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TOPIC: Passed 1st time - a few thoughts

Passed 1st time - a few thoughts 11 months 2 weeks ago #18686

  • Francis Michael Sheehan
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Preparation and Study Plan
Be aware that you only have 90 days after signing up for certification to complete the application with your experience and training requirements.
I started in mid-July
Being able to watch PrepCast videos and review them anytime worked well for my schedule.
I enjoyed the way that Cornelius Fichtner and his team put the video presentations together and found them to be engaging
Consider watching the overview for all Modules first and then back to the beginning and watch the lessons in order.
It took me about 6 weeks to complete all the PrepCast videos –not pushing things, I viewed 2-4 hours most days.
At the end of August, I completed my training and sent all the information to PMI. I spent the next 4 weeks or so in study mode.
Reviewing the PIMBOC guide for each Knowledge Area was the most helpful for me.

Totally recommend that you get an exam simulator and use it frequently. As I reviewed each Knowledge Area, I took 1-2 timed quizzes.
Two weeks before the exam, I took a practice exam close to every other day - 6 of them.
I recommend that you set aside the 4 hours and take at least a few practice exams to experience the pace of the questions.
Review the questions that you answer incorrectly with the filter. – Check out "my statistics” to see how you are doing
in each Domain and Knowledge Area. You can also learn a lot taking quizzes in learning mode by showing the answer after entering yours.

Ten days before the exam I signed up for a weekend coaching class with Dan Ryan.
It was excellent and recommend that you consider this. He went through the areas with a focus on what would
likely be on the exam, how to prioritize areas to focus our studies on, and tips/techniques to use when reading and answering the questions.
The class also provided access to several handouts with “tips and tricks”

Exam Site
It is a good idea to visit the test site a week or so before your exam.
They showed me the laminated sheets for notes and calculations. You can write on the sheets with the marker that they provide but not erase.
I felt much better about getting the “lay of the land” at the site and the area before exam day.

Exam Day
Ideally you should get to the exam site an hour early.
I spent about 20 minutes reviewing my summary notes before entering the building. It takes a good 15 minutes to check in.
It is critical for you to have a government issued ID – license or passport with your photo.
You cannot bring anything into the exam site with you except the laminated sheets and pen that they give you.
There is a small locker for whatever else you have. I had a water bottle and a protein bar that they let me keep on a shelve for easy access

I do recommend taking a few brief breaks – I got up every hour and walked around a bit.
The clock does not stop on your breaks so be aware of the time. You can mark questions but cannot strike out answers.
I finished in about 3 hours and 45 minutes, taking my time the last hour.
Be very careful changing an answer that you marked for review – often your first instinct is the correct one.

I found the exam to be a bit easier than expected. Most questions were situational based
ie – “What would you do next? / What could you have done to prevent this? / Where would you document this information?”
It is important to determine Process Group, Knowledge Area, and process for many of the questions.
There were also a handful of questions about responding to issues with the stakeholders and/or project team.
There were only 1 or 2 direct equation questions – I only had to use the calculator once.
However, there were questions that referred to values – such as “the SPI is 0.9” that you will need to use in determining the answer.
Likewise, there was only one network diagram that I needed to flowchart out
– but some other questions included network diagram information that you will need to understand.
There were a fair number of questions related to change requests and the change control process

Look carefully at the question being asked – there is often a lot of extra information that you can skim but may need for context.
Look for keywords to determine what process the question may refer to. Read the specific question to determine what they are really asking for.
Often you can ignore two of the answers and have two potentially good answers. Pick the “best” one.

Try to go in relaxed and confident. I took a few breaths, got settled in, and after a few questions was on a roll.

I passed my exam on October 1 - "above target" scores in all domains.

To sum up – Read the text carefully; try to determine process group and knowledge area being referred to; and examine the actual question so you know what is being asked

Good luck to you all on the exam!!
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

Training for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®