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I would like to share the story of how I passed my PMP exam. I have been working as a project coordinator on construction projects in Oil field construction, and industrial projects before I for 3.5 years before I decided to pursue the PMP Exam. I also had other project management experience from manufacturing sector at least 2.5 years. I have a background in mechanical Engineering. I created a profile online, provided all the information required and then had to complete my 35 contact hours. So, I purchased the The PM PrepCast (For PMBOK Guide 5th Edition) & PM Exam Simulator (90-Day Access) Bundle in June 2015. I waited 1 month, and them decided to challenge the exam based on my previous knowledge. I could not get the required pass mark as my knowledge was extremely limited so I decided to read up on some areas, about 1-2 hours of reviews online on terms and concepts that I was not familiar with. The same day, I was able to get my 35 contact hours certificate but it showed my that I had enormous gaps in my knowledge area understanding.
After I got my 35 contact hours, I completed the application and was not audited, therefore, I was able to select a day for my PMP exam. I originally wanted to complete the exam in November 2015 or before 11 Jan 2016 to avoid the changes however, due to work and family commitments, I could not achieve this and kept changing the date. The entire time, I did not use my PM exam simulator access, finally, in Feb 2016, I decided to use the code to force myself to commit, i changed the dates a couple of times until my 90 days almost ran out and I decided to write the exam on May 1st.
To study for the PMP exam, I used the following materials
The PM PrepCast (For PMBOK Guide 5th Edition) - I would listen to the lessons while exercising at the gym on the treadmill at least 1 hour a day for 1 month. I could not cover all the material but it helped to supplement my knowledge gaps for areas where I just did not want to read about. Also it gave practical real life examples that I found made it easier to understand the pmp principle. I mastered the following knowledge areas from precast and never read up on it again..Quality, human resources, communications, Procurement
PM Exam Simulator (90-Day Access) Bundle - I started doing the exam simulator before i finished reading all the materials, I wrote a total of 5 exams, lowest mark was 54% highest mark was 69.5%, see my marks below. Clearly these were low marks compared to other people online that were getting about 75%. I noticed my marks improved the more I studied over a period of 1 month. I found the exams to be slightly hard, but each time after I finished the exams, I reviewed every question I got wrong and this was probably the main way I learned alot. I physically wrote down the principle, explanations for my wrong answers and it make every thing click together for me. Also, the practice exams helped me big time, I always finished them within 3.5 hours but it is exhausting, especially since I last wrote any exam like that 7 years ago in university. Answering 200 questions is not easy at all. I will recommend doing as many exams as possible to help prepare you for the stress of seating for 3 hours. Here is all my exam scores
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
I bought a hard copy of the book, read it airports, bedtime, flights, I would read the book whenever I could, I actually found the book easy to read,not a dry read like most people said unlike most people that read the book like 3 times, I read it just once over a long period, 9 months. I strongly believe that if I had the patience to read alot, I would have performed better in the practice exams and PMP exam if I had read the book cover to cover at least 2 times. My study approach, has always been different from most people as I was not a firm believer in cramming things reading every single page cause I believed that some things are just logic so would skip areas that I had either previously listened to, or reviewed in my past question papers..or just understood, I must say the the first 4 chapters, where critical. I made sure I understood all the Inputs, outputs, knowledge areas, process, tools and techniques. I memorized all the knowledge areas, and 47 processes and understood how inputs and outputs were linked. I mastered knowledge areas, Project integration and Scope management from the book.
Rita 8th Edition
I read Rita passively, I did not read it cover to cover, I read it ever now and again when I could, I know for a fact that I cover 4 knowledge areas from this book and understood it well, risk, cost, time and human resources
Edward-designer PMP Notes
This is a great resource, I used Edward online notes for days when I was lazy to study and during my lunch break at work, I would just read up on his comments and success stories, here I found motivations and the notices helped me keep my mind on the exam. The notes are wonderful, I recommend them greatly cause it covers the entire PMP book, with quick notes kept me refined.
I found there resource as amazing, they way the explained and compared lots of PMP ideas is really great.
I prayed to God daily as well for success and strength, that also help ME. as Christianity is my faith.
I did not study as well as most people did, I did not attend any crash course or classes, I also did not score as high as most people do in the exam, 3 below Proficiency and 2 Moderately Proficient were enough on my occasion of the exam to give a pass. I must say, I found the exam more difficult than the practice exams. I was also really tried after the exam, I was nervous, I really wanted to pass, i developed an headache after the exam, I must also add that before the exam, I went in confident, not afraid, I knew I was under prepared compared to levels of other people, I did not let other people comments online on getting high marks in practice exams where I did not do well disturb me, I prayed on my knees before the exam, asked God for success, Ialso believed in what I knew what I read and things I understood also some experience in construction help, especially in procurement contracts e.t.c
I hope this helps others as well. I wish you all the best in your preparations.
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.