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I recently earned my PMP certification and here is how I got it.
I decided to take the exam last summer and purchased the PMBOK on Amazon, then I bought the PM Prepcast and downloaded all the episodes on my iPod, but I didn’t really started using this material before the end of August.
I started reading the PMBOK, but found it really too dry and difficult to use to learn something. So I gave up and used it as a reference during the months of my preparation. I sort of used it as a dictionary when I had doubt on specific aspects. I have to say that it became more useful and readable toward the end of my preparation, when I had a general understanding of the matter. I didn’t really read it from start to end, but I read most of it.
I found very useful the PM Prepcast. I listened to all the episodes while commuting every day; in a couple of months I finished. It is high quality teaching and covers every aspect of the knowledge you need for the exam. In some occasions I found it useful to write down notes and make my own summary.
In late October I stared to use Rita Mulcahy book and her exam simulator (PM FASTrack 6.0). The book really helped me a lot, I read and studied it very much; it comes with about 30 questions for every knowledge area with answers. I made a simulation of a complete PMP test; the results were not bad but I and realized my problem was the speed in answering the questions: I was not able to answer more that 160 question in 4 hours. Than I used the tool in learning mode, making test in all the 9 knowledge areas with good averages (1400 questions).
I didn’t memorized all the ITO, but I knew most of them. I think that table of pag.43 in the PMBOK is to be learned by hart. I had no problem in memorizing formulas, they are not so many. I devised my own strategy to take the exam: I decided I wouldn’t answer the long complex questions that require calculations, I simple put a random answer and take note of the question number for coming back to it at the and of all the other questions. Furthermore I decided not to waste too much time on questions I was not completely sure of, after 90 sec I would click on one of the best answer and pass to the next question. It worked.
The exam questions were the same difficult level of the questions I had exercised with. The exam itself is very stressful, I forced myself to concentrate only on the single question I was reading (at the end of the fourth hour it’s not simple), I didn’t make any pause.
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.