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Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.
I am a manufacturing engineer/manager at a small contract manufacturer, and focus primarily on product development projects. Each project had a ME assigned to be the project lead, and we are responsible for keep the project on track, updating all stakeholders, and closing (beside being the technical lead).
One of my coworkers went to HR in January about taking the local PMP prep course, and they decided that four of us could go. So, starting in February we took the class. Our "textbooks included both the PMBOK and Rita Mulcahy’s “PMP Exam Prep” (read the chapters that we covered for each week). When it ended in April, our instructor continued with another 5 week refresher class (two classmates took the exam and passed in July). During the refresher I went ahead and submitted the PMI application, which was approved.
After the class I took all my notes from class & my highlights from Rita's book and created my own study guide, much like Edward Chung's (and at 80 pages, it was just as long!)
Because I was moving and prepping a house for sale in June/July, I decided to sit through the class again (the instructor encouraged "recycles"). At that point I made sure each week that I completed the appropriate quiz in Rita's book.
Two weeks into the second class, I decided to go ahead and Purchase the PM Prepcast Exam Simulator. My goal was to take a 10 question exam every day (at 10 minutes, that not unreasonable). Took my first four hour exam so see where i stood, got a 76. My instructor encourage me to set a date, so I when ahead and scheduled for Sept 30, which was one week after the 2d class ended.
I also decided to take one day off each week until then to take the practice exam. Would take the exam, then after lunch would review the question I missed, writing out the correct answer in a notebook as a punishment (LOL). In many case I would also look it up in the PMBOK to ensure I fully understood.
At this time I also worked on my brain dump, focusing on the PM process and all the main formulas (EV, risk, comm, FV).
I also used the exam feedback to focus on the 3 worst knowledge areas I had, and during the last two weeks I reread those chapters PMP Exam Prep text and also took quizzes in those knowledge areas.
My last week I primarily focused on the brain dump. The week of my exam the refresher class was on integration, so I sat in on it. The day before my exam I took one final practice exam (took 6 total), my overall average was 79 for the six.
For me, being able to sit through the course a second time made a big difference. The PM Prep exams helped a lot for a number of reasons, one of the most important was helping identify my weaknesses and allowing me to address them (who knew I was so bad at managing stakeholders?)
Don't let any of this scare you. It is attainable with some effort. Just keep in mind that nothing worthwhile is easy. And once you are done you get your life back!
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.