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TOPIC: PMP exam passed- Tips for a PMP aspirant

PMP exam passed- Tips for a PMP aspirant 3 years 1 month ago #3752

  • Anitha Thomas
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I passed PMP exam this August 22nd. I would like to summarize the method I have used, hoping some one may find it useful.
1. Acheived 35 contact hours using PrepCast. It took almost a month (July) to go through the podcast as I didn't miss any of the podcasts, including the interview sessions. (I did it with prepcast 4ed. Time I used to prepare was during the exam transition from 4ed to 5ed. and PrepCast corresponding to PMBOK 5ed. was not available). During this time I applied to PMI for appearing for the exam. I really enjoyed prepcast material. Foundation for the PMP exam was layed out using PrepCast. I couldn't have acheived PMP, without this support. I didn't take any class room preparations.
2. In August, got hold of Kim Heldman's book (7nth ed) and read it. I couldn't go through completely. Very good book which is organized in the 5 phases of a project.
3. Did a lot of tests by Scordo which was available through PMI (Caution: this version is old, You must buy new version)
3. Read PMBOK in between, couldn't cover completely. Touched the main topics (regions of high marks)
4. Listened to Prepcast new version, mainly planning, executing and monitoring and controlling process groups. Most of the new podcasts were not available. I listened to the available ones.
5. Bought a kindle version of Scordo (updated with PMBOK 5th ed), did couple of tests. (4-5, each qn is around 50 numbers only)
6. Third week of August, I got Andy Crowe's book (new edition) which is organized in Knowledge Areas. Read it completely
7. Read glossary by Kim Heldman (the best), Andy (second best) and then PMBOK.
8. Just two days before the exam, Listened to the one week vedio trial (8 hr) got with Andy's book and the two week audio trial (2hr) with Kim's book. They are a condensed capsule of information.
9. Since I didn't get much time to do all the tests from Scordo, I skimmed through the answers Scordo provided at the end of tests. Scordo did a very good job in explaining the situation and the logic for arriving the answer; just going through the answers (even without going through the questions) prepared me for the exam.
10. I just glanced through the main headings in Kim Heldman's, Andy Crowe's, and the figures of PMBOK, the day before the exam.

Note: Just to let you know, I couldn't do the 200 questions given in Andy's book or of Kim Heldman as there was no time. (I couldn't even do the end of chapter questions from Kim Heldman). I had PMExam simulator available, but could do only two tests, scores were not high. I always got good scores using Scordo. Tests from Scordo boosted the confidence. I have not done tests in the last week as I didn't want to change my mood by any score results. Overall, I might have done 4 complete tests (used 2 tests from some free sources, I think PM Zilla and techfaq360.com and 2 from PM Exam simulator) then small tests from Scordo's book which will account for another 2 complete tests.

Lessons learned:
1. During the exam I felt like I should have given more importance to Cost knowledge area.
2. ITTOS questions were not that tricky. No need to memmorize. A good grasp of the process will help. Where ever you have made a mistake while doing the test questions, go through supplementary and PMBOK materials and if needed, write in a peice of paper so that it will be registered in the mind. While answering, differentiate the tools and inputs of the process from that of the out put and vice versa, as all the 4 given answers may be within the same process or a next process (validate scope, control scope vs perform quality assurance and control quality). Try to differentiate the ITTOs of these 4 processes.
2. Always just glance the answers first, then glance through the last sentence of the question, before reading the question thoroughly to avoid mistakes happening with tricky questions.. Not all questions are tricky, but there are few.
2. I would recommend to go through supplementary materials (Prepcast, Andy Crowe's book, Kim Heldmn's book) first; before trying to read PMBOK. This will help to retain the information gathered from PMBOK.
3. Pick supplementary materials, such that you will learn from the experiences of different, proven professionals. I didn't want to read Rita's book as I heard from the reviews that eventhough the material is one of the best, it's difficult to read through easily. Now I would like to buy this book and keep it as a reference.
4. At any point while doing the mock tests, you feel that you are getting too confused (I did) and the score, suddenly lowered (which happend to me), go back to reading/listening and try some other 'proven professionals' mock tests. Once you have done few 200 question tests in time, the other tests you are taking do not necessarily have to be 200 question sets. Sitting continuously for doing 200 questions may wear you out.
5. The method described above worked for me. Take the tips and reformat to your needs as my way of learning may not be your way.

Thank you to all those professionals who has taken the time to review/given tips so that I could research through google and plan the way I want to approach PMP exam. Luckily for me, there was no line by line question from PMBOK. So the three different supplementary materials (PrepCast, Andy Crowe's How to pass on your first try, Kim Held man's Project Management Professional Exam study guide 7nth edition) along with Christopher Scordo's PMP exam prep questions (updated for PMBOK 5 edition) and covering major topics in PMBOK helped me to acheive PMP exam sucess.
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