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I passed me PMP exam this morning in Geneva (Switzerland), scoring a majority of "Proficient".
I initiated the process about 6 months ago, but actually studied over a period of 3+ months, as I interrupted my progression to take German classes during a few months .
I first took some time to document myself in order to understand better what it takes to become a certified PMP and ordered the PMBOK (paper version) as well as Rita Mulcahny's book. (I personally dislike PDF files as I like to highlight text and take notes directly in the book)
I read the PMBOK a first time, highlighting critical information and listing gaps in my knowledge. I also started the creation of flashcards.
I went through the PM Prep podcasts, that I liked very much. As a Swiss citizen, I must recognize and promote the "Swiss made".... Besides the quality of the podcasts, they bring the clarification and necessary information that the dry approach of the PMBOK is missing. Last but not least, Cornelius voice pace is slow enough so that I could listen most of the podcasts at 1.5 or 2.0x the normal speed, only slowing down to normal speed when reaching gaps areas spotted in the first pass through the PMBOK. Really efficient !
I read Rita's book a first time, highlighting critical information and doing some exercises but without answering the sample questions at the end of each chapter. I liked the book very much. Exercises, clarification and examples were very helpful to further fill the gaps that I had in certain areas and understand some concepts more in depth.
I booked my exam
I read Rita's book a second time, answering this time the sample questions (400+ questions), in order to assess my progress and less strong areas.
I kept the last 10 days prior to the exam to focus on ITTO’s and Exam prep simulator (only did 200+ questions). With the help of the PMBOK, I created some spreadsheets with all Inputs and Outputs (left the TT’s aside), to better understand the links between them through the various processes, process groups and knowledge areas. This was VERY helpful to avoid as much memorization as possible for the exam. (but some remains needed )
The day before the exam, I only went through my flashcards one last time.
If I had to do it again, I would not do it differently. I would nonetheless book my exam sooner in the learning process, as having a deadline is a strong motivator in the « difficult moments » of the certification preparation. I would not spend more time on answering exam questions as going through 600 or 700 gives more than enough understanding of "what it smells like". I prefer to invest my time learning.
PMP is an exciting (not easy though) journey! Happy to have started 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.