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Ratna Kumar Lekkala, PMP sent us the following lessons learned:
Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 at 5:03 AM
Elimination is the best approach that worked for ME (Please note that another person told me in after exam discussion at the same center that he got several calculation questions. I wish I got those ! Calculatons are like relaxing time for me ).
Rita is too much and head first is just below the PMP standard (as per the questions I got)
Memorizing ITTOs is not a good idea! Its better to understand and grasp the pattern (like most of the processes in monitoring and control have PERFORMANCE information, approved CHANGES and Project management plan components as inputs AND Requested CHANGES, Recommended CORRECTIVE actions and Updates to organizational process assets as out puts!). The reason is the question wont usually give the exact INPUT as mentioned in those figures (4-1, 5-1, 6-1 etc). It gives material, subsections, closely related context issues as part of the Input. You will sometimes be forced to know this and make sense of it when you finish eliminating the obviously wrong ones.
Do not agree when those books or prepcasts say you just need to know about this they wont be asking to calculate or know this etc. One of the calculation questions (of the few questions I got) involved calculations that were said not needed to learn. OR may be I am not supposed to actually calculate anything for that question. Never know as I never know if my answer was right! but neverthless its only ONE question
I was able to finish the initial questions (37 marked for review) in 2 hours and 24 minutes! By the time I finished READING, ANALYZING,CONFIRMING and RE-CONFORMING the asnwers for the marked questions I was left with 21 minutes! I went through all the questions until it was 7 more minutes to complete (only 54 questions reviewed in sequence) when I decided to STOP.
As for the material to study: PMprep cast has been of best use for ME (may not be the same depending on how your brainprefers to process information) . Either Head First or Rita is enough. Both is overkill (for ME). I ended up not having time to read RITA (exccept for the processes in order in RITA's planning processes only because the book said its top knotch and since I was able to get it right away as I alredy finished reading Head First!). Head First is good to deal with TIME, COST management and other areas where calculations are needed and also the graphs were explained good here. Rita is good for wordy questions and those questions involving no numbers! But its at higher standard than PMP.
The approach that worked for me to understand the ITTOs is listening to Prepcast with PMBOK open in front of me! I used to pasue when there is information and read the relevant PMBOK pages to confirm and understand better what I just heard and googled in some instances to get a better grasp at the subject.
I did not study same stuff at stretch (like reading PMBOK continuously, or listening to prepcast continuously or reading head first continuously even though thats the only book I could read continiously!). I mix and matched. After listening to 1-3 chapters on PmPREPCAST (usually one and maximum 3 at a time with pmbok and google aids) in my next study session, I used to take a test from some resource (I took 4 PMP and one Super PMP on Ritas FASTrack, head first questions, oliver lehman etc).
Here is the kicker! I did not memorize anything from PMBOK. For that matter, I never actually read the complete book in a organized way! Only referenced back while listening to prepcast (I am not suggesting this idea to others but if you are that kind of a guy who gets information in pieces I guess its ok)
I stopped studying the day before. Played volley ball watched movies and got up after a nice sleep had break fast, drove and got myself a redbull (because it gives me wings!) and water and two snack bars. Drank red bull before exam, after I finished my initial run (with 37 questions marked) I was hungry as hell and the snacks and water helped (Its so obvious how your brain burns so many calories when it works!).
Finally, The worst thing you could do to WASTE time is trying to COMPLETELY undesrtand the First chapters at the first read! the page 70 will be in your mind by the time you finish the last chapter and review the material and so does many things that you feel like memorizing or to understand more. They will be understood in due time. Dont expect perfect and complete understanding ESPECIALLY the initial chapters at your first go. When you come back to them you will understand them better. And the same approach works for the exam, dont expect to get the first few questions absolutey correct in your first read. Just go past them and start getting the hang of it by answering the possible ones first and the answers to the questions you ignored at first might strike to you in due time!
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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.