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I'm happy to report that I passed on my first attempt. I was very stressed going into the exam but my preparation paid off.
The best advice I can give is to practise writing your brain dump. I used my tutorial time to write out my formulas and processes. I knew them by heart but where it really came into play was when I was unsure about an answer, I could look at my sheet and determine what process was being discussed and use that to eliminate answers. It saved time and I didn't have to depend on my memory.
Another piece of advice, slow down and read the question. I had a complicated precedence diagram and was asked to calculate to total float of a particular node. I would have wasted a lot of time calculating critical path and float had I not read that the node was ON the critical path and therefore has no float.
I marked several questions for review but found that my gut instinct was what I stuck with. I passed with 4Ps and 1MP. This matched my study plan. I knew that the majority of the questions would fall into planning, executing, and monitoring & controlling groups so I focussed my studies here. My MP was in the closing group. I would keep my study plan the same.
Here is how I prepared.....
I started 5 months in advance. I purchased prepcast and began watching the videos while on the treadmill. I also read Head First PMP. I followed that up by reading the PMBOK. I then took a few weeks off of studying. I then re-read Head First and began listening to the podcasts to and from work. I also read PMP Exam - How to Pass on your First Try twice. In the meantime, I wrote out flash cards for key concepts, theories and definitions. I also created flash cards for each of the processes and included to ITTOs.
A few days before the exam I focussed on my flashcards and practised writing my brain dumps. I re-listened to podcasts on topics that I felt deficient in.
The weekend before the exam I did some light review only.
The day of the exam, I flipped through my flashcards only. I arrived at the testing centre early so I wasn't rushed. They took me in early. I wrote the exam in 2 hours 15 minutes and then spent 45 minutes reviewing (which was a bit overkill). The end result was a pass. Very pleased with my discipline and hard work. It paid off!
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.