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Once I decided to pursue my PMP certification, I met with a couple of existing PMP's to better understand what was in front of me. Their answers were primarily centered around memorizing material. After studying and passing the exam (first attempt) I found this advice NOT to be true!
I started studying about 90 days out by watching the PM PrepCasts and trying to read the PMBOK guide. I quickly realized that reading the PMBOK was not doing much for me so I focused almost primarily on the PrepCasts. I watched one in the morning, maybe one at lunch and a couple in the evenings (weekends and travel...when I could. It took about six weeks to get through all of the key areas.
After getting through the PrepCasts, I went through and read the PMBOK (taking notes) cover to cover (including the glossary and Code of Conduct) in about two weeks. Then went back and read it a second time, again sharpening (or expanding) my notes. The week before my test, I focused on the notes that I made from the podcasts and from reading the PMBOK.
It is important to take the practice exams along the way. I would also recommend taking a couple of 200 question exams toward the end of your studying. I took one four weeks before the test and another the week prior. It helps you understand the focus needed and prepares your mind and body for what to expect.
I started organizing my "dump" sheet that included all of the knowledge areas and several formulas about a third of the way into the PrepCasts. I tweaked the content of this right up until my test. I would write this sheet out 2-3 times per week up until the last week. Then, the final week, I wrote it out a couple times a day until it became very easy to remember.
Bottom line, give yourself a little time and be dedicated in studying. Don't stress thinking you have to memorize everything. If you follow the PrepCasts and then read the PMBOK, you will fully understand the PM concepts, the formulas that apply and how to utilize all of it!
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.