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I passed the PMP exam on 15-Nov-2014. Here's a summary:
Started reviewing Prepcast in May. I didn't have time to dedicate several hours a day and basically listened to the PrepCast for about 3 hours each week and sometimes would passively listen in my car. I think I only got through Chapter 2 of the PMBOK and never read it again-only to reference the glossary.
When I applied for the exam, my application was audited, but I had all of the supporting documentation readily available and had already contacted my reference in advance to confirm his assessment before even submitting my application. The Prepcast talks about the audit, and I'd recommend that everyone listen to it, as the information is accurate. Within 1 week I received a note from PMI that I had passed the audit and could proceed with my application. If you are audited, you have a year from the time of the audit to sit for the exam.
I learned the formulas by coming across this helpful website. It was the only way I could memorize them. Granted, it may help to know a few more, with these, I had a solid foundation:
. You'll need to have these memorized. If you could only manage to brain dump one thing, this would be it for me.
About 2 weeks prior to the exam, I started doing test exams that I found online. I completed the online Head First exam, as well as 1-2 other online exams. I had purchased the PrepCast simulator, but I had difficulties logging on (the HelpDesk was a great help), but by the time I was able to log on, it was too late and I was not able to practice any of the exams. I will say that exam practice is key, as is reading the answers to understand them. I recommend taking 3-5 exams before sitting for the actual one. This, in my opinion, is a must.
I did not memorize any ITTOs or actively memorize the chart on pg. 61 of the PMBOK, but by the time I took the exam, I understood pg. 61 so that I could actually produce it, but it was not from memory; but from understanding. If you understand the chart, no need to brain dump it, but many people find it helpful to have it memorized and on the brain dump sheet for reference.
When you do your brain dump, you don't have to start the tutorial (15 min), but if you take a few minutes with the brain dump, the 15 minute tutorial will automatically start, so it's important to keep an eye on the clock and have the ability to do the brain dump of formulas and knowledge areas within 10 minutes. Practice doing your brain dump in a timely manner at least 1-2 weeks prior to the test, gradually working your way down to 10 minutes. It might be scary at first, but this is a great way to learn from any mistakes.
Make sure to review your answers at the end (table produced at end to show you) so you can see if you have inadvertently skipped any questions.
Along with the PrepCast I also did a boot camp for 4 days, the week prior to the test which included several practice tests. I never did remarkably well after taking any of the practice exams (average of 70%-highest score being 75%). I was told that the boot camp tests were more difficult than the actual test, so I went ahead and took the actual exam 1 day after the boot camp. If you have the means, and/or if your company can pay for your training, I would recommend a boot camp, as it also is a good review if you have already done the PrepCast. As mentioned, I've heard that boot camp tests can be harder than the actual exam, as it is in their business interest for individuals to pass the exam.
If you need snacks, you can bring them to the testing center, but they need to be stored outside of your locker. You will not have access to go into your locker/belongings during the test. Let the proctor know that you have food. If you need to go to the bathroom, your ID and your person will be checked prior to re-entry (pockets, sleeves, etc.).
I strongly second Cornelius' advice of visiting the exam test center prior to the actual exam. My testing location had changed from the last time I took an exam only a year ago, so I was very glad to have familiarized myself with the route and new location the week prior to the actual test.
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.