Passed PMP-12 May 2014 (1P + 4MP)

Hello All!
 
Similar to experiences shared by others, this is not a different one. However it is always exciting to leverage on others' learning (which I did) and pass the PMP !
 
Background---
 
Undergone training in April 2009 on old version of PMBoK.
 
Until July 2013, I just kept pushing the thought of taking exam ; basically mind was not set to 'accept' the risk.  - happened to read Rita's book from a local library. That was the first time I saw it !! realized it must be fascinating to go ahead and pass the exam. Immidiately ordered the book online and received it in Aug. Prepared a rough plan to take the exam in Sept.  it did not help. Then I directly logged into my PMI account and submitted application for exam which did not go through audit (although my spreadsheet  / other details were already sent by me to earlier & current managers for reference before applying for exam). Oops.. some break there again due to my incosistency studying for exam. Enrollment expiry was due in Aug 2014.
 
One fine day, came across PMZILLA and was astonished by level of enthusiasm among people and the way they take exams. That motivated me to prepare for the exam and targetted for 12 May (just a random day before my birthday) so that I can gift myself the PMP certificate on 20th May :)
 
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Action time: 
 
1. to start with- PMBoK is such a grand bible!! I decided to shrink the version as part of personalization so that I can carry it while travelling. 
 
Total Pages: 155
 
Printing on each print: 2 pages from the pdf on each printout (total 4 on single print back to back)
Since it was my property, I could reprint the soft copy. Done that through a local fedex office for $45. (I had already paid for the big book earlier )
2. Initially completed one thorough reading of Rita and moved back to PMBoK which I did not find boaring this time. since Rita gives a sharp vision on all the topics undoubtedly.
followed the cycle 5 times. That means read both books 5+5 times. meanwhile did all exercises in all Rita chapters. - Comprehending PMBoK was a cakewalk after reading Rita. She has made it 'a real simple stuff'.
 
Took these exams online:
a. PMPREP
b SCORDO (many guys may not know that you can access it for free through your PMI login if you are a member.
c Do it via eReads section on PMI website.
d SKILLSOFT (uttilized this from my corporate account and found immensely helpful)
e IZENBRIDGE (could complete partially due to lack of time and found it very late)
f PMZILLA
g Cornelius Fichtner
h Headfirst
i OliverLehman
k Used the DEMO CD that is included in Rita's book - Final exam is 95% closely matches the formatting and review sections.
 
and many free apps on my android.
 
Had the soft copy of PMBoK handy on my android too in case I was kinda in a 'study' mode really :P
 
All in all, I studied for 4 hours dedicatedly daily on workdays from 10pm to 2am. including sat and sun. for 2 more hours. In last week added extra hour before going to office (from 6am to 7 am).
 
In a nutshell I was studying from 30th March 2014 to 11 May 2014 for duration mentioned above and it was fruitful.
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Exam Day/ tips:
Don't worry about anything if you are confident. Take regular walks outside with your spouse to keep yours & her /his mood  afresh. My wife has been my biggest supporter for this exam.
 
I had a sound sleep of 7 long hours ( first time ever after 30th March '14) on the night before the exam day.
With the blessings from parents and wishes from my wife, siblings and friends, I reached Prometric at 7 am , my exam was scheduled at 8 am. Drived an hour early there to avoid traffic chaos (a contingent risk !!).
 
It was a typical Prometric center and they provided lockers etc to put all stuff in .
 
Recommendation is to take the exam in morning hours so that you are fresh and motivated to take up the challenges.
 
1. My exam included 10-15 tricky calulations on EV, CPI, SPI etc. most of them were straightforward but required lot of thinking. Those were BRILLIANTLY crafted questions. out of those- around 5-6 were based on graphs indicating the values instead of mentioning those directly.
 
2. Tuckman -ladder was spread across the exam in 7-8 questions. 
3. Only 1 question on Code of conduct. 
4. Many questions on QC and QA differences/ significance.
5  Around 6 questions on Rita's chart (you MUST memorize it !!).
6. EAC questions were demanding basic formula : BAC/ CPI only.
7. Most of the questions required answers poininting to - "Project Charter", Stakeholder management, Risk registers, Analyzing situations before action, Change Approvals, Risk strategies
8. 3 to 4 questions on PDM.
9. Conflict management : 5 to 6 questions.
10. Around 3 questions on IITO (1 was straightforward & rest two had to be comprehended reading the 'story' in the questions)
 
 
Got a feel after 50 questions about cracking the exam for sure. Just ensure you keep the pace.
Finished the exam in flat 3.5 hours. Utilized last 30 minutes to review around 17 questions + Initial 10 just to ensure I was not in a 'storming' mode while answering first few questions. 
 
Some questions took a long time (around 2 min) to answer and others took few seconds (about 10 to 15).
Felt thirsty by end of exam but did not opt for water since it required check-in / check-out process.
Finally result was up after the survey. 
 
Words of wisdom - do it your own way , be confident and maintain control & discipline while studying.
Thanks all (including PMZILLA team and other numerous forums) and the almighty.
 
Good luck for exam aspirants !!

Nice LL, thank u!

Hi SDK,

Well written LL..

Could you explain how the Rita's chart helped you in the 6 questions??

It helped mostly in 'Planning' related - "What happens next" sort of questions.

Which process group you got "P".

'Initiation'

Good LL's, liked the way you wrote "Do It Yourself" - thank you.

admin's picture

Excellent writeup and congratulations. Some how PMZilla does not come in search results in Google for some keywords. Hence probably you would not have found it early. Do spread the work by using Google+1 or Likes.

Regards

got 1P in 'Initiation'

Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your experice.

Can you please answer my below questions:

did you see many terms in exam which were NOT from PMBOK 5th ed (may be from older versions)?

what exactly did you read from "SCORDO" there are quite lots of books . i am planning to appear in exam next month so dont have much time to read everyhting. do you suggest anything in particular?

during the last two weeks of exam. what should be the study approach? solve more questions or read more PMBOK?

do you think reading ONLY RITA and PMBOK is sufficient?

Many Thanks 

 

Exam was completely based on PMBoK 5.

 

I did take all the exams from SCORDO eBook through my PMI login (under eReads section).

Here's the link: pmi.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bookid=55550

Reading only RITA & PMBoK is sufficient and you need to apply your brain+experience+reasoning to answer questions correctly. That's it !

thanks!

Could u pls let me know your email address?

Hey, congratz,

Can you please help us with the below:

1. Tuckman -ladder was spread across the exam in 7-8 questions. - What this?

2. Can you please give us an example of EVM question that were really tricky?

Sincere thanks

1. Tuckman questions not that much hard in the exam.  but questions contains more text to read.

2. All EVM questions are easy but its tricky. Each EVM question minimum 3 to 4 lines.  We need to read and understand what exactly asking.  Some times no need calculations.  Just confuses.

 

Thanks