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I would like to share the lessons learned for my project of 'taking the PMP exam and passing it on first attempt'. I made some good decisions and some not so good decisions while preparing for and taking the exam.
The good ones are:
1. I read the PMBOK guide twice.
2. I took some 28-30 practice exams (mostly with 50 questions) and I referred back to PMBOK guide for my mistakes in the last 5-6 practice tests.
3. I made sure I was not scoring less than 61% in any of the five process groups (I,P,E,M&C,C) in the last 10-12 practice tests as a confirmation that I was ready for the real exam.
4. I decided about the content of my brain dump sheet and made sure I practiced dumping the content till the time I was comfortable.
5. Most importantly, my focus was on quality (passing the exam on the very first attempt). Therefore, I was flexible on schedule and cost.
6. I visited the test center 3 days in advance to determine the time needed to drive to test center etc.
Now, about not so good ones:
1. I did not schedule my exam early enough. As a result, the schedule of my project slipped by around 5-6 weeks.
2. I did not study from a PM exam work book. May be using those books could have reduced the time needed for preparation.
3.I was multitasking most of the time I was preparing. I think that is a bad idea while preparing for any exam especially PMP exam.
4. I did not refer to PMBOK guide for mistakes in my initial practice tests (I was happy with the explanations given at the end of the answers for those tests).
To conclude, I would say each candidate should focus on finding the best approach of study which suits her/him. However, before taking the exam s/he should take the practice tests and should be able to score at least 70% (if possible 80%) in those test before considering themselves ready.
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.