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Well, I'm a PMP now! I haven't studied anything serious for many years. I haven’t had to go to the job market for 10 years. And when I have lost my job in April 2014, I had enough time to rethink my way. I decided to find a job outside Russia.
I opened my old CV and started to update it. But when I looked at the result in the foreign recruiter’s eyes, I saw about nothing to deal with. My Russian experience was irrelevant without any good prove.
First, I needed to confirm my PM-skills. The best way was to get certified with PMP. And I went ahead. I decided to study it in English from the scratch. It was another challenge! First, I bought a book of Rita Mulcahy “PMP Exam Prep eighth edition” and started to read it. Then I went to a local PMBOK based course of project management. And only after that I discovered a PM PrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner and bought it accompanied with the PM Exam Simulator. These 35 contact hours plus 8 full test exam cost me twice less than 24h of local studying! I was dumb before! I found Cornelius’s speech is absolutely clear for understanding, his accent sounded fine for me and the speed of speaking made me relaxed while listening. I saw it many times when the foreigners speak English "better" than the natives.
Well, I spent one week about full time reading Rita’s book and found it very useful in terms of Integration management at least. This book contains many exercises to go through and self tests also. I came to it once again later. Then I spent one week for the local course and gave 24h of the PDU. After I found and bought Cornelius course. It took me about 3 weeks to listen through it. And I started to recover my English at the same time, hiring a tutor.
After finishing Cornelius’s course I have scheduled a real exam. I was wondering, that the time slot in the local Prometric test center was available in 3 weeks, not 3 months as I was informed before. But I decided not to divert from the Project Plan and schedule it in 4 weeks.
I spent this time reading PMBOK itself and doing the test exams. I have a sensitivity as a primary perception channel, so I wrote the notes all the time of reading (and never read them again!). I also used Rita’s book to deep understanding particular topics and doing exercises. The surprise was that the more I studied, the worse my results were in practice tests. After getting less than 80% two times in a row, I decided to have a break and forgot about PMP in 3 days. Then I took the new test again. And got 80%. It was 4 days before the real exam. So, I did a work on the bugs again and my final test exam score was 84%. I have also made 2 diagrams last week. The first one was about the path of Work Performance Data transforming to stakeholder’s reports in various processes. The second one was about the path of a Change request. I’m sure it gave me several more right answers for the exam.
So, I've spent 2+ months preparing for the PMP exam, working 5-6 hours in a day on it, that gives us about 280h of effort. On 8th of August I went to the test center and did my exam in about 3,5h. I didn’t write any brain dump. I have been always not good in the plain memorizing. And the PMP mathematics is simple, if you understood the meaning. Then I checked about 10 marked questions and changed 1 answer.
I did the survey and got my CONGRATULATIONS! With 3 areas of Proficient and 2 – Moderate Proficient. I think it’s a good result!
But the main lesson learned was that I understood how non-proficient I was as a PM even after years of the real PM and functional management. Speaking honestly, I was really overwhelmed and self-injured with it. This process has made me willing to go further in the profession. I see the new horizons now and searching a new job to bring there the strong mix of the high-load experience and fresh PMP-knowledge!
Wish me luck!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Syed khalid Shafique
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.