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TOPIC: PMP

PMP 2 years 3 months ago #4558

  • Deanna McLeod
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Colleagues,

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!

Deanna McLeod, PMP
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