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TOPIC: Solved PMP Exam Process - Lessons Learned - 4th Ed PMBOK

PMP Exam Process - Lessons Learned - 4th Ed PMBOK 4 years 8 months ago #3417

  • Wendy Liberko
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Welcome to the discussion! I obtained my Project Management Professional (PMP)® Credential in May, 2013. (At this time, the test was still based upon the PMBOK 4th Edition.) I benefited from the advice of others at many points throughout the process, and wanted to share my own top “Lessons Learned” by adding them to the PM PrepCast community knowledge base as these were the most comprehensive and critical tools in my belt while preparing. I invite your comments and own experiences.

1. Honestly evaluate your learning style, the amount of time or effort you are able (or willing) to put into preparing for the test, as well as your budget for resources. From there, decide if classroom, online, self-study or a hybrid approach are for you.
a. I elected an affordable combination of online and self-study activities to include:

b. PMI membership reduced the fee associated with the exam. Membership may offer an affordable route for you, along with many other benefits for an entire year.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare to take the test itself:
a. Treat the experience like a project; I gave myself 10 weeks which was comfortable given my schedule.
b. Plan time to complete the very rigorous application, send it to PMI and await approval.
i. The Project Management Institute Link below gives an eligibility overview, covers the various certifications, and more.
ii. Here is a helpful worksheet from Mr. Fichtner of PM PrepCast fame.
c. Schedule your test.
d. Plan to take the day or at least the afternoon off as the test window is four hours.

3. Give yourself ample time to become acquainted with, then to master the material.
a. Understanding, not memorization is critical for successful application of the Standards across 200 multiple choice questions.
b. You are tested on your knowledge of the PMBOK Standards, not on your real-world project management experience.
c. Use multiple forms of memory aids, and engage as many senses as possible to help channel the information. PMBOK too unwieldy? No access to the digital version? Here are some portable options to consider:
iii. See one of my homemade flash card study aids (Process Groups/Knowledge Areas), attached!

4. Practice test taking skills.
a. Many sites offer test questions and advice. Here are two I used beyond the PrepCast:
b. You have 15 minutes to prepare before your test starts.
i. Use that time and scratch paper provided to frame our the Knowledge Area/Process Group grid, as many formulas as you can, as well as any other ‘key terms’ that may help you keep on track over a lengthy exam.
ii. Don’t skip the Exam Tutorial entirely if you take a computer-based test – the way the pop-up calculator “%” function worked nearly tripped me up.

What was helpful to you in preparing for the actual act of test taking in your PMP Exam process? Share it with your PMP community!
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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.

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Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM