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Passed the PMP exam today (July 11, 11). Here are some of my tips/lessons learned:
- Studied for approx 4 months. On avg, approx 1.5 hrs a day.
- did the PM Prepcast first, to gain insight. I made a point to take notes while listening/watching the Prepcast. This served 2 purposes; a) to force me to think about the content and b) provided me notes for review.
- Once I completed the Prepcast, I reviewed my notes, the PMBOK and started taking some of the free tests available online.
- Approx 3 months in, I subscribed to the PM Exam Simulator and began taking the sample exams. Although each exam was 200 questions (to simulate the real thing), between work obligations, kids etc, I did not have time to do 200 question stints. Instead, I did sets of 50's or 100's - doing about 3 or 4 tests a week. This was one of the best tools that I strongly recommend as it allowed me to see where I had gaps in my understanding. It also provides the answers and reference information which is great for research.
- With approx 3 weeks left until the exam, I began memorizing the PMP forumulas. I decided to purchase the PM Formulas to get them all in one place - was well worth the $19. Within a week I had them all memorized. I then did a brain dump at least 2x's a day of all the formulas. I did this until the day of the exam.
- Within the last 2 weeks, I then memorized the 42 processes / process groups / knowledge ares. Had this memorized in 3 days and did at least 2 brain dumps daily until the day of the exam. THIS IS HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!
- While studying over the past 4 months, I also amassed a number of web references and used them as study material to review.
- know the process chart.
- would have been good to spend more time understanding the ITTOs and their relationships to the processes. I have a mind map sample that has everything on it, but it was a bit overwhelming to memorize.
- know the formulas. Although I found my exam very light on variety of formulas (was only called upon to use 3-4 of them), you need to know them all.
- dont cram. I found spending a few hrs a day over 4 months to be adventageous. Take time off every once and a while. At first, I started by not taking any break. Within the last 2 weeks, I felt confident.
- I highly recommend buying into a sample exam of sorts. Something where you can take multiple exams that provides answers! Review those that you get wrong and find the correct answers. This is golden!
You made me have some relief, becuase I am following very similar strategy to yours. Mainly, I am not depending on PMBok as the main soruce. I will only use it after I take some free or commercial tests to identify the weak areas, and then refer back to the PMBok guide to review such areas, then take another test.
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.