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Lessons Learned by Failing First
3 years 4 months ago #4627
Yes, I got what we all fear, "You have not Passed this exam" - I retook the exam 2 weeks later and passed and this is what I learned from it!
1. You must want to pass the exam. I believe the key to success in this exam is to focus on studying the essentials. If you do not really want to pass you will allow every distraction to pull you away from studying. Find your motivator and remind yourself daily why it is important that you pass.
2. Listen to the PM PrepCast with a purpose. And though it may seem obvious, you cannot daydream during the session and have any hope that you will just absorb the knowledge, you must focus.
3. The PM PrepCast is a video learning tool. You cannot watch and drive at the same time - also seemingly obvious, but worth mentioning. Unless you take the train or bus, or someone else drives you in, plan on setting aside an hour or two each day to view the videos. Make this an activity in the project plan you developed for passing the exam.
4. Write out your own flashcards. The act of writing seems to help cement the information. Write a series of cards. Go through them one by one. The ones you do not know, place in a pile. Place the ones you do know in a different pile. Take the ones you do not know and write them out again. Shuffle the knowns and unknowns and go through them one by one - repeating the previous process.
5. Formulas - These are hard, but the Add-On Prepcast for formulas was a life saver for me. Once I understood the rationale for the formula, I could commit it to memory - otherwise it was like reading Hieroglyphics. Try to categorize these or group them in a way that makes sense to you. It seemed like on my second test almost 1/3 of the questions involved calculations. Probably not true, its like what happens when you bang your toe, it seems like you cannot go around a corner without banging it again.
6. ITTO's - to memorize or not to memorize. I didn't and during both times I took the test I regretted it. It seems logical that if you understand the knowledge areas and the processes that you can figure out the ITTO's, but man oh man, when you are looking at a list of 6 inputs and are asked to identify the missing 7th, your mind starts to rebel at the insanity of being forced to remember this type of trivia. However, as the running theme throughout the Prepcasts makes perfectly clear, you cannot fight against PMI during the exam. Don't even think about trying. But don't let it get to you either. Do a reasonable amount of studying of the ITTOs and move on.
7. Do NOT wait until the 11th month after you have applied to take your exam. You do not want to have to take the exam two weeks after you failed it. If you learn anything at all from this post, that should be it. Give your self a way to succeed, want to success and put the time in to be successful, and you will be!
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.