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|4 years 5 months ago #4540|
Hello prospective PMP-ers,
I'm pleased to say I took the PMP Exam yesterday, and I'm even more pleased to say I passed! Before I dive into my "Lessons Learned", I first want to thank...
Going into the test, I felt prepared, but I also felt skeptical of whether or not I knew the material at the "expert level". With that said, I felt that I was OVER prepared and UNDER prepared in certain areas. I felt I was OVER prepared when it came to knowing the individual processes (think PMBOK page 61 ... Rita's Process Chart for those that used Rita's Mulcahy's book). I just didn't think there were as many questions as I anticipated, that would ask you which processes fit into which Process Group / Knowledge Area. I spent hours memorizing page 61 and I don't think I even referenced it / used it once in my brain dump .
Another category where I felt I was OVER prepared was when it came Earned Value formulas. My experience was that most of the Earned Value formulas I needed to know were the basic ones. I spent A LOT of time trying to nail down the various different EAC formulas for the various different keywords (fundamentally flawed, no variance / same rate, atypical, typical)... and quite frankly there was maybe one question that pertained to this. There were, however, a handful of questions pertaining to CV, SV, CPI, SPI. There was also a handful of questions pertaining to triangular dist. and beta dist. But IMO, those were easy.
So where was I UNDER prepared? Well, for one, I was stunned at the number of questions I received re: the Tuckman ladder model. I must have had about a half-doze questions on that topic. Maybe it was just me, but I was only anticipating about one. I was also stunned (& slightly disappointed, to be honest) that I didn't have any questions re: Professional & Social Responsibility. This was disappointing to me, because I do believe ethics is a big part of not just project management, but business in general.
Going into the exam, I felt under prepared when it came to the Critical Path Method (largely because I was worried about whether to use 0 or 1 method), but coming out of the exam, this is another area that I can say I was waaaay OVER prepared, minus one small except (in which I felt UNDER prepared). I had a question that asked about the Critical Path Method, but it wasn't a "simple" critical path method question. By this, I mean, it actually gave one task that had a Lead time, and seeing as how I didn't recall ever discussing an example like this in class - or seeing a similar example in Rita's book - I was completely at a loss and had to guess on this question. Not sure if this was one of those "25 questions or whatever that doesn't count"... but I did not appreciate this one
I was UNDER prepared when it came to Quality, Risk, Tools & Techniques, and the Detailed Process for Making Changes / Integrated Change Control. I was a bit surprised at how many questions there were regarding these topics, especially the later. NOTE: the one Saturday workshop class I missed was... Quality. Go figure.
Another thing that hurt me, was I think my knowledge was more book knowledge (definitions, sequential order of things, key words, etc), but the EXAM was more practical usage. This was not a surprise, because I know everyone used the phrase "you have to have been there", and all I can say is... boy was that ever true. So... I guess my final bit of advice is... trouble yourself with trying to know everything in the PMBOK / Rita's book... instead, try to focus more on practical applications/situations (I know... hard to guess/makeup, right?).
In case anyone was curious as to how I prepared for the exam... since the beginning of our 1st class, I've been studying/reading Rita's book for 2-3 hrs a night... M thru F... and then studying/reading Rita's book on the Saturdays & most Sundays after the last class of our Workshop. (But as I stated above... I felt this "book knowledge" wasn't as valuable/applicable as I thought it would be; as again I felt the exam was more practical knowledge). I went over every end-of-chapter quiz in Rita's book, and I took the 101 PM Prepcast questions. While I felt the PM Prepcast questions were definitely good to know, if I had one recommendation/suggestion, it would be to add more questions about the knowledge of the material, rather than formula-based questions.
If this "Lessons Learned" helps even one person obtain/achieve their PMP, then this was a success. I hope if you made it to this part, you found this email to be quite helpful. I look forward to seeing many of you again, and I'm already looking forward to starting those PDUs and assisting with the next PMI-OC Workshop class(es).