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TOPIC: Passed my Exam with above target -- read for some helpful tips!

Passed my Exam with above target -- read for some helpful tips! 2 years 6 months ago #13684

  • Dany Khalil
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Passed yesterday with above target in 4 areas and ummm below target in closing! I took a 5-8 minutse break at the 100 question mark (around 2hrs) and finished with about 8 minutes left.

I will share my thoughts on my preparation and the exam itself. My study materials were Rita Mulcahy's book, PMBOK guide and Prepcast PMP exams.
In total I prepared for about 6 months, putting in about 5-8 hours/week until the last month when I seriously shifted into high speed and did about 20 hours/week and finally during the last week a lot more. I read Rita's book twice, PMBOK was my go-to reference all the time and still managed to read it all one time, the Prepcast learning quizzes throughout my last 1.5 months to gauge my readiness but never took a full 200 quest quiz(i did many many 20-30 questions ... the most I did was 100 and only once).. Also used various YouTube videos on subjects I needed more in depth info or examples.

I scoured the web like all of you guys trying to decide on whether I should memorize ITTO or not, how to prepare, to brain dump or not to, to read the PMBOK or not etc...
Here is my take from my actual experience:

- PMBOK -- I read lots of posts saying: "you don't need to read the PMBOK" or "I passed without reading the PMBOK" etc... that may be for some but I don't think you can put it all together into one cohesive whole without reading the PMBOK! nor can you get the full detailed picture without it. so my advice? read it once after you have read some other material(its easier to see it come together when you are knee deep in PMP) and then reference to it anytime you are reading about a process in any other material(I cannot stress this enough)

- ITTO -- you know, I started to memorize integration and I did! then I said forget it and I never looked back. DO NOT MEMORIZE THE ITTOs period! There was NOT A SINGLE QUESTION asking " which tool or techniques you use with such process"! not one!!! it is all situational questions... complicatedly worded and some long with distractions and diversions. Focus your effort on understanding each and every ITTO, knowing what it means and how it applies then test yourself. I made an excel sheet ITTO1 with PG, KA , process name, inputs, T&T and outputs (so each process had 6 cells in adjacent columns) and another excel sheet ITTO2 with a list of all the ITTO in one column and their definitions in another column and here is what I did: I sorted the ITTO2 so they are in a random order, printed it out, covered the definition part and tried to guess what is the definition and where you can apply it and how, if I didnt know I knew I needed to study more. For example if you don't know in what process you will use "procurement audits" (maybe you will think hmm audit is for sure a M&C) and what it means and what you get out of it, you are not there yet!!!!!!!! Another hint, sort the ITTO1 by process groups you can see a lot of patterns(hint) like which processes have charter as input, which have change requests as outputs, etc... lots of deductions you can make by just visually looking at the the ITTO sheet sorted in different ways!

- Brain dump -- 47 process dump what the hell is that for??? I never used it! I never looked at it, never needed it! sure I memorized and dumped it in 4 minutes during the 15 minute practice (or whatever they call it) before the test started(the practice took like 7-8 minutes and you had about 7 minutes to do your useless dump... if you want to do it, do not end the practice!) I also dumped all the formulas which some sites make you pay for :) and I barely looked at it also. There was one communication problem your basic n(n-1)/2, 5 - 7 questions that used SPI or CPI and one or 2 EAC nothing that you need to sweat about.

- The questions -- OK here is my take on the test. the Prepcast questions are good to get you prepared I scored consistently between 70 and 85 and now looking back I feel that the Prepcast are easier and clearer in terms of phrasing the question. the PMP exam tries to confuse you with the language, uses long winded sentences and scenarios I never encountered before. In one question I swear I could not tell if they were talking about starting a project or closing it!!! and I read it multiple times, also some questions had spelling mistakes(or maybe I was too stressed?) so maybe a lot of non-native English speakers are writing many of the questions and PMI needs to do some Quality control to its question writing process :)

A final advice about the MARK feature: I marked(but answered) like 15 questions and in the end I didn't have time to get back to all of them. A better strategy is to write the question number on the scratch paper with a hint about what the question is about! many times I had the answer later on to a marked question but for the life of me I could not find it and did not want to waste time going thru all the marked ones... so word of advice: if you want to mark questions for later review keep them under 10 and note a keyword with the question number on your scratch paper.

That's it!
Good luck to all.

Passed my Exam with above target -- read for some helpful tips! 2 years 6 months ago #13689

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

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and 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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