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I am happy to let you know that I have passed the PMP exam on my first attempt on 2nd Oct 2015 with 3Ps and 2MPs. Here is the way I went about it step by step:
1) First I went through the PMBOK Guide. It was really tough and it took me about a month to get through it. Even though its dry and one may not understand much I would still recommend that this is done as the first step as it will give you an idea as to what the PMP examination is all about.
2) Next I bought PM PrepCast (along with PM Exam simulator) and as a first step I went to forums section to get an idea on how people went about preparing for this exam. One of the things I did right way was to memorize the Process Group/Knowledge area table (PMBOK Guide 5th edition page no 61) and started practicing it whenever I got a chance.
3) I then went through PM PrepCast videos systematically. I really liked Cornelius style of presentation and the way he has organized the course content. I also liked the way Cornelius uses examples to explain concepts, because these examples stick to your mind and you can re-collect them easily. I also prepared my own notes for each chapter as I went through the PrepCast.
4) Once I finished all the videos in the PrepCast, I went through the PMBOK guide again. This time it made more sense and I was able to understand the concepts better and it did not feel as dry and boring as the first time. Simultaneously I also worked on my PMP application and got it approved from PMI
5) I then took my first practice exam from the PM Exam simulator. Based on my score I knew how much preparation I still required and I then scheduled my exam and got an exam date. Scheduling your exam is really important as that gives you a target date and the motivation to study every day. But I recommend that its done after taking your first timed practice exam. After this it was all about going through the PrepCast and the PMBOK guide again and again till I was confident.
6) Regarding ITTO’s I did not memorize them and tried to understand them as much as possible. In my opinion the litmus test for whether one has understood the ITTO’s is that at a minimum one should be able to know what a tool or technique does and to which process it belongs to. Also when a particular process in a knowledge area is mentioned you should be able to recollect a few inputs, tools and techniques and outputs for that process. This is not really difficult, if you keep reading the ITTO tables again and again from each chapter, after sometime, they will stick to your mind.
7) My final exam was a mentally draining experience. I found it to be tough and really challenging in spite of so many practice tests that I had taken. Time management is really important and that was a big challenge for me. I finished the exam with just 30 seconds remaining on the clock. So it was a big relief when the congratulations message flashed on my screen.
It took me about 4 months to complete the PMP and I believe there is no short cut to studying systematically every day. Passing the PMP is all about the “application” of concepts in the PMBOK guide and so I feel there is no need to study the same concepts from multiple sources. But I would suggest that you can use multiple sources to answer as many practice questions as possible. As for me I just used the PMBOK guide and the PM PrepCast and I can’t thank Cornelius enough for his guidance. Thank you Cornelius… you and the PM PrepCast are the best!!
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.