I passed my PMP exam on June'30th 2009. Here my lessons learned for the PMP Exam.
The Materials I followed are as follows
1. PMBOK Guide - Third Editionn
3. Rita's – Fast Track
4. Kim's - PMP Study guide
5. Head First PMP
In the above, the PMBOK guide takes the precedence over all the other materials, but due to its high standard format, I felt hard to read for continuous hours. So I read other mentioned materials and refer the PMBOK after them to see if I missed anything. Next, the PMPrecast helped me a lot as I travel almost 3 hours daily to my work. Head first book is really simple to understand but not enough for the exam (my personal opinion). Kim also simple to follow book. Rita’s book gave me the main points.
I memorized all the ITTO even though many suggested that it is not necessary. But after memorizing them I could immediately spot them where it is being used. So from my opinion, please try to memorize them(at least to some extent) and it will make you much more familiar with their names and concepts.
For the formulas related questions, I bought the formula study guide from the PMprepcast. It really saved me a lot of time. You should familiar with the earned value formulas and variance formulas and critical path for the exam.
Then I worked as many sample questions and as many mock exams as I could. Wherever I found any sample questions or mock exams on the internet, I worked out them. It really helped me a lot to identify the concepts I missed and get familiar with analyzing the questions (like how to omit the unnecessary content in the questions). I’ve to mention Rita’s fast track in this line. I highly recommend you to work out as many sample questions as possible.
Also while I was reading all the above materials, I noted down the important points in every chapter which helped me to review the chapters later on.
It is very important to note that memorizing the PMBOK guide won't help you as many questions in the exam need your logical thinking.
On the day of exam, I wrote my brain dump of all the 44 processes and formulas in the given sheet of paper in the first 15 minutes of tutorials. The first 10 questions I marked for reviewing as they seemed very big and started answering the small questions. I completed my exam in 3 hours 30 minutes and just reviewing them for the next 30 minutes and finally clicked the “End Exam” button and completed the survey asked after that. My heart was beating so high to see the result. When I saw the word “Congratulations.. You have Passed”, Oh.. Thank God.. I don’t find words to express it.
If you really wish to take the PMP exam, please take it very seriously as it is not like the usual other exams and it needs a lot of dedication and your time towards it.
Best of luck for everybody whoever has determined to achieve the PMP Certification.