Congrats Mickey on passing your PMP! Thank you for sharing your tips with us. I felt the same way as you about the dump sheet, and I also chose not to do one during my exam. So I agree that everyone should try the exam simulator to determine whether a brain dump works for them.
This is the second time I am writing this because for some reason the first one disappeared after I clicked Submit. (I am not sure what I did wrong)
Anyways, I am happy to say that I passed the PMP last Friday.
I studied appox. 4 months while doing my job. I know this is the case with the majority of people.
The podcasts were especially helpful during commuting and also during my daily walking routines. I read the PMBOK once thoroughly and revisited the topics that I needed reinforcement on. I also used Andy Crowe's How to Pass on Your First Try.
I didn't feel fully confident until I went through the Exam Simulator though. I recieved between 75% to 87% on my first tries. Personally I found I did better if I did not spend the time to do a dump sheet. I prefer to spend the time to read each question carefully so that I don't miss the details. This worked for me on the real exam but since everybody is different and it seems that most people recommend doing a brain dump I urge that you try yourself out using the simulators and do what works best for you.
The real exam was quite tricky. There were only a handful of calculation questions. They mostly gave you a certain situation and asked what the Project Manager would have to do next or should have done before. Because the exam simulator had prepared me to handle different types of questions, I could still manage. I strongly recommend that you use the exam simulator. It also gives you practice in sitting through a 4-hour exam.
My results were AT/AT/AT/AT/T
Good luck to all who are preparing!!
A great big Thank You to everyone at PM PrepCast for a great learning program!