Passed PMP on 24th April 2013 with 5 Ps
It gives me immense pleasure to write here that I passed PMP yesterday with 5 (wonderful) Ps. And while I am still high from this BIG achievement I would like to thank everyone who made it happen. DG and associates from www.dgonline.in for the wonderful learning experience in the PMP workshop. It was after so many years that I appeared for any professional certification and the best part is that I loved the learning. And so much so that today I am missing going through PMBOK.
I would also thank my 2 year old, he was really cooperative the whole time and understood that mamma is available only during break times J
Also a big thanks to PMZilla where I have been a silent participant for couple of months but some of the trips and tricks here and lessons learnt really helped me. Seeing all those posts motivated me!!
My Tips and Lessons Learnt!
The Exam: The exam must be one of the best professional certification exams ever. It really tests your knowledge and understanding. Most of the questions are situational, but they are straight forward situations unlike Rita who mostly gives very lengthy situations and the details are sometimes misleading.
Difficulty level is good and you need to be thoroughly prepared.
Direct Questions: There were few direct ITTO questions.
Numerical: There were quite a few numerical from Time and Cost. Some were pretty direct and some were tricky. A couple from Estimation also.
Keep your calm: Seriously my heart was doing all kinds of stunts during the whole exam and during the actual exam I couldn’t even take a guess of what my result would be.
Take breaks: I took 1 break post 125th Question where I munched a 5 Star and gulped Tang. I needed another after 200 Questions but decided to finish the exam.
Tutorial Time: You can utilize the tutorial time like how everyone suggests. I didn’t or rather couldn’t as I went with the Tutorial and when I said end, it took me to the exam. L But that was okay, if it’s in your brain it’s in your brain J
And Read Questions and Answers carefully – during my mocks I was making some silly mistakes and had decided to read extra carefully all the qs and options. I took more time in exam than I took in mocks (2.5 hrs) as I read questions properly. Usually seemingly lengthy situation is asking something simple which u realize once u read the options.
What I followed –
Well before this let me tell you that I am a software professional for 11 years and a project manager since last 6-7 years. I tried studying for PMP since last 4-5 years!! But everytime there was some sort of break!!
And finally this year in Feb I attended workshop by DG from www.DGonline.in and that really clicked.
Books: PMBOK (Bible), Rita Mulcahy mainly for Integration, Procurement (this covered the project initiation and closure), Head First (initially just after workshop cos like all other techies I love the Head firsts)
Practice: Mock- Rita Fast Track v6, Knowledge Area questions and Mock, ExamCentral, PMStudy and other paper based – Oliver Lehmann 75, 175, Andy Crowe, Head First, Christopher Scordo Lite Mocks 13 to 18
My Study Pattern – I read PMBOK a lot (don’t know how many times) and everytime I took longer than before. The reason I will tell you. After each pass of PMBOK, I would go for one exam mock or Paper and for all questions I got wrong I would find answers from PMBOK. This pattern made me realize that there are interesting details given in PMBOK and each and every line is like meaningful and there for a Reason. So in the following pass I uncovered more details and it took longer than before but each time I respected PMBOK more and more.
Another Tip: Before starting study for the day, go over the overall summary page 43. That would help you to keep the strings together and you know pulling which string would pull which other strings (read String as Process). I mean how the processes are talking to each other and for this you should just remember all the workshop learnings.
I also listened to the Kim Heldman and Rita Audiobooks a lot. Infact most of the re-enforcing of my learning happened while driving to work or from work!!!
Make personal notes!!! I made and it helped during the final revisions. I had also got all the Knowledge area ITTO charts from PMBOK printed out back to back. So I had like 5 pages covering the ITTOs of all 9 Knowledge areas. And my revision consisted of closing my eyes and trying to go Knowledge Area by Area in my mind or sometimes process group by group. I downloaded and printed out Abhishek and Rajesh Nair note into A3 but I could rarely use it.
Final Tip: do not try and memorize the ITTO at all. Try and understand logically and follow what we learnt -à understand what the Process does –> What are the O/P -> what would u need achieve that- I/P -> and Tools and Techniques
Finally people, prepare well and practice some and have confidence and you can make it. I would be glad to guide anyone who is not so sure and need some help or push.
(PS: Excuse me if this was a bit lengthy but I had to share what worked for me)
Ranjeeta Gadkari, PMP