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I stumbled over PMP PrepCast in November 2014 during an internet search for sample questions. I had already completed six weeks (that is, 6 Saturday sessions, four hours per session) synchronous internet base PMP training. I had also had my application completed, submitted and accepted by PMI. I had done at least 1000 questions from PM Central and also from PMTraining. I was beginning to feel slightly confident when I stumbled over PM PrepCast during a google search (for free PMP test questions). I tried a few samples questions and I was impressed. I then clicked to purchase the 3 month package, the following web page showed a combo price for the sample questions and the prepcast, I then clicked to see what the PrepCast was all about – and that was the biggest discovery in my journey to PMP certification. I thought I was dreaming, honestly, for I had wondered whether there was some sort of PMP study material that I could use during my long commute to work. I had a lot of dead time and the PMP PrepCast was perfect for that purpose.
When I decided to do the PMP exam, I first read the PMP Exam – How to Pass On Your First Try by Andy Crowe and did the questions that follow every chapter. I then visited the PMI website, read the exam requirement and application procedure. On the PMI website, I saw PMTraining and registered for their online training. During this training, I read the PMBOK guide twice and did test questions. After the training, I worked on my application. When I discovered the PMP PrepCast, I was just consolidating what I had already read; I just listened and listened to the PrepCast and read nothing else. The PMP PrepCast is so good that I would love for every PMI candidate to have access to; so Cornelius please advertise on the PMI website and find ways of reaching people in the Northeast.
The importance of doing questions cannot be overemphasized – I did over 3,000 test questions. On the PrepCast, I did 50 questions in each of the knowledge areas and went over the answers (everyone, correct and incorrect) and then did three full simulated exams. I scored at least 80% on each of them. I was really confident that I will pass the exam itself. I took three days of vacation time around my scheduled exam date. I read nothing on the day before the exam. Even though I knew the exam center (I had done another professional exam at this center about five years ago), I still drove there on day before the exam to get myself familiar with the trip. I scheduled the exam on 12/17/2014 at 1:00 pm. On the day of exam, I got up at about 8 am, ate breakfast, had a shower, dressed appropriately and took off at about 10 am with absolutely no pressure. I arrived at the exam center at about 11:00 am, presented my identification. I was asked whether or not I wanted to begin before my scheduled time, I answered affirmatively. Before I started, I did my brain dump, which I had practiced for more than 60 days consistently. I really did not refer to it during the exam because everything was so fresh in my brain and readily retrievable. I was really calm and relaxed during the exam and at times I laughed at some questions. That really helped me! They presented a question about Activity On Node. Before I began to wonder why they would bring this type of old style of question, I quickly glanced over the last sentence which was about the float of the critical path. In the options was zero which I selected, chuckled really hard and went on. I PASSED.
My advice to all preparing for the PMP exam is to try to get your application out of the way as soon as possible. Reading the PMBOK guide at least once would help you become familiar with some of the PMI-ism needed to complete your application. Once this is out of the way, schedule the exam. Scheduling the exam would make you more focus and even uncover time you can dedicate to studying that you never knew you had. Read the PMBOK guide again at least one more time (some people read it 5 – 8 times) to grasp the concepts really good, and do test questions. Then listen to Cornelius and do questions over and over and as many times to enable you to hear his voice “until next time” in your dream. Good luck!
Ibrahim K. Dukulay, MD, MBA, PMP.
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.