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In my first attempt. Firstly, I would like to thank Cornelius Fichtner for his wonderful product 'The PM PrepCast'. I applied for PMP certification last year in June, my preparations got sidelined because of a move to a new place and project. Restarted my preparation in end of January by reading PMBOK, with project priorities in main focus it was going at a snail's pace. 4th April I got an reminder email from pmi stating that my pmi elligibility period is ending on 26th June and than the panic happened. With the pace and level I was at that time I was skeptical I will be fully prepared. Full time job, house chores and a two year old kid to take care of.
To be frank I dont remember how I stumbled upon PM PrepCast, but sample podcasts and price was enough to impress me to buy it. Going through the PMBOK guide as listening to each podcast, did put my learning on fast track! I gave my exam on 3rd June, so actually it was a serious preparation for 2 months.
Resources Used -
- PMBOK guide
- PM PrepCast
- PM Formula Study Guide
- PM Exam Simulator
- Rita Mulchany's guide
- Online sample questions available(simplilearn.com, Oliver F Lehmann)
Lessons Learned -
- Practice, practice, practice and did I say practice.
- Make formula related questions as you strong point. Doing so ensures that you will have all those questions correct and will boost your confidence when giving the pmp exam, as answers are accurate. EVM, EMV, Schedule related calculations, Standard Deviation etc are all valuable. Honestly didnt find the PM Formula guide very helpful. I thought it was unncessarily difficult. I did questions from PM exam stimulator and Rita M I think they were enough and didnt find any question in exam which I was not comfortable with.
- Start practice of brain dump early on in preparation. Not that initially you should be perfect, but point is practice, memory in fingers is what we are aiming at.
- ITTOs - I had many questions in my exam related to ITTOs, so if you cannot memorize them at least know the story behind the ITTOs used for a particular process. Writing ITTOs on a piece of paper next to each other marking a relationship between them really helps in answering questions where neither question nor answers are direct.
- Game plan for marking questions. Time is crucial in the exam, so have a game plan for marking questions also. Based on the software at prometric center.
- Study plan - with specific start date and enddate, milestones and sample question practice, revision. I even had a daily checklist to track if i prepared braindump and went through 10 flashcards in a day or did 5 calculation related questions.
- Do as many sample questions as possible. I would say Rita prep book has many good situational questions, i love that book for the simplicity it has used to put down facts, the way it is written it leaves an impression.
- Exam evaluation is critical in improving your performance and clearing your concepts. Spend as much time as possible to analyse your score, where answers went wrong, revise concepts.
- Need serious effort. I commend the people who say that prepared for two weeks and cleared the exam. I think it need atleast 1 month of very dedicated effort, especially with professional and personal liabilities. Weekdays after office, first thing you want to do is watch tv or sleep late or go on trips on weekends. You might have to give up those for few weeks to complete your preparation.
Study Plan -
- Went through the PMBOK guide to get an understanding of the layout and methodology
- Went through the PMBOK guide again along with listening to PM PrepCast. This needs to be a very thorough effort as it lays foundation for the rest of your preparation. Made flashcards.
- Took 1 mock test - scored 67%. Didnt give much idea about weak areas though, I scored same in all areas.
- Went through each chapter from Rita Mulchaly guide and practice questions in the end of the chapter. Some very valuable information there, it is a must. For chapters I was weak at went through the prepcast episodes.
- Started brain dump practice.
- Mock tests, mock test and mock test (used PM Exam simulator) and took all 9 practice test. Very well written test and very close to the real exam questions.
All the best for your exam and if done methodically it is very possible.
Thanks again to Cornelius Fichtner and everyone who helped me in getting certified. Last but not the least my husband Deepak, thanks for all the patience and support. Love you sweetheart.
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.