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TOPIC: Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study

Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study 7 months 9 hours ago #7191

  • Cass
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I initially found the PMP materials a little daunting, but Cornelius did a great job of parsing them out. His speaking style is captivating and he made it easy to take notes to review later. I also appreciate that each lessons was only about 30 minutes long, which all I could take in without a break.

I did get 5 Ps on the first stab at the live test, although I was worried going in. I'd been scoring only 75-80 percent on practice exams. Ultimately, a couple of things in particular saved my bacon, so I'll explain them here, along with my general study approach.

FWIW, my test was in January, on the last day before they switched to the new format. By way of a little background, I've never been a Project Manager, per se; however, project management has been integral to all of my jobs and I had also worked with dedicated project managers. On a random practice test I took online (with no prep), I scored 60: I had some experience/familiarity with the concepts going in. For me, the hardest part was what I'll call "voodoo" (vs practice-based knowledge); that is, learning the PMBOK's structure and PMIs not-necessarily-reality-based biases.

In general, I tried to study for an hour or so every day. I wasn't always disciplined about it, but I knuckled down at the end. Ultimately, I slogged through about 80% of Modules 1-13 this way.

Early on, I also downloaded a couple of PMP prep apps to my mobile phone. I probably put in another hour or so a day taking practice tests that way. It ended up really helping, as more continuous training about how PMI thinks.

With just a couple of weeks left until the test, I took my first PMPrepcast practice test. I scored 64...which was super annoying: two months of study just to gain 4 points over my a priori practice test?! Fortunately, Cornelius' test reports helped me zero in on my weakest areas.

For the last couple of weeks, I spent two or three hours a night rewatching Prepcasts and rereading notes for my lowest-scoring knowledge areas. Every couple of nights, I'd take another practice test. No lie: it was grueling.

Although I had access to Cornelius' formulas study-site, I ended up not using that. It was so late in the game, I needed a more quick-fix memory aid. I scanned a few different page I found through Google, but ultimately ended up concocting my own mnemonic aids for the top 12 formulas. Silly stuff like:
  • Everyone except actors is civil (EV-AC=CV)
  • Everyone except perverts is suave (EV-PV=SV)
  • Everyone overacts: it's copacetic (EV/AC=CPI)
  • Everything on perverts is spiky (EV/PV=SPI)

If you want the complete list, PM me, and I'll go dig them out for you.

All of this got me up to about 75 average score on practice tests, usually getting only moderately proficient in a couple of categories. They say that if you can consistently score 80, you'll do fine on the live test. I wasn't quite there, but hoped I was close enough.

On exam day, a lot of the test ended up being about communication and change management, which were some of my better areas. The mnemonics helped me get all of the formula questions right. Probably most importantly, though, I felt reasonably well prepared for the content and what the experience would be like. Honestly, I couldn't have done it without PM Prepcast. The course fees were totally reasonable and paid for themselves in both time and prevented costs.

I should add that now that I'm actively applying for PM jobs, I find that a lot of the Prepcast materials pours out of my head in interviews. It's honestly kind-of a marvel to me, to hear myself saying this stuff, but it all comes down to training.

Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study 6 months 3 weeks ago #7202

  • C. George Morris PMP CSM ITIL
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Congrats Cass. PM Prepcast was and remains a fantastic tool for retention of all we have learned. Good luck with the PM job search.

Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study 6 months 3 weeks ago #7203

  • Scott Gillard
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Congrats to you! Good luck on your interviews!
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Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study 6 months 3 weeks ago #7207

  • Chris Preziotti
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Congrats, Scott!
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Aced it on first try after about 2.5 months of study 6 months 2 weeks ago #7214

  • Adeel Hameed
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many congrats
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