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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
My PMP Journey:
1) I started with HEADFIRST PMP book and made my own notes from it. This is one of the easiest books to read and helped me get the concepts easily.
2) I then purchased RITA's book. Read each chapter from PMBOK and corresponding chapter from Rita's book and made my notes again from these. I chose to ignore the Rita's process chart as it was confusing for me. Instead relied only on PMBOK for it.
3) Even though I had planned to take the exam before the syllabus changed, I could not do it due to personal and professional commitments. So, when I started my studies again in June 2016, I purchased PMP Simplified book from Aileen Ellis. Unlike Rita's book, this book is written process area wise. Also, this covered items which are essential for PMP exam, but is not included in PMBOK. This also has process wise questions and process area wise questions, so I got a lot of practise answering these. It also includes a full mock test of 200 questions at the end.
4) I was also checking the Shiv Shenoy's blog and based on his suggestion purchased the PMP Exam Simulator, which proved to be one of my best decisions.
5) I tried all chapter end questions from Rita's book (409 question, 75%) and PMP Simplified books (74%). While I did not feel very confident with these scores, since I had only about 10 days, I tried my hands on PMP EXam Simulator.
PMP Exam 1 81%
PMP Exam 2 87.5%
PMP Exam 3 88.5%
6) Feeling very confident after the 3rd exam, I took Oliver Lehmann's online exam and found the questions to be very difficult. I could score only 72%. I was very nervous now. I took the 4th exam PMP exam simulator and my score dropped to 80.5% and this too was very difficult for me.
PMP Exam 4 80.5%
7) Since I had only about 2 days left, I reviewed the statistics (which is awesome, by the way) from simulator and revisited my weak areas, which were specifically procurement and closing process area.
Day before my exam, I took the 5th exam and scored 87%. My confidence was back with this score, but still could not sleep well that night.
PMP Exam 5 87%
9) My exam was early in the morning. I took a cab and reached the prometric 2 hrs before my exam. I did a quick revision with Shiv Shenoy's books on procurement, initiating and closing areas again. I also, revisited my brain dump and then went to the center.
10) Although there were a lot of test takers that day, Prometric was happy to let me start as soon as I went. After all the checks, I started the tutorials, completed my brain dump within 10 mins and started the exam. First 15-20 questions were very tricky and confusing. I marked many of them for review. But, I continued without loosing hope. Soon I picked up my pace and completed the first round in 3 hrs. I had marked about 30-35 questions for review. Started with the formula based questions in this 2nd round and then finally the lengthy questions. I was able to finish 15 mins early. Quickly completed the survey and waited for sometime before the screen showed the 'Congratulation' message. It was a huge relief after putting all the hard work.
1. Take a lot a full length mock exams. This will build your confidence and also will help you concentrate for 4 hrs.
2. Practise your brain dump as many times as you can. I created this for every mock exams I took with a stop clock and ensured I completed this within 12-13 mins. This included the formulae, all 47 processes and Quality/HR theories.
3. Dont panic even if you are stuck on some questions in the exam. Tick the one which you feel the right answer is, mark the question for review and move ahead. Sometimes questions and/or options in further questions can help you answer these marked questions later.
4. One useful feature in the exam is the option to 'Strike out' the options which is not correct. I did not know about this earlier, but it was in the tutorials before the exam. This helped me in saving time during my 2nd round.
5. Do not memorize the ITTOs. I think every person who have taken the exam would say this. There were very few questions on these and I could easily answer them.
6. Focus on the data flows for the exam. Some one had mentioned creating a mind-map keeping 'Control Quality' process as the center in this forum. I tried this and found it very helpful to understand both change and deliverable flows.
7. DO NOT ignore Initiating and Closing processes. These have very less questions, but you have to do well in them to clear the exam.
8. I found the simulator questions to be more similar to PMP exam questions compared to other sources. So, please plan to attempt all 8 mock exams unlike me.
Hope the above PMP exam tips will be useful for your prep. All the best!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mark Wuenscher, PMP
If you closely look at data flow diagram for Control Quality process (PMBOK page 249) you can see both approved change requests and deliverable as Inputs. Also, Validated changes, verified deliverable are outputs. Just follow these and draw the mind map with all downstream and upstream processes for deliverable and Change requests. This worked for me as I could easily remember both flows together. If it is confusing, create mind maps for both of them separately. Hope this helps.
Thanks Mark! I was not aware of some of the processes like how procurement is done, what are some of the info gathering techniques etc. Apart from trying to implement some of these in my project, I also realised some of my own short comings in interpersonal skills. With all these, I hope I will be able to perform my job better than before.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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.