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I am happy to report that I passed the PMP on January 23. Here are my lessons learned.
(1) I joined PMI and downloaded the electronic version of the PMBOK.
(2) I purchased the RMC book. I later felt that this book wasn't working for me and switched to the Head First book. The lesson here is to not be afraid to change course if something isn't right for you.
(3) Phase I: during each week I would concentrate on one chapter/topic, following the order of the PMBOK. As an example, on Monday I would read the chapter on Time Management, on Tuesday and Wednesday I would listen/view all of the PM Prepcast episodes on Time Management, and then on Thursday I would read the Head First chapter on Time Management. This left me Friday to review as necessary.
(4) Phase II: After making it through the entire PMBOK, I spend several weeks re-reading the PMBOK, reviewing select PM Prepcast episodes, and taking practice tests. I took 9 practice tests in all - 8 through the PM Prepcast Test Simulator and 1 offered through the Head First people. I found that the Head First test was much easier. The exams offered through the PM Prepcast Simulator were reasonably similar in overall difficulty to the actual exam. Some things were harder and some things were easier. Overall it was a good balance. My scores on the practice tests were consistently in the 70% to 80% range.
(5) The actual test experience was as described in the PM Prepcast. Despite all the practice tests, it was still an intense 4 hours. I felt reasonably good about my answers while taking the exam and the last 10 seconds until it told me I passed did indeed seem to take forever.
While this system worked for me, I would say that the most important thing is to be flexible enough to change things if something is not working for you and always keep the big picture in mind. I personally felt that I would be frustrated if I took any practice exams before having reviewed all of the materials. While this meant that the process took a little longer, I feel that it was the right decision for me. The PM Prepcast was a HUGE benefit as being able to hear and seeing the material rather than only reading helped cement my comprehension. Thanks!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Would you mind sharing how many weeks in total it took you from the moment you opened the PMBOK for the first time and when you took the test.
I'm trying to get a sense of the timeline. I work full time, am married and have a young child. I'm hoping that I'll be able to study and take the exam before it changes on August 1st to the 5th edition of the PMBOK guide.
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.