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The PMP Prepcast definitely helped me through the entire process. I initially gave myself 5 months to prepare for the exam but I decided to cut that down to 3 months due to a schedule conflict. My application got picked for the audit but I still managed to pass the exam on my first attempt.
I followed the study plan recommendation on the Prepcast and laid out the tasks on MS Project (e.g. application procedure and application processing tasks and respective duration, estimated time it will take for me to finish all the episodes on the Prepcast, target date to start taking the exams on the Simulator to fully utilize my 90 day access, etc.). I also took the alternative scenarios into consideration e.g. duration of the audit process if I get audited, how much time do I need to schedule my exam with potential delays, etc. I was fortunate enough to have easy access to my project and employment contacts so I informed them of my intentions prior to submitting my application. My application was selected for the audit but with a solid plan in place and guidance from the Prepcast, I never felt lost in the entire application process. I completed all the audit requirements within a week and got PMI's go-ahead a couple of days after they received my documents. I believe the tip on using the "PMBOK language" on the application was very useful.
What worked well for me during my studies was reading the PMBOK Guide first then watching the corresponding Prepcast episodes. I went through 1 Knowledge Area at a time. I highlighted important points on the PMBOK then reinforced the concepts through the Prepcast. I took down notes each time since this helped me stay attentive throughout the episode. The flash cards didn't work for me but I did find creating a spreadsheet with the consolidated Inputs, Outputs, and T&T extremely useful (pre-made ones won't be as useful). I used one other study material just to get a different perspective (Head First PMP, O'Reilly) - this product had a lot of questions on "math problems". I found it easier to remember the formulas when I actually practiced answering the math problems (I think the Prepcast has a separate product just for this). I was able to answer all 9 exams on the simulator (I answered 1-2 per weekend) and I took 25 item quizzes daily. What's just as important than taking the simulation tests is reviewing the wrong items. It also helped when I left my "smart guess" answers marked and reviewed them after even though these ended up being correct. The Prepcast recommended to take at least 3 full (4 hr, 200 item) exams and I'm glad I took advantage of all 9. My first 200 item sample exam was horrible. I lost focus after 100 items and I had to read the latter questions out loud. The more full simulation exams I took, the better and more confident I felt.
I've been to the exam venue prior (grad studies) so I skipped the suggestion to check the site before my exam. As mentioned in the interviews from the successful exam takers on the Prepcast, the test site has strict policies and procedures. I knew what to expect when I got there. I had a game plan in mind for exam day; I was supposed to take a planned break after 100 items but my pace didn't go as I expected. I sat the entire 4 hours but I was still able to maintain my cool and focus. The interviewees on the Prepcast weren't kidding about how it seemed like forever until your exam result came out on the screen. I'm happy that I passed and I'm happy that I used the PMP Prepcast.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Magroud Noreddine
First off, congratulations! Sounds like you had a solid plan and executed it perfectly.
Your audit experience is positive and I think it is important for other candidates to read. If you are prepared, there is no reason to be concerned. I wish they would change the name from Audit to "Application Validation" or something less ominous.
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.