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I have recently passed a PMP Examination and decided to write a short article to share some steps during my preparation, which I hope will prove valuable for those willing to undertake the exam in the future.
1. PMBOK GUIDE (iteration #1)
It was beneficial to start with PMBOK Guide. I skimmed through it without putting emphasis on details in order to understand main concepts and match my experience, knowledge and skills in project management to the PMBOK Guide. As a result I had an understanding of areas I should have focused on in depth during my future preparation.
2. SAMPLE PMP EXAM (iteration #1)
I found and took a Sample PMP Exam. It was valuable for me for the following reasons:
- gain better understanding of weak points and therefore plan preparation time more effectively;
- understand types of questions, the Exam format and the physical and mental demands of completing a four hour exam.
3. PMP EXAM PREPARATION BOOK
There are many good PMP Exam Preparation Books on the market. I used “Head First PMP” book by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene and found it very useful and easy to read. It is especially good for people who prefer visual information rather than just text. Reading this book was easier for me than reading the PMBOK Guide and in some cases allowed me to look at ideas of PMBOK Guide from different angles. In addition I found some useful tips regarding the real exam.
4. SAMPLE PMP EXAM (iteration #2) and PMBOK GUIDE (iteration #2)
After reading the PMP Exam preparation book I took sample PMP Exams as a final preparation step. In my opinion it is beneficial to have at least four of the sample PMP Exams completed before the real test. I wrote almost seven: one from the PMP Exam preparation book, four from the PMP Exam Simulator (purchased separately) by Cornelius Fichtner and two from the Internet (for free) by Oliver Lehnmann (75- and 175-questions Sample PMP Exams).
After each sample PMP Exam I reviewed incorrect answers and explanations and if required, read the information in PMBOK Guide. At this stage of preparation I found PMBOK Guide very useful and ‘to the point’ without any unnecessary and unrelated information and I read some chapters again focusing on the weakest areas and analyzing the processes in detail. If I wanted to expand my knowledge in a particular topic or area I read additional information on the Internet. For example, I reviewed some articles on the PM Study Circle website.
If I were to choose the source of sample PMP Exams again, I would have used only PMP Exam Simulator because the format and questions are very close to the real exam and it offers 9 full sample PMP Exams. As for 75- and 175-question sample PMP Exams by Oliver Lehmann, I found them more difficult than the real exam and to some extent inconsistent with the scope of the PMBOK Guide. That is why it is useful to take these two sample PMP Exams mostly for personal growth and development as a project manager.
For me these steps were a key to success on the real exam and I hope you find the information presented here useful. I wish you all the best in your path of becoming PMP certified.
The following user(s) said Thank You: John Rosa, Cecil D'Souza
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.