Passed my PMP Exam..
I cleared my PMP Exam on 19th Apr 2017 and thank everyone who helped me during this journey.
I would like to share a few (actually lot) tips that may be helpful to other PMP aspirants.
1. Studying on a daily basis is mandatory. Try to spend at least 2 hours on week days and 6 hours on weekends. People who are working on core technical domain, get a little less technical until exam J .
2. To get the 35 contact hours, I feel that class room sessions to be more useful than any other means of training. You get in touch with fellow aspirants directly in the classroom. I went to IIPM – Chennai.
3. As per feedback from many people, start with books like Rita or Headfirst where the concepts are explained in simple English without much of sophistication.
4. After going through it once, go through PMBOK fully cover to cover. Some say that having Rita and PMBOK side by side for every chapter also was useful for them.
5. After completing the above mentioned, you should have an idea of all the knowledge areas, process groups and how they are interlinked.
6. Need not memorize the ITTOs (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, Outputs), but just understand the overall flow of how various processes interact with each other.
7. Understand Rita process flow chart well and understand what is actually done in each process group and logical reason behind why that process comes under that process group.
8. After getting a hold on the organization types, process flow, methodologies, key terms, various documents used throughout the project life cycle and a better accepted practice of project management as referred in PMBOK, move on to the below important steps.
9. Take as many mocks as you can. Thanks Amit Mathur, Deepthi P and Manikandan P for helping with the links.
These are tests that you can take for free. Few tests need a one-time registration. There are many more tests and materials available on the internet that you can make use of.
PMP Exam simulator
10. We all have a different perspective of Project management, biased by our daily life activities, personal experience and culture of present organization. Taking mock tests align us to PMBOK’s definition of project management and helps us find our gaps in knowledge.
11. Give more (and more) importance to your wrong answers, understanding why they are wrong and fill the gaps. Try to understand the before and after process of the answers that went wrong to get a better understanding.
12. After attempting many mock tests, I read PMBOK (2nd time). After these tests, the information provided in PMBOK made more sense to me. Believe me, PMBOK and other reference books were much more interesting after taking these mocks. Many topics will “Ring a Bell” as we realize how these concepts were framed as a question in mock tests.
13. Izenbridge - Saket Bansal’s videos and google hangouts (discussion / doubts on particular topics) were very helpful. I listened to saket Bansal’s audio of google hangouts while travelling to office. It uncovers many vital differences between similarly looking concepts which really helped during the exam.
14. By now you must be half asleep J . Wake up….. You need to undergo a much bigger marathon of 4 hours during the exam J .
Here is the next thing that helped me the most to pass my exam. Personally, I use Facebook too much. I subscribed to a few pages in Facebook that posts very good questions and makes you think a lot before answering. There are many people who will keep answering the questions and sometimes provide justification from their point of view leading to a healthy debate / discussion.
Since generally most of the questions have 2 (or more) correct answers, choosing the BEST answer might be tricky. Therefore, debates in such groups, within friends’ circle helps you understand why the actual answer is the BEST one compared to other choices.
Also, facebook questions can be reviewed during any time of the day as per our convenience… just when we are casually looking at other posts… Pro Active for Training and Consulting, Eduhubspot, PMP questions and discussion Forum, PMP Exam notes tips and resources, IQRA PMP Study group (Mohammed Sajjad Ali) are a few groups to name.
15. We can expect questions that tests our skills in applying the knowledge, management skills and UNDERSTANDING THE ACTUAL PROBLEM in a presented scenario. In most of the cases, more than picking the right answer, eliminating the wrong answers one by one can help in arriving at the best answer.
16. Just before a week of the final exam, I took two tests that I felt had many tough questions. PMZILLA 200 tough questions (Purchased online) with 100 bonus question and questions from PMZEST. I suggest that these tough mocks are taken when you think you are really ready to take up the final exam. I scored 61%. Cristopher Scordo’s test also has got some good questions.
17. I stopped studying one day prior to the final exam.
18. Never underestimate the stress during the exam. Have a peaceful sleep and relax the previous day. Just going through the notes taken during the preparation, flash cards are ok. Don’t stress yourself by trying a mock test, trying to fill gaps, etc.,
19. Reserve all your energy for the exam. Understand that you have taken many tough questions, practiced going through lengthy questions and understanding the actual scenario / problem presented, eliminating the wrong answers one as you have already mastered the project management skills through all these days of preparation.
20. Family support is very important to focus on this journey, especially when the job is really demanding and having the naughtiest baby at home J . Explain your spouse about what you are planning to do and help you focus in the journey for the big credential and the space you that you need for the preparation.
21. Also, register and schedule only after getting enough confidence that you are ready to take up the exam. No rush due to changing in PMBOK version, personal commitments, wrongly fixed test appointment date, etc., But do have a target date in mind to complete the preparation and appear for exam.
22. In my experience, you are in a good shape if you can score 75 ~ 80% in the mocks and 60% or above in tough questions.
These tips and tricks are something that I felt was workable and has lessons learnt from other people as well. Some may take an easier path or alternatives that may work better for them. It’s all up to the individual.
All the best for your preparation. Take this exam with real seriousness and dedication. Relax after the exam J . Feel free to contact me for any help.