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I passed my PMP exam on 5/6/2011 on my first try. It was a great experience to me and I have learned a lot from the PMBOK and PM PrepCast, so I would like to share my experience here with those who are currently preparing for the exam right now.
Experience of Preparation
I purchased Cornelius's PM PrepCast in November 2010. My goal was to use my spare time for study during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. After the holidays, I spent most time on the Podcast while I was driving to work, and during weekends. I repeated the content about 3 times on each lesson. Often I could catch some parts that I missed in the 1st time on my 2nd or 3rd times. As Cornelius said in the Podcast: "The key is to understand the content, not to memorize it!"
Besides PM PrepCast, I also used Rita's "PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition" like many others who did. In the last 4 weeks before the exam, I worked through each sample question in the book. I found some sample questions are tricky and subjective. I am not sure if they are really good sample questions because it made me loose a little confidence when I worked through them. However, as far as I heard, this book seems to be the best in preparing the PMP exam.
Experience of examination
I followed Cornelius's suggestions for the last few days before the exam. For example, I took one day off from work on the exam date, and I went to check out the location a few days before the exam so I could avoid last minute surprise...
During the exam, I took some special care on reading through the questions and considering all the answers before I locked in my answer. As a result, I spent longer time and completed all 200 questions in 3 hours and 45 minutes (including a 10-minute rest room break). I used the remaining 15 minutes to review the questions I marked, and I did correct some of the answers there.
One thing I noticed during the exam was some questions are actually trying to get you to answer the same knowledge area. These questions are in different forms of questioning the same thing. It made me feel these questions came from several different testers, and when computer made the random selection, the computer picked up similar questions in the same knowledge area. If all the 200 questions are from the same tester, I am sure that tester will try to avoid asking similar questions 3 to 4 times. Perhaps this is an area where PMI and Prometric can try to improve in the future.
Overall, I learned a lot from this experience. I have been doing Project Management for years (3.5 years in my current job, and another 2 years in my last job). I could never have such a broad view about Project Management unless I made my effor to study for this exam. I think all the Project Managers who have not got a PMP certificate yet should get one! Cornelius' PM PrepCast is a very easy to reach gateway for the PMP. If you are wondering where to start, PM PrepCast should be your starting point. THANKS to Cornelius!
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.