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I'm in the IT industry for more than 15 years. I have experience in network administration and management of small IT projects.
I decided to pass PMP Exam to gain more knowledge in the project management area, to know how to do things in a right way. A lot of topics in the PMBOK Guide were new to me. I read about things that open my eyes and I always try to see them as opportunities to improve my understanding of project management and not as extra work that needs to be done and nobody cares about.
At first I just read through the PMBOK Guide, just to get the feeling of subject and scope of the exam. Then I purchased “PM PrepCast videocast” and “PM Exam Simulator”. I watch the video lectures chapter by chapter and if there was something that I didn’t understand I look for additional explanation on internet. I really try to understand, what the idea is, what is the concept in the background not just memorize ITTO’s.
Some processes or concepts were strange to me at first, but when I continue to other chapters and knowledge areas “the big picture” started to construct together like a puzzle.
After each knowledge area I did a self assessment tests. Results vary between 60 and 90 %. Wrong interpretation or reading of questions (and possible answers) was the main reason for low scores.
When I covered like 50% of PMBOK and video lectures I started to lose focus and will to pass the exam and I noticed that my progress is slowing down. So I make a study plan. I calculate how many hours of video lectures I still need to cover, estimate my time I can spend learning/watching videos and I scheduled for the exam. Knowing when the exam date is and the scope I have to cover put me back on the track.
I didn’t try to memorize all the ITTO’s at all. What I did was to draw my own process boxes and connect the outputs and inputs together. Such graphical presentation was very helpful for me. With such diagrams I covered like 50-60% of ITTO’s plus additional ones that are obvious I think I covered like 80-90% of all ITTO’s and processes.
When I finished with all lectures I started to use “PM Exam Simulator”. At first I take a few short quizzes, just to see the type of questions. Then I started to do “real” tests. I scheduled one test per day, I picked time of the day that I have 4hours just for the tests. I took 4 tests and my score was between 77 and 83 %. For each test I took time and check all questions that I marked for review and all questions that I answered wrong. I find out, that I was not reading questions carefully. The questions that were the easiest - I answered them wrong! I also check all the questions I was not 100% sure of. I finished all tests (all 200 questions per test) within 3 hours. That was a good sign, that I will have time for review and give me additional confidence.
On the real exam I try to take it easy. I check the time on every 50 questions, just to make sure that I will have the time for review. I put a lot of effort, to read the question correctly. If I didn’t find an answer that I was 100% sure about it, I read the question and answers again.
I hope someone will find this information useful and good luck to you all!
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.