Cramming for the PMP - Passed 6/15
Just wanted to give my two cents on what worked for me. I am a forum lurker who just passed the PMP exam today.
My situation was as follows:
Last year (April) I took a PMI-sponsored PMP prep class to gain my classroom hours. i retained very little -- just the books, really-- since I had not adequately prepared for the class. In hindsite, I certainly would have taken the class as a last step in my studying for the test instead of the first. Lesson learned.
I questioned whether I had enough PMP experience and decided to put applying off for a bit to get another year under my belt.
Since the class, every once in a while -- and I mean very rarely (once, maybe twice a month) I would read a chapter in Rita. I did not retain much. I did not do all the in-chapter exercises but did most and would answer and understand my mistakes for the the end-of-chapter tests. From this, I learned that there were a bunch of processes grouped into different bunches and I learned some new vocab. I got an idea of the main idea of PMP but the studying was infrequent and I did not put it together very well.
My company said they would reimburse me for a PMP certification so I applied (a feat in itself), was accepted, and scheduled my exam.
A week ago today (Saturday )I panicked realizing that my test was in one week. Here's what I did over the last week:
I researched online for the for what to concentrate and what to not study and what to memorize and tried to find some commanalities in what worked for other people. This was frightening. You guys like to study a lot! That said, if you are looking for successes from other people right now, stop! Don't get too caught up in that. Well, stop after you read what I did to cram:
On Sunday, I took Lehman's free 75 quiz and scored a 54%.
On Monday, I used the website flashcardexchange.com to make flashcards on what I missed from Lehman 75 (if it was flashcard-worthy). I added all EV calculations to the set, as well.
On Tuseday, I took the Lehman 175 quiz (also free) and scored a 64%. I never reviewed my incorrect answers -- didn't have time.
On Wednesday, I borrowed my friend's Crowe book (sidenote, this is a better book than Rita's. Way more concise) and took the exam in the back of the and got a 70%.
On Thursday, I added the missed question info to the same flashcardexchange set. Then, I took the free PM Study quiz and got a 64%.
On Friday, I added the missed PM Study quiz info to the flashcard set.
I worked full-time all week and had only 4 hours a night to devote to studying. Sometimes less when I had to run errands or go to the gym. On the bus to work, I would flip through the flashcards on my phone (there's an app for that) for about 20 minutes to and 20 minutes from work. I tried to look at them at work when I had time and at night, also if I had time.
On Saturday (TODAY) I reviewed the flashcards and skimmed that PMI prep course material for more keywords and to put it together.
I passed with 5 MPs. Not breaking any records, but not too shabby for essentially a week of studying.
Here's my advice:
1- know the EV formulas WELL.
2 - know the main theme for each process (i.e., WBS is made here, procurements are managed here) I didn't know this thoroughly and it made me sweat bullets on the exam. Knowing the order and how they work together would be good, too. And the MAIN tools and techniques (ie. what chart is for what) WELL
3-Know how the project manager would react in different types of situations WELL
4-know the theories and other vocab
5-know basic network diagraming stuff
6-know the order of the planning processes and the order of the KAs
That's all I can think of for now. I used every second of the 4 hours and was not confident the whole way through -- except for a patch in the middle that was more simple. There's much room for error on the exam so try to not sweat it too much. Also, you can bypass the survey at the end. Good luck!