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TOPIC: My route to PMI was not on the critical path!

My route to PMI was not on the critical path! 2 years 4 months ago #4477

  • Mary Cearley
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Hi all- I passed the PMP exam two days ago, and I'm totally thrilled! I did not take the most direct route, so I'd like to share my mistakes with you, so maybe you can avoid them.

Last summer, my boss asked if I'd be willing to get a PMP because our organization had recently lost projects because there was not a PMP in the proposal. I agreed, thinking, "How hard could this be? I've been managing project for years?!" Ha! I expected to have it all done by September 1.

My first step was to order the Rita book and the PMBOK. When the Amazon package arrived on my doorstep, I began to realize how wrong I was. I read the first few chapters of the Rita book, and practically panicked. There was no way I'd be able to get thru this in a month. I was paralyzed with fear, and did almost nothing until November. I started filling out my application to take the test--so that when my boss asked, at least I could report SOME progress. Then--I did a really dumb thing. After filling the blanks, I intended to hit save, and go back to review it later (aka put it off a while longer!) I accidently hit Submit! OMG. I nearly passed out! By some miracle, I did not get audited. After I looked back at the application, it only had one typo. Better than it could have been!

My next step was reading the PMBOK--wow--that was overwhelming. I don't think I really gained any knowledge, and I really just felt dumber and dumber the more I read! So--I went back to the Rita book--at least, I could understand the examples, but committing it to memory?! No way! Wasn't happening. I then decided I needed to take a class. I could not afford the expensive classes--$1800+ is not in my budget, and not in my organization's training budget. But there was a class being held locally. They gave 2 options--a 4 day comprehensive class, or a 1 day "exam review" class. Well--after arriving, I learned that the 1 day exam review was just the last day of the 4 day class--and went WAY too fast for me to absorb anything.

I started taking short practice tests, and getting terrible scores. Each one was worst than the last.

Needless to say, I was getting increasingly frustrated, and wondering if I had overcommitted to my boss. I was beginning to think PMP was an impossible goal.

I stumbled across Cornelius Fichtner's site. Podcasts--hmmm. I have always learned better by listening than reading. And the price was affordable. I started listening to them one by one, and things started making sense! My practice test scores started coming up, and I gained confidence.

So--my keys to success were that I listened to all the podcasts, and I used Exam Central for practice questions. I never took a full length exam simulation.

The test took me just under 2 hours. I passed, making it just under the wire with 1 below proficient, 3 moderately proficient, and 1 proficient.

Good luck to all--it is not impossible!

My route to PMI was not on the critical path! 2 years 4 months ago #4486

  • Scott Gillard
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Congratulations! Sorry it was a bit of a rough track at first.
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My route to PMI was not on the critical path! 2 years 4 months ago #4488

  • Mary Cearley
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One other tip that I forgot to add...

I viewed the prepcast on my ipad so that I could listen to them at 1.5 speed. This worked great for the lessons that were easy. Not great for the Earned Value stuff. :)
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