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Today my PMP journey came to a pleasant end. I passed PMP with proficiency in 4 domains and 1 moderately proficient.
Studying for PMP was a daunting task. I registered for Prepcast in May but started browsing the PMBOK only in July. It was not until August mid I was only gearing up. I was not able to focus well. This where Prepcast newsletter helped me. I referred to 10 steps to PMP by cornelius. Studied exactly the way mentioned.
MAterial referred -
1. PMBOK Guide - Studied 3 times and cursory read twice
2. Rita Mulachy - Twice
3. Free tests
4. Oliver Lehman mobile apps.
5. PM exam simulator
I Prepared a Study plan like a project schedule and target 1 process every day. Once I was done studying and taking notes, I started revising with 2 chapters a week. I was studying Rita Mulachy along with PMBOK for taking notes. Initially, Rita was little difficult. My success in the exercises was about 60-65%. Reviewing my mistakes helped me prepared more. I was done studying by end of septempber. I then took the contact hr test and passed.
Early october I prepared the application and applied for the exam. I took help from my friend, who was also Sr. PM, for application preparation. This is a good idea. It saves lot of time. As i said earlier I was always targeting end of OCtober for the exam but I dont like the timeline pressure when studying. So I kept focus and then applied for the PMP. I was approved in 5 days and I scheduled the exam.
From now on it was what Cornelius always say, practice, practice!!
One thing I will recommend is to take tests from legitimate test preps companies. Although free, I could not trust all the resources available on the net.
I would recommed 3 sources for preparation -
1. Oliverlehman - The questions are difficult. The references are from the PMI online books but good practice for out of syllabus questions.
2. PMStudy - Very good simulation of the PMP exam. I only took the free test. I did not like that they dont provide enough access to the test. 12 days is very short for the price we pay.
4. PM exam simuator - This is the best source for exam. I feel I took 6 out of 8 tests and 8 - 10 Quizes, day before the exam. This helped me boost my confidence. Following thins are good about the tests -
- The questions are lengthy and tricky. When you give these test, you will feel tired towards the end of the exam. These were the only test which made me sit for 3.5 hrs and I used to breeze through last 25 questions due to lack of concentration. After couple of test I could sit and concentrate longer hours. I scored about 78 - 82% in all tests.
- When I reviewed the answers I always felt that I did not know some part in PMBok. The questions helped me concentrate on the areas of the book that I had missed earlier.
- I also got 1-2 questions exactly the same on the real test. Atleast I felt it that way.
During PMP exam, I had to drive 1.5 hrs due to traffic. So plan to leave early knowing the traffic conditions. I had visited the center before the exam as suggested by cornelius. The check in process is simple. So dont worry much about it. just reach 1/2 hr early. I had called the day before to the center to know the procedure and few questions.
The Exam started smoothly. I breezed through the tutorial very fast. I created my braindump sheet in 10-12 mins. I got lot of questions on Risk and Procurement. The difference that I found in actual PMP and PM Simualtor was the actual PMP has lot of question that will refer to multiple processes. So you have to be very careful when you answer. The best confusion they created was by asking about Manage Stakeholder expectation, Distribute information and report performance. But the thorough reading of PMBOK and applying the process knowledge helped me. It took me 3hr and 45 mins to complete the test. While reviewing I found that I missed answering 2 questions. So please review the test. I could review only few of the questions in last 25 mins. Finally I ran out of time. I was very happy to see the PASS result after completing the survey and even more happy to see my proficiency levels.
Finally, I want to thank Cornelius for all the newsletters, exam tips and advices he gave. The prepcast and simulator were my success cards.
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.