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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
I have been in IT (Information Technology) for over 20 years and have earned many technical certifications so I am no stranger to prepping for and taking timed, multiple-guess certification tests. I know I personally hate boot camps, classrooms, and trying to digest a steady stream of information over several days. I do much better with short sessions with breaks. In fact I remember reading somewhere that you can learn and retain more information by studying for 20 minutes, taking a 20 minute break, and studying for 20 minutes than you can by studying for a full 60 minutes uninterrupted. And, I like to be able to pause, rewind, and repeat whenever I need to instead of interrupting an entire class while I focus on something.
The PMP covers a much larger body of knowledge than the technical certification tests I am accustomed to. I planned to study in 2 four-hour sessions every week for seven months or about 224 hours. I am pretty sure I studied a lot more than that. I had the PM PrepCast playing anytime I was driving somewhere and while I was doing cardio at the gym in addition to my 2 four-hour sessions every week. My primary study materials were the PMBOK guide in PDF form (so I could quickly and easily find information), the PM PrepCast, and the PM PrepCast Exam Simulator.
Here are my main lessons learned:
Review the requirements to become a PMP and start getting all of your project management experience documentation together ASAP! This was one of the most painful and time-consuming parts of the process.
Sign up for Project Management Institute (PMI) membership to get access to the PMBOK Guide PDF format, save money on the exam, and have access to Projectmanagement.com so you can easily earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) after your earn your PMP.
Spend the extra money for the PM Exam Simulator and use it a lot. It’s worth it!
Focus on the relationships between the processes.
Do not waste much time trying to memorize ITTOs.
Read the test questions carefully for words like “least”, “except”, “not”, etc.
Make sure you answer all the questions on the test even if you are not sure about the correct answer.
Be aware the PMBOK guide does NOT contain all of the information covered on the test. The PM Exam Simulator will point you to content not covered in the PMBOK and where you can learn more about that content on the Internet.
And finally, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive classes to pass. Here’s what I bought and what I spent:
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.