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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
Uchenna Mkparu, PMP sent us the following lessons learned:
Date: August 20, 2009
I found the entire process very enlightening. You see, there was really no pressure from work or anywhere else to take the credential exam but I decided that I needed to do it to become certified and learn the PM Methodology subscribed to by PMI. So the entire process was a huge learning experience.
I used three major tools to prepare for the exam:
1. PMBOK 3rd Edition
2. Rita's PMP Exam Prep
3. Good 'ole PM PrepCast.
The PM PrepCast was highly useful to me for many reasons: I could listen to lectures on-the-go (since I'm a very active person). It quickly brought me in contact with topics that I ordinarily wouldn't have learned until almost midway in my preparations (types of power for example), completing each audio lecture was a tangible milestone for me and I found that very rewarding. I didn't always stick to my study plan cause of convenience and sometimes outright boredom/laziness but I could always listen to the PrepCast.
The most juicy features of the PrepCast are the newsletters, free practice exams and access to forums. I totally looked forward to the newsletter because it let me study, even while at work, introducing me to new concepts on a daily basis. I did a victory dance each time I scored above 80% on the practice exams. All in all a very worthwhile experience.
By the test day, I'd done a significant number of practice exams, I'd read Rita's Book twice, I'd read the PMBOK once and revisited weak areas, I'd listened to the PrepCast, so I wasn't nervous at all. I had to travel out of town to take the exam because the learning center in my location was full and I needed to do the exam by the 30th of June. Actually, I traveled out of Nigeria altogether. I went to Accra, Ghana, a town in a neighboring country. This didn't faze me because I've been in Ghana before.
The personnel at the test center were professional and everything worked well. I was even given mufflers to block out noise.
During the exam, there were no surprises. Almost all the questions that I got were aligned with my preparations. I mentioned that I'm very active. I think restless is more accurate, so one of my biggest challenges was to sit through a 4-hour exam and then afterwards have the patience to review it question after question. Some of the things I noted were:
1. Earned Value questions aren't nearly as scary as you might initially think and not all of them require calculations
2. Overall, there weren't more than 6 - 8 questions that were calculation related
3. Monitoring and Controlling is a tricky area and I'd recommend that everyone pay attention to the processes in that Process Group
4. Integration and Procurement Management are by far the most encompassing areas
5. Every aspiring PMP must read, understand and abide by the handbook
6. If a question is too complicated, just mark it for review; one can always go back to it!
It took me about 6 months to study for and pass the exam, and I'm glad I did it!
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.