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TOPIC: passsed first time / lessons learned / thanks Prepcast !

passsed first time / lessons learned / thanks Prepcast ! 11 months 1 week ago #17842

  • Patryk Nosalik
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Greetings all,

Here’s a ramble about my journey, which I offer in case you glean some insight from it - Stan Po's fault, he asked for it!

I passed the PMP 1st time AT x4 and just Target for Initiation.

I read a couple of recent such accounts here, which I really appreciate prior graduates for doing, because it’s not the 1st thing you want to do after the exam ;)

A year ago when the company made me a PM I wanted to do a boot camp paid by my company and to get Rita, yet that never happened but had a udemy for business account so after about 6 MS project/ PM /Agile/ testing/ BA shorter courses thought I'd have a look at what the PMP entails and enrolled to Joseph Phillips mammoth 35h PMP prep but the corporate account expired as I was 60% through with no opportunity to regain and didn’t want to buy it on own, (despite loving the “you can do it!” after each lecture!) so went back to the idea of Rita (I already had PMBOK 6 and read it on train to work, but that without a course or book on it’s own is hugely insufficient). Rita was instrumental to put some life into the PMBOK.

After part of the way through Rita I realised despite the quality of the questions that as they are ordered by chapter so answers were obviously related to the chapter, so I started looking for a reliable and valid simulator. Did much net research, both on which I’d been a free member for a year so had come across Cornelius Fichtners balanced articles, and comparisons like Praveen Maliks as a basis, and went through several free demos, an important criterion being no repeat questions and if you're doing the whole PMP-exam journey on your own the live feedback will make it less lonely, as any frustrations in learning elicited by the questions can be sorted out by the Prepcast team. Really gets your mind into thinking the PMI way which is what a major part of the exam is all about.

Exam sim results:
- I did 4 exams here: Ex 4 82.5%, Ex 1 86.5%, Ex 7 81%m Ex 6 78% (yes got frustrated with worsening tendency – a lesson here - do not overdo it, do not burn out, you shouldn’t need 1600Q’s) so then in the run up to the exam (from Mon to Wed as had exam on a Thu) a few bouts of 10 or 20 Q timed quizzes each morning / eve just to keep confidence up and the engine revving.

What didn’t I do:
- free questions after I paid for this.
Some are good but let’s put it this way – the my real PMP is disappointingly like the Prepcast ;) few long network diagrams, few calculations, few EVA, hardly any Contract calculations. More a case of knowing the concepts that spending the 5-8mins working things out. Lots of subjective things that I tried Donalds and Stans patience with here ;) and as a result soemtimes almost saw their expanations when considering which answer to choose.

What didn’t I do:
- spend time on forums, you can get lost in the links to ever better resources.
Do it the PMP way – have your own plan – there’s no short cuts, write out your own notes, get your own coloured pens, do your own ITTOs and link them together so you understand the flows, and especially for key documents / plans / registers/ work performance … to fill your own gaps. Theres more than enough in the questions and PMBOK.

What didn’t I do:
- look at other people’s mind maps or summaries or ways they’ve connected it (too much!) –
the point is you internalise your own work so that you understand it. The only braindump (which I didn’t plan on doing) I did some 12min into the exam was to write out all the 49 processes by process group and knowledge area (as in PMBOK) just to have a reference – 5mins to be lazy if you will! And when working out EVA questions the necessary equations just not to risk missing something by doing too much in your head.

What didn’t I do:
- watch videos.
Tempting, but distracting. (Yes I did start with J Philips udemy course but that was before I made a commitment to go for the exam. Once I decided, no videos). The exam is all reading and for 4h which in todays short attention span age can be a challenge, so read.

What didn’t I do:
- Work in a vacuum or pretend it won’t affect anyone.
I made a schedule of 2h per day after work + 4h on each w/e day in a 2 months solid stint and– agreed up front such a commitment to the qualification with my partner, and ensure they buy in completely to a visual representation of this in your living room - as I have 2 small kids 1 & 3 yrs old in a 80m2 flat and the 9-5 job +commute, + like everyone, other things going on too, so make it known to friends that you’re off limits.

- Despite the sometimes mindwearying 4h exam sessions sitting then the rereading the exam questions, answers, justifications, wriing to live feedback, then humbly amending own notes,; I did often find inspiration to become a better PM at work, take more responsibility, and entered states of flow that made me appreciative of the whole experience. Yeah, it changes you ;)

As my high school geography teacher used to say, I don’t need to wish you good luck as if you prepare properly you won’t need it!


passsed first time / lessons learned / thanks Prepcast ! 11 months 1 week ago #17843

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

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. I'm glad that my "fault" has led to such an insightful and detailed post. I remember the valuable inputs that you submitted through our simulator’s Live Feedback™ support feature. We are happy to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
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