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I passed my PMP exam last Thursday and I can not be happier!!! As a comparison, I studied a lot and was a bit nervous a while back when completing a GMAT in preparation for getting my MBA, but the PMP exam preparation and anxiousness was way more! Wow did I study like never before - but it was WELL worth it! I do give a big shout-out to Cornelius and the PM Prepcast as a big reason for my success!! I hope success to all of you about to take the exam! I hope what I give you next can be of use.
Regarding how I studied, lessons learned, and what I would do differently if I was to do it over again, I have a list:
1) 6 weeks of study, at about 1-2 hrs per day, prior to the exam is a bare minimum. I would push it to 2 or even 3 months. Looking back, I should have only done 1 PM Prepcast module a day, and read the PMBOK section that was covered.
2) I did about 500-600 sample exam questions. Better would be to do over a 1,000, but do them over 2-3 weeks, not just within a week. Cornelius mentions to do 2 or 3 full 200 question sample exams. I did not do this, and not sure if it would have helped me, but at a minumum do 50 question blocks each time.
3) For every sample question missed, look that section up in the PMBOK. In addition to the PMBOK and PM Prepcast, I also read and used Andy Crowe's book The PMP Exam - How to Pass on Your First Try.
4) I ran out of time and did not re-read the PMBOK after the PM Prepcast. I recommend reading it before and after. I did read some sections of the PMBOK after and it is amazing how much more it makes sense after going through the PM Prepcast!
5) Cornelius recommends it and so do I - take the FULL day and night before the exam OFF!! I used the night before and the morning of the exam to just reflect on the high level framework of the PMBOK and what it means to be a Project Manager. I also spent time envisioning the "Congratulations" on the computer monitor. And Cornelius is right, the wait from the time you hit finished to the time it tells you the results seemed like FOREVER!! My heart was pounding! I was in a happy daze the rest of the evening.
6) Finally, do use a brain dump sheet. I memorized the EV formulas and Table 3-1 in the PMBOK and wrote these down prior to the exam. Prior to the exam there is a tutorial - take it. You can get through it in about 3 mins, but the count down timer allows 15 mins. Use this time to do the brain dump. I only took 2 short breaks, because I ended up using all 4 hours. I thought I would finish the 200 questions in 2 hours, given this was my pace in the practice exams. I was quite surprised when I was a couple minutes short of an hour after 50 questions! This was due to me reading each question and answers at least twice, mostly I did 3 times. I also completed the questions that needed math/calculations at the time I got them, rather than go back to them at the end. This was because I liked these questions the best, and knew I could do them quickly.
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.