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TOPIC: PMP July 14

PMP July 14 7 years 3 months ago #284

  • Paul Quinn
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Hi All. I passed the PMP exam on Tuesday, July 14. I also posted my LL on the PMHUB forum.

PMBOK Guide 4th Edition.
I read this 3 times.
By the third pass through all the concepts fit into place most especially Section III - The Standard for Project Management.
Pay attention to the Appendix on Interpersonal Skills. I also went through the Appendix on the changes to the 4th edition and came up with my own sample questions based on these changes. My thinking was ‘well if this is new to PMBOK 4 , they may ask this type of question’ etc. Having said that , and I’ll get to this later , I don’t think there’s been much of a difference in the change over from exams. I just basing that theory on reading LL from previous candidates. Now I don’t know if that’s because I sat the exam within 2 weeks of the change over. Anyway , it’s a good idea to read the appendixes. I believe you do not need to memorize the ITTO if you have a good handle on how the processes and knowledge areas fit together. Having said that , for the exam I would focus on the Tools and Techniques used in Quality Management. I did actually memorize these , only because I found myself getting confused at times as to what is specific to Quality Control vs Planning and QA.

A Project Manager’s Book of Forms - Cynthia Synder Stackpole.
This book really brought the PMBOK to life. It has templates on all the documents and plans mentioned in the guide. Like the exam , it is organized by process group. I created my own personal project and used the forms in this book as if I was managing a large project in the real world using the PMI approach. Really helped. Recommended.

The PM Prep cast / The PMP Formula Guide.
Highly recommend. The interview with Quentin Fleming on Earned Value Management is worth the price of admission alone. Cornelius breaks down the PMBOK guide process by process and makes everything understandable. I listened to the prep cast everyday for almost 3 months and I used this towards my 35 contact hours. I would not have passed the exam without this tool. Amazing value. Thank you ,Cornelius.

I used the Formula Guide to get a handle on all the formulas you need for the exam. It gave me a lot of confidence going into the exam that I could answer any of the questions they would throw at me. Turns out the questions were very straightforward on EVM. However, knowing all the possible calculations will take the edge off. Recommended.

Rita Mulcahy - PMP Exam Prep / FAST TRACK
Andy Crowe / Kim Heldman

The RMC book. Sigh , I’m not crazy about the tone but it is an excellent tool for studying for the exam. I don’t think the exam is nearly as difficult as she makes it out to be. I recommend the book just don’t let some of the negative comments get you down.

The Kim Heldman book I used during final revision as it takes you through the PMBOK guide by process group. Once you have a good handle on the Knowledge Areas this starts to make a lot of sense. It’s a very well written book but it’s quite voluminous , if you have the time I recommend this.

Andy Crowe. The opposite of the RMC book in that he takes a more positive approach to the exam and places a lot of attention on the ITTOs. Chapter questions are way easier than the exam but scoring high on these will give you confidence

Practice Exams
Fast Track : very good for revision. I found the actual exam less wordy than these. I was scoring 80+ on chapter questions and 70+ on two full exams , so I knew I was ready at that point.

PM Study : These questions are very similar in style to the actual exam. In that the exam had lots of questions that were one or two sentences. However , whereas on the PMstudy exam you could mark off the incorrect answers , the real exam’s answers were more tricky.

Ok , the exam itself.

I got a lot of rest the night before. This is key. Please go into the exam well rested. One of things I found doing practice exams is that when I was tired I had difficulty reading the questions. So stay hydrated and get a good sleep coming up the exam.

I arrived 45 mins early , they processed me straight away and allowed me to start.

The room was divided into 6 workstations each with their own cubicle. One thing... the room was COLD. Bring a top that you can take on and off if you wish. They wouldn’t let me keep my top on the chair , but I could collect it from outside when I took a break.

During the tutorial , I brain-dumped the Formulas and the Process Map from page 43. This really helped during the exam.

Ok , breaks. My strategy was to break after every 50 questions. However , on my third break the invigilator told me I was close to exceeding the maximum combined break limit of 10 mins. Please check with your testing centre if this is also the case there. It was something I wasn’t aware of. It meant for the last hour of my exam , I wasn’t allowed leave the room. I had to sign in and out after each break.

Questions : The first 20 questions were very straightforward. 1-2 line questions and it was fairly easy to eliminate the incorrect answers. Then I got a run of questions where I wasn’t even sure what was being asked. Please don’t panic if this happens to you. They could be from the non scoring section. Also , look out for clues later on. Make a note of the question and the area it seems to be asking and sometimes a later question might tip you off.

Watch out for answers that are correct statements but don’t apply to the situation that you are in. I got caught on one some of these on the first pass through but spotted them on review.

A lot of questions seem to have two answers that are very close. Always think about where you are in the project and what the best thing to do is. Also , look out for keywords like FIRST . BEST. Sometimes these were not capitalized in the question so it was less obvious.

I answered the 200 questions in 3 hours and spent the last hour reviewing all the marked and then had some time to go back and review all. I actually ran of time. When this happened , a little pop up box appeared saying “ Out of time” , I clicked OK on that and then the screen went blank for about 15 seconds. Then I was asked would I complete the survey , I did. Then I waited for 10 seconds and the screen came back with CONGRATULATIONS. Oh man , I was so relieved.

I hope this helps. Thank you again Cornelius.
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