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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
Hiten Dalal, PMP sent us the following lessons learned:
Date: July 1, 2009
I am thrilled to share that I passed PMP exam yesterday. I used your prepcast primarily along with PMBOK 3rd Edition. I had intentions to use other books but I was not able to use them due to schedule constraints. In last 2 days before exam, I used Rita’s Audio and Paper Flashcards.
Your podcast is a keepsake for PMPs and I recommend it to every one. I have recommended to purchase 4th Edition Podcast as well to our company.
Hiten Dalal, PMP would also like to share with us additional lessons learned:
Date: July 2, 2009
First of all I like to thank my sponsor Les Amey – President of NEWTECH Resources. All my study material and preparation time was sponsored. This year has been slower than normal for us. Few of our clients were asking for PMP certification so this was very efficient use of the bench.
PMPrepCast Premium Edition Podcast package with Exam Formulas, Pocket-page formula and Sample Question.
PMBOK 3rd Edition
Rita’s Audio Flashcards along with Flashcards deck
I feel that these are great tools for all PM professionals and we should keep them.
I am more of an Audio Learner. Being in Los Angeles for 19 years, I have gotten used to 2 hours in traffic per day. This has given me an opportunity to explore many audio learning programs by Nightingale-Conant and others from my social involvements. So it was natural for me to look for an audio program for PMP. I did not evaluate many but PM PrepCast was the easy one for $49.99. I don’t know the total exactly but the package included Formulas with full explanation – 8 pages, Pocket Formula page which is 8-1/2 x 11 that you can fold Horizontal and Vertical to fit in your pocket, 200 sample questions and 35 contact hours if you need for your application. I already had my 35 contact hours from various corporate training that I had been through so I did not use it. I may still take his test to see my score. So I read PMBOK guide 3rd Edition along with Podcast on my desk. I started my evaluation and research in July 2008 but was taken off the bench many times for project and active bids. Back then I had ambitious plans of going through Andy Crowe, Rita and PMBOK so all the material was purchased by the company. I had originally scheduled my exam on 24th of July and started studying sometime in May 2009 daily. After I finished Framework & Integration, I was taken off the bench for Bid activity and Bids take precedence over every thing. I came back on the bench on 22nd but managed to postpone my exams by couple of days and continued my Podcast study along with PMBOK 3rd Edition. I was able to reschedule my exam finally up to 30th so this gave me enough days to go through it all.
Due to lack of time, I could not touch other books I had purchased. Last 3 days I started going through Audio Flashcards while driving and continuing podcast on the desk. On the day before exam, I went through Glossary of PMBOK. I felt very comfortable going through that because there was not a single word that I did not understand and I drew my confidence from that. I also went through summary of delegation sent to me from group member on the day before. On the day of exam, I scanned through podcast which were named Applied Concepts and I felt that they were not going to be helpful to me for the exam. I was basically following my intuition and going through what I felt like looking at. I did enjoy and understood Critical Chain method from the podcast very well.
Tips for the exam:
My ideal scenario was to be able to read Rita, Andy Crowe and PMBOK but as a Project Manager we have to make tough decision so I was contented with what I could cover in the given time. The day before exam when I called the Prometric Center, they said that tutorial was 15 minutes and that exam starts immediately after that. I was slightly disappointed with that because I wanted to do my brain dump of Page 70 and few formulas and I had not measured my time how long it will take for me to do that. They don’t allow extra time even if you check-in early. But tutorial only took me less than 7 minutes. It is basically familiarizing with “Test Windows” and buttons “Previous” , “NEXT”, “Marked”, “Review All”, and “Review Marked”. So I was able to do page 70 in 3 minutes and then I wrote basic formulas for Cv and Sv. I had understood concept of EV so I figured if unusual case shows up in the problem then we will write the formula that is applied for the case at that time. So I recommend preparing for your brain dump sheet and measure how long it takes you to do that.
I felt that for the exam, you don’t need to memorize (Everyone says that including Rita & Cornelius). You do need to understand the concept very well so that you can recall. Real exam is based on scenario and many times I felt that 2 out of 4 were correct answers. As per Rita, if you feel that, it is intentional. It means you need to go back and study more on the subject. If you form a study group, your material cost can be shared. I find Rita’s Exam Prep bundle a great keep sake item for all PM.
What would I do different?
The most ambitious and robust plans can change with constraint inserted. If book was not changing from 3rd to 4th edition on 30th, I would have postponed my exams and given me uninterrupted 3 weeks. I feel that is how long it takes to go through 2 books. I received grading of moderately proficient but I plan to go through PMFast Track by Rita since we already have it and become a super PMP on that. I still have few days on the bench before we kick-off new project. Other thing I would do different is spend as much time I spent looking at Page 70 on looking at ITTO page for each knowledge area e.g page 79 for Integration Management because there were some direct questions related to ITTO and were framed ambiguously.
I will be keen to find out who is using Critical Chain, Monte Carlo analysis, AON Diagram etc. in Orange County / LA County area. Some of the tools were new for our industry which is engineering consultancy services.
For me PMP is another beginning of the journey, it opens a new world to me.
I wish you all the best for your exam preparation and the exam. I will be very happy to help if you need any thing specific.
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.