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My journey to PMP success took some time. I was first exposed to the PMBOK in early 2012 when I was in the middle of my Master of Information Systems Management degree at Walden University. Project management was injected into our course work and I loved it! There was even an option to specialize in project management, however I chose to specialize in strategy and governance at that time. I made that decision and promised myself I would pick up the CAPM designation after my school was complete. I completed by degree in late 2012 and became a member of the PMI in 2013. I tried to sell the PMP designation to my company, not so much for me but for for our project managers. The concept took a year to be understood and finally in January 2014, two project managers were enrolled in a project management course. I was then told "this was all my fault" and that I should really write the PMP exam as well:)
I embarked on the process of becoming qualified to write the PMP exam after a friend of mine convinced me to drop the notion of a CAPM and strive for the PMP designation. I completed that process in early May, 2014. I began studying and quickly realized that having taken an official project management course two years prior, I needed some additional study materials. Not to mention I learned PMBOK 4 and was about to write the test based on PMBOK 5! I purchased the PM PrepCast in early June. I was scheduled to write on June 27 as there was a local paper-based test being offered where I live. Since we live 900 km away from the nearest Prometric location, I thought I would try my best! Clearly my time frame was too short as I did not pass the exam on the first attempt. Oddly though, my knowledge grading was better than a colleague who passed his exam but obviously my overall score was below the cut-off. I quickly re-scheduled for my second attempt and wrote again on August 12. I made the trip to Seattle and passed my PMP at a Prometric testing facilty.
I have a couple of pieces of advice for anyone who may be attempting their PMP exam for the second time. Please do not feel discouraged; you have a great base that simply needs to be improved; don't discredit how much you already know! I highly recommend scheduling your second writing 6-8 weeks after your fist sitting; do not wait too long! Trust me, it was not easy as my confidence was very low. However, I studied on and continued to hone my project management knowledge base and skill set. The second experience I would like to share was the exam type. My first exam was paper-based while my second writing was computer-based at a Prometric location. This probably has a lot to do with personal preference but I highly recommend the computer-based over the paper-based. When I wrote the paper-based exam, we did not have a clock in the room! Yes, it's true. The exam facilitators decided they would write the time on the whiteboard every 15 minutes. Did they set a timer and actually do that? No, they did not. They haphazardly noted the time and I was a complete mess. I felt very out of control during the paper-based exam. I was madly scribbling, flipping pages and circling questions that I wanted to come back to. Whereas the computer-based exam has a timer and a"mark as review" box. Best of all, you get your grade immediately! After the paper-based exam, we had to wait 12 very long days to receive our grade:(
The PM PrepCast was amazing and I can honestly say that I would not have had PMP exam writing success without it! I highly recommend this product to anyone studying for their PMP designation. I tried study guides and ended up with only the PM PrepCast and the PMBOK. I will be signing up for Cornelius Fichtner's other products including the PM Podcast. I also intend to review the PM PrepCast, as needed, to refresh my knowledge!
Best of luck during your PMP journey... which will never end!
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.