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I am very happy to share with you all that yesterday I passed the PMP exam after more than 5 months of preparation. I got proficient (Above Average) in all areas, except Closing where I got Moderately Proficient (average).
First let me acknowledge that I’m using Ahirjoy Biswas's template with slight modification for posting my experience and I hope he would understand that I am using it as the Forum's Organizational Process Asset and not as copyright issue
Initiation (Mid of Aug 2011)
Started looking at PMP certification information and consulted a few friends who did it already. Eventually I decided to go with PMPrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner (
), for my reparation and pre-requisites. I got this info in Internet Search.What I liked the most about the Prepcast was the methodical yet engaging presentation by Cornelius and I take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for making the reparation easy for so many PMPs like me. I used to listen to the prepcast on my iPhone during my commute and I got a very good "feel" for the exam content after listening to all the episodes first time. After that is involved thorough understanding of the concepts, how they are applied etc.
I decided to stick to Prepcast, Formula guide, PMBOK and Rita Mulcahi's book to keep my focus. Initially I browsed different websites, for additional info but got overwhelmed by the wealth of information out there and stopped reading too much. Also, I restricted myself to Prepcast forum and noticed that almost all successful PMP's pretty much followed the same pattern as far as material is concerned-PMBOK,an additional Prep book and Prepcast/other online course.
I also studiously went through all that Cornelius offered like Exam Tips, News letter, Steps for becoming a PMP Email Course, Formula explanations in Daily Email etc. All of them were free and were of very high quality.
After listening to every one of the episodes in Prepcast, I started reading Rita Mulcahi's book first and did all the end of the chapter exams. Only then I started reading PMBOK guide which did not came across as boring or dry as I feared- I am sure the Prepcast and Rita's book made that possible.
Then suddenly an unexpected risk developed quickly in the form of some personal and family issues and I completely stopped studying for almost one-and-half month till end of the year 2011.
Again I had to pick up from the New year and it took couple of weeks just to get back in rhythm. I used to study at least 2 hours daily and more during weekends.
Monitoring and Controlling
Having studied all the material I decided that I would be taking mock exams in PM Simulator, which I purchased much earlier but never started using it. I decided not to take quiz and use it purely for complete exams.
Before that I did free questions suggested by the Prepcast forum members (expert judgment).
Oliver 75 + 175
Headfirst - 200
Prepcast Formula questions -105
Best sample Questions
About dot com free PMP questions
Prepcast Free Exam Questions
Finally I started with PM Simulator Exams and felt very exhausting at the end of the first exam as I was doing a test for 4 continuous hours with just couple of 3 minutes breaks, after more than a decade. I got only 142 correct out of 200. But my score kept improving with every exam though I crossed 150 marks only 2 times. So I "passed" only 1 out of 8 exams but still felt good that I consistently scored above 70% in all exams and *ALL* questions were pretty much I was answering for the first time.
I chose to skip the ITTO only- 9th exam and I am glad I did. Because I could NOT memorize all ITTOs till the exam day and going strictly by logic and concepts I could recollect only say 60% of them, but many ITTO questions can still get you on wrong foot and trip you. The best part is, in the exam you would not have to fear ITTO questions too much as comprehensive study can easily see you through and I am the best example. So again I appeal to every one to not get perturbed if you cannot memorize each and every ITTO. Just by studying all the concepts will make you recollect most of ITTO's logically and explaining the process to yourself or to some one else can help a lot with that. Also, I tried to write as many ITTO as I could recollect on paper by narrating the processes to myself and coming up with the list. I definitely missed good number of them, every time but I still passed the exam. So that should make everyone not to lose sleep over ITTOs.
During last week, I started revising all the notes I made in my own words and referred PMBOK only for Quality and Risk chapters. I took my last mock exam in Simulator 4 days before the final PMP exam.
On the day of exam (2/21), I appeared in the exam hall in Washington DC, 20 mins before the scheduled time with my Drivers License. First, they make you empty all your pockets and put the contents in the locker. You are not even allowed wrist watch or lip balm inside the exam hall.
1. I did not use ear plus or headphones.
2. In initial 15 mins I wrote down PMBOK - Page 43 and all formulas from Prepcast formula pocket guide. But I hardly used either of them during exam.
3. Very few questions were too wordy and I could eliminate two answers very quickly in almost all questions narrowing the choice to two.
4. I took a 5 minute break after 2 hours (105 questions)
5. I would have marked more than 40 questions but finally I could review only 15 of them and changed only 2.
6. Finished 200 Q with just 15 minutes to go, and reviewed the marked ones during the remaining time till I got the message saying I ran out of time. Then a blank screen appeared for more than a minute, followed by the survey.
7. When screen with Congratulations appeared and displayed “Proficient" in all process groups except Closing where I got "Moderately Proficient" I knew the long journey is over and I can finally put those 3 letters next to my name.
I thank each every one in the forum that helped with their advice, feedback, knowledge and lessons learned. I wish you all success in your exam.
Finally, Cornelius Fitchner !!! You are the BEST!!! Thanks you very much !!!
Hi Thanks for sharing this , but was curious to know which simulators did you go for or purchased , If possible can you send me the url . currently I am referring prepcast of Cornelius Fichtner , Rita and PMP bok .
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.