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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
I work in a functional area and am responsible for delivering clinical supplies for the last 15 years. In addition to preparing these supplies, I was entrusted with managing several team members (for the last 3 years) working in different functional areas and bring them together to ensure the timelines are on target and met. I approached a colleague in that area 5 months ago, who introduced me to PMBOK and PMI Certification. After receiving encouragement from a Sr. Director, Portfolio Management, I began the process in July 13.
• Learned about requirements from friends and colleagues to appear from the exam
• Obtained support and approval from management for 4 day boot camp in Oct 13
• Purchased PM Preparation Guide – Rita Mulcahy and studied 7 of 10 knowledge areas. The study material was good and in depth. However, it did not help in providing clarity for examination
• Purchased PM PrepCast online material in August. Since I am a visual leaner, it helped me immensely. However, it was not enough.
• Purchased, Andy Groves guide to pass the examination in first attempt. I was able to make connections with the PMBOK guide and conceptualize the processes and process groups.
• Thoroughly enjoyed the preparation aspect because I was motivated to make changes to my career and explore opportunities in Project Management.
• Despite hectic regular work schedules, ensured to set aside 4 additional hours (2 in early morning and 2 in the evening) and at least 15-20 hours over the weekends.
• Took all the practice tests for each knowledge area in both guides (Rita Mulcahy and Andy Groves)
• Completed 10 full length (4 hour) simulated exams over 2 weeks.
• Review and practiced approximately 2700 to 3000 questions (including repetitions)
• Scheduled exam on 28-Oct-13
• Attended PM Study Boot Camp (from Oct 21-24)
• Located the exam center on Oct 25 and found out the requirements at the site. It helps to prepare yourself.
• Reviewed PM study materials on Oct 26 and Oct 27
• Stopped studying at 6 PM on the day before the examination.
• Enjoyed my 8-hour uninterrupted sleep. Woke up at 4:30 am and performed all morning rituals in a relaxed manner. Avoided coffee consumption 3 hours before the examination (8 AM).
• Even after this preparation, I struggled to manage the time during the actual examination. I had only 20 minutes for the final review for the marked up questions. I should have done better in time management.
• The questions on math (typically network diagrams) are lengthy and long winded. Did not have time to event attempt. So I guessed the answers. Remember, don’t leave anything unanswered.
• Well! Passed the exam in first attempt. Managed to secure 4MPs and 1 P (I apologize for bragging). Not bad for someone who learned about existence of PMBOK exactly 4 months before the exam date.
• The point is that you all can do it – provided you are motivated to run those hard yards for 3-5 month period leading up to your scheduled exam date (in doing so, you may have to cop some flak from friends and immediate family members for shutting down everything else in your life. Well! What can you do? Life is not about making popular decisions. It is about making tough ones – at least for this exam preparation. In the end, all is well. You gain respect once you are certified
NOTE 1: I have taken several 8-hour length examinations in the past (Pharmacy Related Exams). I never ever had to prepare as much as I did for this exam. On that note, the level of difficulty for this exam is very high. One has to be really motivated to manage the certification process as a project itself and must enjoy in doing so. The rest of the process will eventually will fall in place.
NOTE 2: I do not recollect seeing even one question asking - which choice below is "incorrect". All are straight (mostly "first" and "next" scenarios). On that note, all questions in our guides and pre-cast online course etc are “questionable”.
NOTE 3: As expected most focus is on Risk / Quality / Procurement / HR.
Good Luck to all those folks vying for certification. The key is to enjoy learning the processes, making connections and integrating them.
Last Edit: by Cornelius Fichtner. Reason: copy/pasted text from attachment into message
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.