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I passed the PMP test on August 26nd and would like to share a few lessons learned.
I used several references for a majority of my study preparation.
1. PM StudyCoach – One of Cornelius’s products. It provided a clear, easy to follow study program that made it simple to study for the test.
2. PM PrepCast – Another Cornelius podcast. This was my primary study material. His simple, straightforward presentation style really helped demystify the complexities of the PMBOK guide. He included plenty of examples to help clarify difficult topics and greatly improve my understanding of the various process groups.
3. PMBOK guide – I read it several times throughout my preparation.
4. Rita Mulcahy’s book PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition – Excellent reference source with lots of detail. The exercises seem a little silly, but they do help identify knowledge gaps that you can focus on. One negative – she does tend to talk down to the reader at times, which some students may find a bit annoying.
5. Andy Crowe’s book The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, Fourth Edition – Easy to read general overview. I wouldn’t use it as a primary source, but it did provide a quick way to review a topic.
I tried to answer as many questions as I could. It’s important to review and understand why you answered questions incorrectly. I used the following sources for questions:
* Cornelius’s PM Exam Simulator – went through 8 of 9 full tests (did not take ITTO focused test). ** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED **
* Crowe book – end of chapter questions and 200 question final test in back of book
* Rita book – end of chapter questions
* Oliver Lehman questions – 75 on line questions and 175 question written test.
* PMI Q&A's for the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition – questions were relatively simple. Not recommended as a primary question source.
I did not spend a lot of time studying and memorizing ITTOs. I agree with Cornelius’ advice – it’s more important to understand the concepts and try to select the right answer than memorize huge lists of ITTOs.
I started my focused preparation in early June, focusing on a chapter a week as outlined in the StudyCoach. I listened to corresponding PrepCast episodes, taking notes in the PMBOK as appropriate. I followed up with a second review during my daily commute.
The brain dump was useful during the test. I included the process chart from page 42 of the PMBOK and added all of the EVM formulas. I was able to focus on answering the question instead of trying to remember the formulae during the test.
The test was fairly straightforward. I was able to complete my first pass through the exam in the first two hours, which gave me plenty of time to review the marked questions. The questions were similar in structure and difficulty to the tests in the PM Simulator. It definitely helped to have gone through the test simulations prior to test day.
I received a proficient rating in Initializing, Planning, Executing and Monitoring and Controlling and moderately proficient in Closing and Professional and Social Responsibility.
Thanks again to Corneilus for all of your help in preparing for the test. I highly recommend the PrepCast, StudyCoach and PM Exam Simulator for anyone studying for the PMP exam.
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.