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TOPIC: Lessons Learned from Passing My May 28, 2019 PMP Exam Pass

Lessons Learned from Passing My May 28, 2019 PMP Exam Pass 3 months 2 weeks ago #17595

  • Von Karl Katindoy
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Thanks for inviting me to share here. I passed my PMP exam on May 28, 2019.

Before attending the live 35-hour PMP Review class, I read the PMBOK 6th edition and its companion entitled PMBOK Q&A from cover to cover. I also tried leveraging Degreed which featured free PMP Review courses. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the 2 programs I signed up for because of tech issues preventing me from downloading the homework and other PDFs. After saving up enough money, I signed up for the live class facilitated by the Philippine Chapter of PMI.

Attending the live class turned out to be more rewarding and encouraging than the abovementioned online trainings primarily because of the interactive elements both formally and informally. I was inspired by the testimonial of a recent graduate who shared what worked for her. I was also encouraged and enlightened by the PMI guru who handled our class. Being with 21 other PMP aspirants gave me a sense of belongingness and assurance that I am not alone. After the training, I dove straight into the 9th edition of the Rita Mulcany PMP Review reference and took the prescribed tests after each chapter. Well-meaning PMP-certified colleagues led by a recent passer pointed me to the value of using practice tests. And so after finishing the Mulcany reference and rereading the PMBOK Q&A, I invested in the PMP Simulator even as I proceeded to design and master my brain dump daily. My brain dump consisted of all 49 processes sequenced according to process groups vertically and according to knowledge areas horizontally. I also threw in all the pertinent formulas that initially ran at 13 to as many as 22 shortly before the exam. It was at this point that I discovered Cornelius Fichtner's PMPrepCast Exam Simulator. This to me was a game-changer of sorts for several reasons.

1. It made me better appreciate the PMBOK as the concepts and the ideas became alive given the situational nature of the questions.
2. Each exam set of 200 questions became a mini-training module in itself. As I studied my errors, my index card collection of exam lessons learned grew in number. Cornelius underlined this further when I requested for his inputs to my review strategy. So even if it was humbling and frustrating, I made sure to analyze where I went wrong and what I should have answered had I been more careful and mindful.
3. I believe the most impactful effect of the PMPrepcast Exam Simulator is that it made me imbibe how the exam coaches approached the questions and analysed the answers. By the time my exam came, strange as this may seem, with each question I dissected, I found myself conducting a silent dialogue in my head which went something like this: under which process group is this question being asked?; among the 49 processes, which specific process is being referred to?; what has the PM done so far prior to this scenario?; what is the PM expected to do next based on the PMBOK?; am I sure?; could it be that there might be something I am not getting? ; what are the givens again?; what is missing?; how do I help as a PM?; which of the 4 options in the question can I already eliminate?
4. Looking back, most of questions from the 7 PM Prepcast Practice Exams seemed more difficult than the actual exam in terms of construction and phrasing. This is good. It reminded me of how my coach in endurance sports always pushed us to log more training hours on track than what is needed in the actual race. That is to say, if you are planning to run a 42.096 km race, train for a 50 km race. And so despite the fact that my post exam analysis made me feel miserable for uncovering what I thought I knew but did not really know, in a way, it actually effectively addressed my learning gaps in a way that reading the PMBOK would not have.
5. I also appreciated the fact that they have a very responsive team who would reply to your every query within 24 hours or even less.
6. This forum also proved instructive as it pointed me to the Exam Outline which I studied to cap my review efforts.

One dilemma I had was whether or not I should memorize the ITTOs for each of the 49 processes. Thankfully, I was advised by a fellow PMP not to memorize the ITTOs but rather to understand them the way we are taught by our parents to cook sinigang or adobo. The outputs are the finished product, while the tools and techniques are the action items needed to arrive at the output. These are grounded in the inputs which normally come from EEFs and OPAs.

Since I love listening to audiobooks , I stumbled onto the 7-hour audio book entitled PMP Review Crash Course. While walking to lunch or driving to and from work, I would play the corresponding chapter as I reviewed the highlighted ITTOs for each chapter. This also proved helpful to me.

I would also like to cite the added value of having an on-call PMP exam prepwork coach through my colleague who recently passed her PMP. Her encouragement and advice were immeasurably helpful to me both when dealing with my post-exam analysis and moving on.

Lastly, while I'm quite proud and happy that I got Above Target in one process group and Within Target in the other process groups, I believe that had I discovered the PM Prepcast earlier, all areas would have been Above Target.

Again, many thanks to you, Cornelius and the PM Prepcast team! Now I know where I should go as I aspire for the PMI-ACP in the coming years.
Last edit: by Von Karl Katindoy. Reason: remembered some details.

Lessons Learned from Passing My May 28, 2019 PMP Exam Pass 3 months 2 weeks ago #17611

  • MMol
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A big congratulations! I would like to try taking CAPM first before PMP. Would you advise that?
I have more than 5 years project experience in Philippines and now about 10 months here in Canada.

Lessons Learned from Passing My May 28, 2019 PMP Exam Pass 3 months 2 weeks ago #17625

  • Von Karl Katindoy
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Thanks!

Go for it! However, since you have 5 years’ worth of PM experience, why not target the PMP and invest in the PMPrepcast for your study preparation?

Good luck!
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