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I got approved for the test last year October, and planned to take the test last December. Studied for about a month (an hour a day I gues)... but due to changes at work and life, I had to scrap those plans... and didn't even think about it again until well in to May this year. And even with a Aug 31st date (my validity period ends in October), I did not get much time to prepare properly due to business travel and such. only in the last 10-12 days did I put in proper effort towards studying. Certainly not a model to be emulated, but I was able to do justice to the goal finally.
1) Headfirst PMP - studied end to end (Also had Rita's... but like many people, I did not have the patience to read through the book in detail. But it is certainly a good reference, which I will use going forward as needed)
2) PMBOK - skimmed through it once, referenced when needed
3) PM Prepcast - need to say anything more here? Nope. Buy it, listen to it, keep the files for reference (or whenever you need to calm your nerves. Cornelius's voice does that easily!)
4) PM exam simulator
- I would say this was a good investment in that it gave me a feel for the exam setting and also I found my knowledge gaps easily, with the variety of questions.
On the exam:
I did a brain dump of the 47 processes and the earned value and some other formulae... did that in 5-10mins. The tutorial itself was pretty short. Then once the exam began, no break until the 2.5hr mark. Took a bio break and then, started reviewing the answers... end to end. Clicked the end exam button with 4 mins left, got a survey and then some seconds later, saw the results.
The real exam I faced today had a major chunk of questions that were not nearly as direct as on the simulator. May be it was a one-off event. On the simulator, I had taken about 7 exams... scored 71% on the Exam 1, 79% on the ITTO Exam 9...and then consecutively passed 5 more exams with 80%+. And I could average about 2 hrs per exam. But I took 2.5hrs to finish the first run on the exam... and was reviewing answers until like 4 mins before end time. I had several questions that needed calculations. Don't remember seeing any direct ITTO questions... but had couple of them with all the confusing text. Overall, as I went through the exam, my confidence level dropped... but once I got to the end of my re-review, I was feeling pretty ok.
1) Don't rush with your PMP effort like I did. Take your time to prepare and prepare well.
2) Don't spend much time memorizing anything. If you do not understand a concept, ask for help. Esp. on ITTOs... I created my own excel pivot table from all the ITTO data from PMBOK and sought out to learn patterns by looking at them everyday and understand the flow of stuff. And yet, on the simulator, I got stumped by some direct questions. Certainly an area I will look in to going forward (even though I am a PMP now!)
3) Take time to sit through sample tests. I did only the 75Q Lehmann's outside of the Simulator... but feel free to take as many you think you need.
4) Ultimately, the 4hrs you spend in the real exam is all that matters. Never lose your cool.
That's all I have time for now. Got to get back to work from tomorrow. Will try to be more active going forward.
Good health (which is my next project) and peace of mind to all of you!
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.