheet until it is a breeze. You'll thank yourself for this the day of the exam when nerves have taken over and you can barely remember your own name.
-If you are like me and are struggling with the ITTO's, http://markpreynolds.com/pmp/ittos may help you. The way Mark mapped out the ITTO's really helped me better visualize all of them at once, instead of having to flip pages and read up and down then left and right. I am glad that I took Mr. Fichtner's advice and learned the applications and concepts of the ITTO's instead of memorizing them. I know everyone's exam experience is different, but I can certainly say that my exam was not interested in what I had memorized.

I hope this helps and good luck to all aspiring and fellow new PMPs!
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