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TOPIC: Passed exam on March 17, 2018 with AT/T/AT/AT/AT - Tips and Tricks inside!

Passed exam on March 17, 2018 with AT/T/AT/AT/AT - Tips and Tricks inside! 1 year 2 days ago #13644

  • Stefan Laplante
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What a relief!

First of all, I would say that the PMPrepCast exam simulator is critical! It's a great resource that not only trains your brain on how to interpret questions, but also has a similar presentation to the PMP exam with strikeouts, marking for review, timer, etc.. a fantastic resource and worth every penny.
Tips and Tricks

There are no tricks! There is only knowledge and the application of knowledge!

That said, In my opinion, there are two things you need to understand when being introduced to a new concept (like the PMBOK). There's the knowledge or hard data (the "what") and then there's the interpretation and real world application of that data (the "how"). Below is how I approached the "what", and how I focused on the "how".


THE PMBOK (p.61, 5th Edition) - The "what"
Every study session started with writing out the PMBOK matrix and the 47 processes. This simply allows you to understand what activities occur in which knowledge area and process group. It's the very basics of the PMBOK disciplice. Here's mnemonic guide to the PMBOK:

EQUATIONS - The "what"
Yes, learn them (of course) and figure out a brain dump. I mentioned above that every study session started with the PMBOK matrix. I followed that with writing out all my brain dump equations. A had a few EAC questions on the exams. A had more questions on interpreting CPI/SPIs. This equation brain dump was useful:

ITTOs - The "what"
I would cautiously state that knowing ALL the ITTOs isn't necessary (for the exam I received, it wasn't necessary). The ITTO related questions were all contextual and situational. What I do know is the overall flow of information through the PMBOK, and what the aggregate inputs and outputs are for each process group. Here's a good example of what I mean:

The three categories above are truly important. However, knowing them, and knowing how to use them appropriately is the key to success. We often say that someone can be "book smart" or "street smart". The PMBOK, equations, and ITTOs are the book smarts, and you will fail the exam if you don't have "street smarts". The PM PrepCast resources are the key to success! I would say that the quizzes and exam are of very high quality and a much better resource that other publicly available exams.

Know yourself and know how you learn. Once you understand how you learn, you can effectively break down the PMBOK into pieces that you'll intuitively understand. I know that I'm the type of person who has real trouble with learning things bit-by-bit. This means I jumped right in and starting with learning quizzes and guessed the answers or used a tip if uncertain, then looked at the answer for immediate feedback. Once I was consistently getting 75% in the learning quizzes, I moved over to timed quizzes with 30-50 questions. In the last week before my exam, I started writing the full 200 timed exams. This trains you to sit down for 3-4 hours straight and grind through the tests. Once you've completed a quiz or an exam, go back and analyze what you got wrong. Don't just look at the answer; figure out the root cause of why you got it wrong. Was there a PMBOK word you didn't understand? Was it a vague question? Did you misunderstand the question or get misdirected (trick question)? Maybe it was just a plain old mistake you made. Regardless of the root cause, identifying it and keeping a log of the of the reasons will help. "What gets measured gets improved."

I was scoring 78%-81% on the exams, answered a total of 1,352 (76%) of the questions on PrepCast, and spent 38 hours answering those questions.

Thanks PrepCast Crew! You have great resources here and I have and will continue to recommend this to my coworkers!
Last edit: by Stefan Laplante.

Passed exam on March 17, 2018 with AT/T/AT/AT/AT - Tips and Tricks inside! 1 year 11 hours ago #13677

  • Stan Po, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
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Dear Stefan,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and detailed lessons learned. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
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