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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
V M Sanku, PMP sent us the following lessons learned:
Date: July 4, 2009
I passed the PMP exam on June 24th, 2009 based on PMBOK3.
Before starting my preparation I checked with a couple of colleagues about references for which they said they had classroom instruction. I looked online, and found many resources costing $50 to about $2000. I thought I could start with PMPrepCast, utilizing one of my strengths - memory on what I hear. My background is engineering and software development, therefore I need to understand before I do.
I prepared for about six weeks, following "progressive elaboration". I first listened to PMPrepCast relating it to my experience and referring to PMBOK Guide. Main attention was to what Cornelius was saying. By the time I completed all the episodes, I was more than 50% comfortable. I then read PMBOK Guide in total, highlighting definitions and what I thought was important. I borrowed some books from a public library, one of them was by Paul Sanghera. I liked the explanations in this book. I read PMBOK Guide again focusing on the previously highlighted matter. I went through "Head First" for scheduling networks and calculations. I then looked at about 20 Qs from a free online exam, and realized that my preparation was not enough. The other book I borrowed from library was by Joseph Phillips. I thought I learnt quite a bit more from this book.
I did not want to miss even a single Q on the formulae, hence bought Cornelius' Formula Study Guide. It did help me because I became so thorough with them and concentrated on theoretical areas during further revisions.
I took mock exams of Head First, Cornelius, and PMPStudy.com.
During the real exam, I did not know what the first three Qs were asking about. I took my best guess, and also marked them for later review. Including two breaks for about 15 minutes, I finished all 200 Qs in 3 hours and 20 minutes. There were about 35 Qs marked for review. I went through them and changed the answers for about 5 of them. About 4 minutes remaining, I chose to finish the exam. I saw the "Congratulations" screen after completing a brief survey on the exam center.
Here are some tips from my experience:
1) No single resource covers all the aspects of the exam. At the same time, don't follow too many resources; it is easy to get confused.
2) The real exam was to my liking; about 30 Qs were answered from memory, most of the rest were real world scenarios. Understand, analyze, eliminate and answer.
3) Majority of the exam tests how well we understand the concepts, definitions, applicability and limitations.
4) I only got about 8 formula related Qs, nothing was complicated; some did not even need any calculations, but needed us to know what they were talking about.
5) The brain dump sheet on p.70 on processes did help me.
A quick note to everyone taking the exam based on PMBOK 4th Edition:
"Page 70" is now "Page 43"
By this I mean: In the PMBOK Guide 3rd edition the table of the processes was on page 70 but in the new PMBOK Guide 4th edition it is on page 43. So make sure that you know and understand the content of page 43.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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.