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TOPIC: PMP Certified - 1st Attempt - 3rd March 2014

PMP Certified - 1st Attempt - 3rd March 2014 2 years 8 months ago #4055

  • Zameel Hamza
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Hey there....Here are my two cents for those preparing to go through the "dreaded" PMP exam in the near future.

Material Used:
- 5 day PMP Bootcamp
- Rita Mulcahy 8th Edition
- PMPrepCast
- PMBOK guide 5th Edition

I started my prep attending a boot camp with a local R.E.P (Rita Mulcahy course material) during the month of Dec 2013. I submitted and got my PMP application approved by PMI without incident by the first week of Jan 2014.

Research for online material lead me to discover Cornelius and team. I made use of the January bundle discount and purchased the podcast and mock exam bundle to help me along the way. I also booked my exam during this time to set a fixed deadline to work against.

The study model that worked for me was to dedicate 4 hours a day reading through the Rita Mulcahy book, and use my 3 hour commute (back and forth) to work listening to the PMPrepcast to complement the content I read through. I did take breaks during the weekends (which I should have actually spent a little time preparing, when I look back at the amount of content I could've covered).

Set with a 7 week timeline to attempt the exam, I was not really sure that I was 100% prepared by the end of February.

My last two weeks revolved around

- Visit to the testing center a week before the exam to understand the traffic, parking system and confirm that my name was on their list (they actually had to double check that since they were using an old print out of their candidate list)
- Working on my dump sheet with the PMI process chart
- Reviewing formulas and processes on youtube
- Reviewing important EV formulas
- A very feeble attempt to try and feed the ITTO into my head (this was my major concern while going into the exam even though most of the gurus have mentioned that you do not need to memorize it).
- I spent my last 4 days attempting 5 of the Simulation exams and deciphering the results to review my weakness and fill the gaps in my knowledge.
- Last but not least, I did a speed read of the PMBOK Guide cover to cover concentrating on the areas where I was weak. My final prep for the ITTOs were also thanks to the PMBOK Guide.
- By 2nd March, I averaged between 70-80% on the PMPrepCast simulation exams and had very serious doubts on whether I could make it through the PMP exam.
- I went through this lessons learned forum to review the comments of those who have posted and this is what gave me the confidence to attend the PMP exam the next day (which is also the reason why I'm updating this forum since I feel obliged to do my part to help those who are in the same situation as I was)

Exam Time:

- I had scheduled my exam for 07:30am, and reached the center by 06:30 am. I paid the parking meter and got down to revising the 'Tricks of the Trade' section on the Rita Mulcahy book (which actually helped me during the exam).
- I reviewed my brain dump sheet of formulas and process chart
- Entered the testing center at 07:00 am.
- Reviewed the formulas in my head and tried breathing techniques( I feel embarrassed to say this) to keep calm.
- Entered the exam hall at 3 minutes past 07:30 am after the security checks.
- I was lucky to be offered a choice of using a physical calculator instead of the computer based one...this helped me a lot.
- I got 4 sheets of paper and 2 pencils
- Started tutorial and never glanced at the screen since I was dumping all the info with regards to formulas and processes onto my sheet
- I did not actually look at the amount of time it took me to get the brain dump in place. I just remember skimming very quickly through the tutorial after the dumps were in place.
- A quick prayer and then i was started on the exam.
- I completed my first pass of all questions on the exam in 3 hours.
- I marked between 20 and 30 questions I was not clear on, and went back to it after this first pass.
- I completed these questions in the next 40 minutes and then set to review all my answers starting from question 1.
- On the second pass I realized that I had not read some questions properly and had to go and change the answers for a few questions (except the formula based ones)
- However, I ran out of time by the time I reached question 112.

But that is history now, because I went through the survey after the exam and the magic words "PASSED" appeared on the screen. My results were proficient in 3 KA, and moderately proficient on the remaining 2.

So that is my story of how I became a PMP. I do hope this gives you the inspiration to get to your goal, and that my two cents are actually worth a few dollars for those who read through.

Thanks Cornelius and team for the preparation material and the sound advice.

Wishing you all the best.

Zameel Hamza, PMP
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