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Tricks during the exam
Before you read my long exam preparation please following tricks during the exam.
1) Fair warning: 95% of the questions was situational, very little ITTOS questions. PMP exam simulator need to take notice of this.
2) A lot of questions on lessons learnt, stakeholder management, communication plan and project charter. Thank god I saw this video before the exam, superb description by Saket Bansal on the new PMP exam format.
3) ONE TRICK I LEARNT WHERE NO ONE TOLD ME BEFORE, IF ANY OF YOUR ANSWERS YOU ARE NOT SURE MARK IT AND MAKE A NOTE OF IT IN SCRATCHPAD SOMEWHWERE. ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION UNDER REVIEW COULD BE ANSWERED IN ONE OF QUESTIONS LATER. For example ( I am making this up for ethical reasons) I had a question of risk reassessment which I had a doubt and I marked it. Later there was a question about the reassessment which answered the question I marked. KEEP AN EYE ON THE QUESTIONS UNDER REVIEW AS THEY MAY BE ANSWERED BY ANOTHER QUESTION LATER.
It was my life long ambition to pass PMP at some point. I first took PMP test in August 2011 and failed miserably. Though I did admit I was not adequately prepared for exam at that time. I decided to try again in early 2016. I have a full time job with two kids and my wife also worked full time I was hard-pressed for time. I began to research online how to pass PMP with little investment and going to boot camp was my last option. Finally I planned to study for PMP exam from March 2016 and was aiming to take exam in early July.
1) I spent 2 hours a day ready PMBOK book word by word, during travel and lunch time. I read it slowly as it was not easy to grasp the information first. I used half a chapter a day, I went unconventional route of memorizing the ITTOs yes that my intent was to memorize the ITTOs and I admit I was not able to remember the ITTOS the next day. But what helped me I was able to understand the flow the ITTOs and the logic behind them. It took me 1 month to finish ready the book. That was early April.
2) Next I borrowed The PMP Exam: How to Pass On Your First Try by Andy Crowe, it is a fantastic resource to study for the PMP exam. Since I read PMBOK before Andy Crowe's book was a breeze and it was very helpful. The quizzes at the end of each chapter was very useful and I was able to get around 60% of the answer's right. So I juggled between PMBOK and Andy Crowe's book and was able to understand each chapter and everything was making to sense to me now. The whole process took me 1 month, this was end of April. Again I spent 2 to 3 hours a day during the month of April.
3) I also got PMP Exam Success Series: Bootcamp Manual with Exam Simulation Application by Tony Johnson. This is another very good resource for PMP exam, the content is very concise, easy to understand and the quizzes and summary questions was very useful . They had a cheat sheet at the end of the book that was one of the reasons that helped me pass the exam. While studying this book and taking free online tests I was getting around 60-65% which I found was not enough. It was almost end of May I was beginning to feel nervous as my practice tests was below 70% and I was able to uncover where I was lagging.
4) I did a lot of research to identify best PMP simulator exams. I narrowed down PMP Exam Simulator and BrainBok, I decided PMP exam simulator based on reviews though I did BranBok is much more tougher. I applied for PMP exam (thankfully I did not get audited) I scheduled my exam on July 2nd. At the same time decided to sign for PMP-exam simulator on the first week of July.
5) My family decided to take an extended vacation and left 3 weeks earlier than me. I took full benefit of that. That 15 days for the most critical time for me to prepare for the exam. During the day travel to work and lunch I finished PMP exam series by Tony Johnson and I would take the PMP- exam simulator exam at night for 4 hours. Next day I would spend 4 hours reviewing my answers including the ones which I got right to make sure my logic was correct. I identified a lot gaps and created a list to close the gap. I took 5 exams my score was 75%, 80%, 83%, 85% and 82 % and ITTO exam was 90%. I knew I was getting better but I also felt there were gaps I need to close before the exam.
6) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT- practice page 61 in PMBOK every day and memorize it. Write down the 17 formulas for the exams every day. Few days before the exam the MOST IMPORTANT TASK identify and memorize key inputs and outputs for the 47 processes. That was the single most important factor why I passed.
I TOOK THE EXAM ON JULY 2ND AND I PASSED.
Total investment, PMP-exam simulator and PMP Bootcamp manual total $200.
Hope this information is useful
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.