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I just wanted to share my experiences of studying for and taking the PMP certification which I passed yesterday afternoon (19th July).
Over a period of about 10 years I had taken several project management related training courses both classroom based and e-learning. When I came to study for the PMP exam I found some of the material familiar and so my approach was much more on a revision basis for many topics than truly learning something for the first time.
I tried reading this cover to cover on several occasions but found that I could easily get distracted and find something better to do... the contents while important are a little dry. The approach that worked best for me was to use it more as a reference to dip in and out of while using other materials.
This fantastic resource provided my entertainment on the train to and from work over the period of several weeks. As far as learning resources go it is delivered in an engaging manner and in a way that instils confidence. Worth every penny!
Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep Book
This book I followed cover to cover and whilst I didn't complete every exercise I did make sure to complete each set of end of chapter questions. My approach to each chapter was to first take the test, see how well I did, read the chapter and then take the test again the following day. A few days before the PMP exam I returned to this book and re-read some chapters that I felt less confident about and re-did the tests for several chapters. Contrary to other views I have read on the web, I would say that the questions are on a par with the difficulty level of the exam.
What worked for me....
- not memorising ITTO's etc. (lifes too short)
- really taking on board Rita's PMIisms
- adopting the suggested 'mindset' when reading and answering the exam questions, regardless of how this compares to any real life experience.
- memorising a basic list of formulas to brain dump before starting the exam. I probably ended up using about a third of them but it did help my confidence prior to the exam to go through the memorisation process and on the day to write everything out was a chance to calm down (my pencil was shaking when I first started but was much steadier after I had finished).
- working through the exam questions reasonably fast paced, answering any that were immediately obvious but not spending too long thinking of an answer if I was unsure or needed time to think. The questions that I didnt answer on the first pass (approx 50) were all marked for review.
- made a second pass of 'incomplete' questions taking more time to consider my answer. Where I was sure of my selection unmarking for review.
- made a final pass of all 'marked' questions to rethink my answers.
- I would have to admit to making one or two random guesses during the exam where questions were related to things I simply had no clue about.
- although I had brought some supplies in case of taking a break... redbull, water, snacks etc. I had already decided to try and take the exam in one sitting. Every now and again I would rest my eyes for a while but once I was in a flow I didn't want to stop. It took about 2.5 hours to complete the exam.
Good luck to anybody working their way towards PMP certification themselves!
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.