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TOPIC: My experiences and tips for passing the PMP exam

My experiences and tips for passing the PMP exam 3 years 2 months ago #3795

  • Jayaharan C J
  • Jayaharan C J's Avatar
Time is the essence : The exam offers 4 hours (240 minutes) for 200 questions which goes past in a wiz even if you have prepared thoroughly.so the shortcut to success is practice,practice and practice as many mock tests as possible .I practiced nearly 3000 mock questions from various sources and pmpcast is one of them which gives a real look and feel of the actual test


Understand the verticals and horizontals of PMPG and KAM: You should not only understand the 42 processes by Knowledge area (horizontally) but also practice remembering them by Process groups
This helps in understanding what weightage to be given for each of the processes because the spread of questions is based on the Process groups and not Knowledge areas.For eg: HR might look a small chapter but many questions and repeated questions are from this area because it occupies a major chunk of the executing process

Way to read:The PMBOK is a bible and use only for reference.No need to memorise the ITTOS as there are only two or three direct questions of ITTOS.What is more important is the way in which you understand the how the process flows from one group to another and visualize a real scenario in each case.I followed Rita for the exam preparation and for ITTOS and some important points I referred PMBOK

Practice taking notes and highlighting: Practice taking notes from both PMBOK and Rita.These are the ones which appear as questions or scenerios in the exam.Many a times it might be a direct question or a real scenario where this important point might need to be recalled.So your own notes are your best friends

Fill the gaps: After taking mock tests ,concentrate on those questions where you went wrong and re read the specific grey area to make yourselves comfortable. This will fill the missing gaps and leave no stones unturned

Note the keywords in the question: Questions may sometimes look ambiguous of what it tries to convey but note for the keywords in the question which hints you what it is trying to find out from you.Also look at all the options in the answers and try to eliminate the worst two (in many cases).Choose between the best of the remaining two.Read the question and answer two or three times quickly if you do not get a hint.Practice gaining speed in reading and judging as you are leftwith only 80 seconds for a question.Smaller and easier question should not take more than 15 seconds to answers and this time can be utilized for answering bigger tougher questions

Know the formulas and write down: When you are given a scratch sheet,write down all the formulas that you know for easy reference .Also remember the hints like for any good project CPI > 1 and SPI >1.Variances should be positive.These things repeatedly appear in exam to quickly judge the health of the project that the question is speaking and you need not spend too much time researching or reinventing it


Follow the pace : Once you start the exam,you should keep some milestones and review it at that time
For example : I kept a milestone like atleast 100 questions should be completed in 2 hours.When I reviewed I was only 93 questions and since I was slightly behind ,I speeded up a little bit.Attending the first few questions will give you the confidence of passing the exam so be cautious in the first two hours.

Eliminate/Forego tough questions and practice marking reviews: Don’t get into the habit to beating around the same question for too much time.Remember our objective is to answer as many correct questions as possible in the given time.Having this constraint in mind try to mark review,select a random choice that you think it is correct and proceed to the next question.If you are lucky enough you can come back and review these questions at the end.

Remember the PMIs and ethics : Always remember that you are the project manager of a large organization and practice to be ethical in all your dealings.Read the question and look for specific keywords is FIRST,NEXT..


Have a project management for your studies and exam : Fix up your exam date first and do a back engineering and project management for it.In short fix up your goal and formulate the steps to achieve that goal

Concentrate more on Tools and techniques: Give special concerns to the tools and techniques and those tools which are used for multiple processes.

Don’t’ get carried away with long questions: One small example was a big network diagram was given and the question was to find the total float in the critical path…If you do not observer the word cricital path,you will be wasting your time and effort .


To conclude :

There is no shortcut to success.The harder you work the luckier you get.

Wishing you all the best

Jayaharan C J ,PMP
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