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TOPIC: My 100 day plan that helped me pass the PMP exam

My 100 day plan that helped me pass the PMP exam 11 months 2 weeks ago #6648

  • ELENA BECERRA DE SEPULVEDA
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I have a job, a family, and outside interests, so the #1 thing I knew was that I wanted to get this exam cleared quickly, while letting me absorb info and keeping my costs under control. I basically made it into a 100 day 'project' for UNDER $1,000 WITH exam.

I will say first that I spent a very long time in initiation/preparation mode. Did I really need this cert? what would be the costs/benefits? What could I really hope to do with it going forward? Do I have the support of my stakeholders? Work/Family? What would my schedule look like? Compared some early info on education providers (I LOVED the comparison worksheet Cornelius provided). After seeing what a great value the PMPrepcast was, I went all-in and got the bundle with the formula guide and exam simulator included.

I took the entire course, divided those videos up over about 9-10 weeks-ish ( I went by days). I would skim a chapter, watch the video, then reread what I didn't 'get' and I would watch my slippage...if I had family stuff or whatever, I would watch my schedule performance and increase performance the next week to keep on target because I wanted a good 3 weeks at the end dedicated to JUST practice exams, coaching with mentors/forums, etc. So, after 9 weeks, I finished watching all videos, and by then, I would have skimmed the whole pmbok, and deeply dove into sections I was completely unfamiliar with. I was also doing practice quizzes at the end of every module to help guide me on what I needed to re-read. By the 10th week, I was taking longer quizzes in the Exam simulator. In weeks 11-13, I was taking full length exams and rereading the topics that I was getting the most wrong questions (so I had a focused study time).

If you only count full length exams in strict exam conditions, that equals to about 5 exams, at 4 hours each, so 20 hours of testing, so I would do about 2 exams per week (you don't want to burn out), then review the wrong sections. Plus, I made sure to do question banks from at least 2 different sources (I actually had 3 sources). That way you can get used to different writer's tone and approaches to the question structure.

My 'aha!' moment was when I noticed my scores on practice exams improved significantly by taking more quizzes in learning mode and immediately looking up items in the PMBOK references Cornelius provides. This was by FAR the BEST tool I could have used. It fit my learning style and boosted my interest in the subject matter (as dry as the PMBOK is).

I will say I did NOT include the 1 week of pending approval of my PMI application into the 100 days. I DID finish my training on the 99th day, the day my PMP exam simulator subscription expired, gave myself the last night OFF, then went in for my exam. on day 101 and PASSED. I have become a PMPrepcast evangelist at my work now!

I used:
PMBOK 5th ed.
PMPrepcast course (special bundle with formula guide)
PMPExam simulator (test bank)
SKillsoft FREE course from employer with practice questions and the practice exam simulator, HATED the course, but the variety of questions really did make me exercise my problem solving under time constraint (this is geared more towards how to be a project manager, not this is what to know for the exam...there is a BIG difference).
Secondary resources:
Velociteach FREE trial course with practice exam simulator (used the last week of exam study)
Projectmanagement.com forums for question asking, etc (you get this free if you join PMI, which I did. you get a discount off the exam fee, plus the PMBOK digital copy free. I was also a full time student, so my PMI membership was all of $35 I believe.
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