Hurrayyyyyy.....Passed PMP on 06 January 2014-Stay Positive and Believe in yourself.
Thank you All
I want to acknowledge everyone who is contributing to this website as it has been great motivator to me and to many of my friends. I would also like to share my experience considering my professional responsibility.
My journey started in September 2013 when colleague of mine has applied for PMP certification.I got motivated by her.Discussed with my wife and she nodded "Yes" for help by allowing some space to me for preparation. My major constrain was to squeeze a time for study from my long commute time (2:30 hours two-way everyday) and working hours (8 hours a day) with two year old kid who seek my attention after hours and weekends.
Once I received confirmation from PMI to take the exam I purchased Rita’s exam prep and audio CD and some free podcasts which I used in my long commute as my audio companion.
In September, I started to listen audio chapters with weekend 2 hours Rita’s book .It took me whole September to finish all chapters and audios simultaneously however I couldn’t read the book genuinely.
In October, I have started to read Andy Crow’s Book old version with Rita again as revision but left AC’s book due to similarities as I felt it was too straightforward and easy. I have practiced exams every time I read books -Noted the gaps in the knowledge and cleared the concepts, also posted my scores on PMZilla to seek the experts opinions, their advices were excellent until I passed the exam.
In November almost bogged into work and read nothing at all. To be honest I was feeling that I was losing the grip on points where we need to rely on memory.
In second week of December my friend passed exam without any hassles despite of very little preparation and lot of PM experience. That gave me a boost and motivation. Meanwhile family flew overseas on 29 December which gave me a room of dedicated 7days but I did nothing (relaxed) on three days before exam as I was excited for my trip to India for my holidays. Read every single success story on PMZilla. Watched Comedy Nights with K…. S…..Had New Year lunch with my ex-manager- Ate takeaway the night on the day before the exam.
Exam Day-Went an hour early and started the test early without any nervousness as I believe nothing you can do other than staying calm and focussed.Prometric Centre says PMP test doesnt have planned break it means you clock will keep ticking while you are on break.I was not allowed to access the locker at Perth prometric.So I kept my water,redbull and energy bars near reception.Suprisingly havent used at all. I had always problem with time so finished in 3:50 and reviewed few marked questions. Finished customer survey and I thought they will ask me that now score but I was wrong once finished the survey it automatically started to score the exam and BANG...."CONGRATULATIONS – YOU HAVE PASSED THE EXAM".
• Believe in God. Believe in yourself and always keep your mind open to new ideas and advices.
• Give time to family while you are studying otherwise they will get bored especially if you have kid and 3-4 months is a long time.That way you get relaxed and enthusiastic.Afterall you are doing all this for family.
• Get relaxed before a day or two of exam.Please have a nice and healthy light food before an hour of exam so you wont feel hungry and waste time.
• Find alternatives if you have time or other constraints e.g audio or visual aids…MUST for my case.
• I am a visual learner so prepared bound copy of all Tables and Figures from PMBOK5 for quick skimming it helped me to find out and clear particular process and ITTOs.
• Take lots and lots of mock tests-I did approx. 2000Q- at least do 3 full length tests (I did 5) to check your endurance, being on schedule capability and to train your brain to stay AWAKE and FRESH for 4 hours.
• Never neglect communication channel, Earn Value Method, Expected Monitory Value and network diagram questions. By making these questions correct you can get around 40- 50Q right.
• Focus more on Risk-Risk Strategies (I had 8-10 questions), Quality (assurance mainly) and HR-Conflict resolution techniques, Forming, Norming etc. and HR Theories.
• Never stretch exam date too long as I did if you feel confident to take straightaway otherwise you will lose the grip and motivation.
• Follow your own strategies for the Exam as somebody’s strategy may not work for you... take their advice as guidance.
• Try to apply whatever you learn from the book to practice as that will give you real time examples to understand the scenarios in the exam.
• I did tough PMP 2 tests- toughest questions I found in all of them-did 61% and 70% only but learnt a lot.
• I took 2 simplilearn full length tests online they are good.Also Oliver and iZenbridge is good too.Dont worry about scores just learn where you went wrong.I had around 70-75% in all.
• Read PMBOK if you find interesting. I did not used because I was able to understand fundamentals from other interesting books.
• Rajesh's notes are great however I believe take your own notes too which will help you in last few days skiming.
• Dont overstudy as I was feeling bored because same topics wont keep you interested unless explained differently.
• You dont have to read XX many times as long as you understand concepts.It's not a race of reading 5 times particular books.It doesnt really matter how many times you read.It matters only how much you understood and retained from that reading.
• I believe forming a study group(may be once a week) helps a lot because when you try to explain or teach someone you need lot of understanding of the topic.It worked for me may not work for you.
I really appreciate the great support from my family and friends.
Thanks to you all again who have helped me and guided me. I am not a “note-man” as read whole books from cover to cover so sorry I don’t have any notes prepared by me but see my attached spreadsheet which may help you to prepare schedule and stay on it.
Please let me know I can help you with anything. Good Luck to PMP aspirants..