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I passed my exam last week and got confirmation from PMI that I am now a PMP. I will get my certificate sometime in the future. My experience in this process covers two major aspects: PM PrepCast, and the PMI Exam:
- PM PrepCast: a PMP friend gave me the link and recommended the product. I went through the preparation course, got my 35 contact hours certificate, purchased the simulator and then booked my exam with a 3 month lead time. I very highly recommend the Prepcast products I used in my process. I honestly cannot see how anybody can have better, more practical, easier to use products. And the support is fantastic. I could study anytime, anywhere, as long as I had a Wi-Fi for the sim. I want to share my own approach to studying, it might be useful to somebody out there, but it will not necessarily work for everybody. Once I experienced the sim a few times, I understood its power and decided it would support my studying approach. I started by taking ‘’Learning’’ tests of 20 questions on each Knowledge Area. For instance, I started with Scope Management and I kept doing this exercise until I could get a 80% result more or less consistently. One thing that helps is to read the question, select your answer, and then immediately look at the answer and truly understand the explanation that is offered. This is more effective for me, rather than waiting to the end of the test to go back and check the answers. I find I learn better this way. But do not change your answer at that point otherwise you do not get the honest result. Stick to the answer you selected even if you now discover it is wrong, this is the only way to get an honest measure of your progress. Once I reached the level of a consistent 80% mark on the SM tests, I moved on to the next one, time management, and repeated the same process, so on down the list of KA’s, finishing with Integration. Once this was finished, I repeated the process with the Domains. Finally, I applied the same process in Random. When I eventually felt comfortable with all aspects of this method, I moved on to Timed Test and I went to 50 questions Random. In the Timed mode, you cannot check your answers until the end of the test. I don’t know how many tests I did, I did not bother keeping track of this. Of course, one should keep a copy of the PMBOK handy and refer to it often. One specific point about my studying approach: I have never been able to accepted learning through rote memory: I must understand. Prepcast makes a point of the importance of knowing the formulae for the PMP exam. I got the formula book, took one look at it and chose to ignore it completely. I was willing to take my chances that I would do well enough on everything else that even if I failed all the questions requiring a formula, I wouyld still do ok. And through studying, I ended up learning/remembering a lot of these formulae anyway, so no special effort to memorize them to begin with. The reason for my thinking: in my daily work, if I need a formula I do not know alrady, I’ll check my formula book (the Prepcast one), and the more I use it, the more I’ll get to know/remember these formulae. And thisw goes quite fast actually. But there is a significant risk with respect to exam success with such an approach.
- PMP Exam: first thing that struck me was the paranoia about the risk of somebody cheating. The security that PMI insists upon outdoes Homeland Security in any airport I have seen so far. And my work gets me to travel a lot. No terrorsit will ever get into a PMI exam room. May be PMI should simplify the security process: just require all candidates to strip naked before entering the room. Might not be pretty but simple and efficient. I was really disappointed with the content of the exam. Project Management, like many other endeavours, is based on a number of fundamental principles and concepts that must be understood, not memorized. PMPrepcast makes that very clear in their material. I found that too many questions on the exam were based on rote memory as opposed to understanding. And for instance, what is the real purpose of these questions where you need to remember a formula? See my comment above. On the other hand, I do not recall any question where I had to demonstrate my knowledge/understanding of CV, CPI, SPI, or other value for which a formula exists, and how to apply that understanding. Or why a given element is in fact an input to a process, or an output, or a tool/technique. Surprisingly, many questions are in rather poor english, to the extent that one must read and re-read to get the meaning that is sought. On teh hand, I believe that the PMBOK offers a very solid PM methodology that can help any PM at any point in a project or their career.
Thank you PM PrepCast for your superior product and your fantastic support.
Congratulations on earning the PMP certification! Thank you for sharing your experiences on taking the exam and the approach to preparation for the exam. I am planning to take this exam in June and it is reassuring to find similarities in the approach you took to prepare and the approach I am currently taking to study for this exam.
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.