Passed PMP today(March 8,2017) in my first attempt
-- Passed in first attempt with P in initition and MP in rest 4 areas
-- Prep time: 3 months(2 months around 5-10hrs per week and last month for 6 hrs a day). I took a break from work recently and I am a stay at home mom.
-- Books used: pmbok, rita
-- Mock tests: pmtraining- paid site- 1100 unique questions, mohit arora book 5pmp challenge tests, oliver lehman 75 and 175 questions, lots of mobile apps(pmpro,pmformulas,pmpexam, passpmp,pmp smart practice test), questions in rita chapter excercises
-- Test Results: oliverlehman 69% for 75 questions, 67% for 175 questions, rita approx 70%, pm training-average 73% on 25(50 question) mock tests. Took only 1 4hr test.
-- Background: Took training in feb 2016, but couldnt concentrate on giving exam because of several commitments. took serious decision in dec 2016 to finish off pmp by Jan 2017. Didnt book date as I wanted to give a mock test to access my skills. Mock test results werent good. So, kept on studying and finally gave exam on march 8,2017
-- Strategy: Started reading forums like pmzilla before started studying. already purchased pmbok and rita. so, started with pmbok. took a month. Gave simple practice tests on mobile app and mohit arora book. then started studying Rita and this gave me a clear idea of concepts. Completed Rita in a month. Started doing several free practice tests online and on mobile apps. score was still 60-65%. But I booked the date in a month for test as I started reading PMBOK again and felt good confidence. Then purchased pmtraining exam simulator 10 days before exam and started giving tests. In 5 days, test performance improved to 70%. PMtraining can generate tests based on process group. Since I was averaging 70%, i started focusing on Initiaton and closing phase because i want to get proficient atleast in these areas. Overall test results started being more than 75%. Gave oliver lehman test 2 before exam and just studied my notes before exam day
-- I saw many ppl stressed on paid exam simulators. I reviewed most of them and decided in pmtraining because i had 10 days and it had 1100 questions. I felt that i couldnt do more than that. PM exam simulator is by Cornelius which had very good reviews and has 1800 questions and also little pricy than pmtraining exam simulator. overall I am happy with pmtraining simulator.
-- On exam: Simple Cost and critical path calcuations. Lots of questions on Tools and techniques. Luckily, i memorized all 47 process outputs and tools technics for exam. Though i didnt memorize inputs at all. This is key pointer i felt. Until i did this, my practice exams results never crossed 65%.
I was never a full time project manager. However, I am a senior engineer with lots of mentoring juniors and handling stakeholders. So, I could relate to process in pmbok only a little. However, this helped indirectly as I didnt have to unlearn anything.
All the best to the future exam takers!!