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TOPIC: Passed PMP on 1st attempt.

Passed PMP on 1st attempt. 2 years 11 months ago #3964

  • Frank Liu
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Hey all, I passed the PMP on my first attempt earlier this week, thought I would let you guys know how I prepared for the exam.

I allowed myself just over two month to study for this exam.

I bought the PM Prepcast and Exam Simulator on Sept 30, 2013 and also got hold of the PMBOK guide around the same time, with the intention of sitting my exam before the christmas break, I booked my exam for December 10th 2013. I also ordered Rita's study guide although I did not start using that near the end of October 2013.

1) I skimmed PMBOK very quickly and got an idea on what each of the chapter was about and what areas I was familiar and not familar with. I also spent quite a bit of time going through the Prep Cast slides around this time, I went through about 30-40% of the Prep cast slides, although I did not have time to finish all of them due to time constraint.

2) I then studied Ritas book sequentially, reading thoroughly through each chapter and did the end of chapter exams, I found the questions pretty hard and I was getting maybe low 60s or 50s initially. I would often cross reference back to the PMBOK guide whenever possible.

3) I did a 5 day project management course the first week in November 2013 which was run by our company, it covered some of the principles from PMBOK guide although the course was not designed to cover everything in the PMBOK. I found the course pretty useful as there was a lot of practical application of the tools/technique mentioned in PMBOK.

4) I started doing practice exams from the PM Exam simulator from about early November; I would try to finish as many 4 hr exams as possible and I would spend a considerable amount of time reviewing the answers and making notes on areas where I was not competent/correct.

Some tips:
1) I would recommend keeping a spreadsheet/tally of your scores on practice exams/end of chapter questions etc. The reason for this is to track on the progress you are making, ie I was clearly aware that I was becoming more competent, I was initially getting 65-68 in exams, this would increase to low 70s and the last practice exam I did less than 2 days away from the exam i actually got a score of 78.5%

2)Dont be too discouraged if you dont score well in Ritas end of chapter exams, her questions are meant to be challenging.

3) PMstudy.com offers one full length free exam on their website, I have been told that their exam is very close to the actual PMP exam. Although there probably isn't concrete evidence.

4) Ritas book covers some additional details/knowledge and they are not covered in the PMBOK, I have been told that 20-30% of PMP exam covers content from outside PMBOK, I would say that Ritas book covers the other 10-15%. But I would just try and focus on getting a more understanding of the PMBOK guide and not worry too much about the other 20-30%, but there are always questions in the exam which is difficult and seem near impossible.

5) I ended up using the tutorial time before the exam to come up with the chart on page 61 of PMBOK guide which covered the processes, I would say that this will definitely help you with the exam. As you go through the practice exams, you will find that you gradually gain more and more of an understanding and most of the processes on page 61 are common sense and little memorization is actually required. I didnt try memorize all of the inputs/outputs although I think by the time you have done most of the practice exams in the PM Exam Simulator, you should get a pretty good idea on quite a few of the inputs/outputs. Some are just common sense, ie what is outpput of create Project Charter? This is obviously Project Charter

I would say doing practice exams, reviewing right/wrong answers, and cross reference back to PMBOK and Ritas study guide are the best ways to study for the exam.

As for amount of effort I put in, I did about 1hr to 1.5 hrs on average monday to thursday, and did about 3-4 hrs on sat and sunday.

Good luck everybody!
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