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It took me about 5 weeks to get ready.
Disclaimer: I dont have a job right now so it was probably easier than many of you.
that being said, I really admire people that took / are taking PMP while working !
1.a) 2 first weeks
When I started, I only read the PMBOK until Scope Mgt chapter.
I purchased PM PrepCast video
watching PM PrepCast video and then reading PMBOK related chapter made my experience much easier
read code of ethics a first time
I used an XL with following tabs:
- things to review: I wrote down every single thing that was not clear during my reading / video so that I don t interrupt it
- vocabulary: every definition, ITTO, HR topic, Procuremnt, Quality that I felt I needed to remember
and that it as preparation tool
1.c) 2 following weeks
took 8 exams simulation. always score between [80-90]
It usually takes me ~2h30 to go over all questions and 30 more minutes to review the ~25 marked questions. I usually wrap everything up in 3h.
based on my score and time performance, I was pretty much confident. but at the beginning of the real exam, all my confidence vanished . but this is for later.
in //, I checked various forums when I had to clarify few tricky topics: Accuracy vs Precision, Control Quality vs Assurance Quality, Risk Mitigation vs Risk Fall back plan, etc..
read code of ethics a second time
play again PM PrepCast video for the knowledge area where I scored the worst in the exam simulation
Although I wrote all the processes a couple of times to memorize them, I did not really train to prepare a dump sheet and did not write any during the exam.
2) day before the exam
went to exam venue to check the location, measure time to get there and check document needed (only my Passport)
read my notes one more time .. and simply stop my preparation as I could feel my brain was no more able to process anything.
3) Exam day
I arrived 1h earlier and could start right away.
did the training quickly and started the exam
I think the 30 first questions were tough
I marked (too) many questions since I was not 100% confident of my answers.
based on my experience from the exam simulation, I usually answer 50 questions in about 40 min .. but during the real exam, it took me about 1 hour.
I really felt that I needed to increase the pace so that I had enough time to review the marked questions
needless to say that I was a little bit destabilized. reading / re-reading / re-re-reading questions
I kept persevering / stayed focus and I think at some point I found my pace until the end.
I finished with about 50 min left to review all marked question, probably about 35.
finished the exam, took the survey and .. voila !! Pass with 4P and 1MP
4) how exam simulation par with MY exam:
in MY exam:
- question description were usually shorter
- less ITTO questions
- less calculation / network diagram (probably only 7-
so tons of situational questions. for the difficult situational question, I felt that during the real exam, catching the right answer was more difficult than in exam simulation. I don t know if it was the stress / my brain playing tricks to me, but I both marked more question and it took me much more time to answer all the questions than during the exam simulation.
very few questions that were not covered in the PMBOK.
5) Would I do things differently / Suggestions
Since I pass .. nope
joke aside, one thing that come to my mind that I would do at the very begining of my preparation is to print following PMBOK pages for easy reference
- p.59 Fig. 3-5 Project Data / Information and Report flow
- p.423 Table A1-1 PM Process Group and Knowledge area Mapping
- p.53 Project Management Process Interactions
and all Knowledge area figure overview
p. 65, 106, 143, 194, 230, 257, 288, 312, 356, 392
related to ITTOs: in addition to try to understand the purpose of each ITTOs, what help me to remember Input and Output was to understand "End to end Process" / flow of information accross multiple processes.
ex: as described in p. 59, work performance data fly from projet execution to controlling processes, then become work performancing Information and then go into the intregated process control to become a work performance report, and so on..
Unfortunately, not too many diagram like this in PMBOK but you can figure out other "End to end Process"
When trying to understand / clarify a topic and could not find answer in the PMBOK, I browsed the Internet, and I would definitely suggest to cross check various sources as I found some statement that were sometime simply incorrect (especially when it comes from someone preparation notes)
if you cannot answer or are unsure, mark the question and move one. Although I was well aware of this rule, during this somehow stressful exam, I was sometime spending / wasting to much time and I had to remind myself several time to move on. it is really REALLY important to be discipline on this rule.
6.a) small parenthesis to reply on a previous post related to the exam system:
- I could highlight text
- I could strike out answers
6.b) I experienced a weird things. On the computer screen, I was granted Profiency in all areas except Closing (MP), but on the paper report, it is written Proficiency in ALL Areas ..
I reported this to Prometric staff. They did not seem concern or maybe they did not believe me, but I remember what I saw !
and to finish, if Cornelius pass by this thread:
- thanks for the video, it really REALLY help a lot. I love how you show enthousiasm on a topic that could be seen as rather boring for most of the people.
- who is justine ?!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy to be on the other side of the fence and wish good luck to all PMP aspirants !
The following user(s) said Thank You: Edwin Volante , Mark Wuenscher, PMP
Last Edit: by Mark Wuenscher, PMP. Reason: changed prepcast to PM PrepCast
Congratulations on passing the PMP exam! Great work! Thanks for posting your experience and lessons learned. It is always good to know that I'm not the only one that struggled in the early stages of the exam. My experience was similar to yours but I only had about 7 minutes left at the end. It was a real slog and am thankful that I passed! Best of luck to you and enjoy that passing feeling!
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.