Passed PMP on 13th Aug 2012, Mumbai
I cleared the PMP exam on 13th August 2012.
Here is my side of the story,
June End 2012,
I took the training from Knowledgewoods, Mumbai at Andheri. When, I first register for the training, I thought, it would be just the formality to earn 35 PDU (Professional Development unit), which is needed for PMP. But, training was informative, and got the Head First Hardcopy as well as Soft Copy book, MindMaps (This are key to remember ITTO for 42 processes), and other notes.
I first started with Head First and found this book does clear the concept, but not par with the questions which you get in PMP exam.
So, I got the Rita Mulcahy-PMP® Exam Prep 7th Edition, and start preparing from it. My study plan was 2 hours daily, and 4-6 hours on weekend for PMP. I am the project lead for Software Company. And believe me it requires real self-motivation and commitment to stick to the schedule plan. I live in Mumbai, and fortunately and unfortunately, I have hour long commute to office and back. I read these books on my tablet during travel time, and even snoop come time from office, to read 2-3 pages.
First, I read headfirst, which is completed in 30-40 mins, and then RITA, which takes around 2-3 hours for finishing one chapter. Then, I go back again for second read from RITA, to see and make notes of some points which I could miss in first Read. This takes another hour. So, basically, it should take 2-3 days to complete one chapter, if you take 2 hours daily.
Now, the most important part, I took the questions which are there at the end of chapte r, first from Head First (as they are easier) and then from RITA (tougher and closer to PMP exam question). Reading book will just make you learn 20% and appearing question, will make you learn rest 80%. Infact, appearing question will clear your concepts; book reading is just like storytelling, you don’t grasp much.
This goes on for still the end of July, and I manage to finish both Head First and RITA all 13 chapters.
I start taking sample test from the Knowledge woods, but it didn’t help me much, because most of the question answers don’t have explanation, and this would help me, because I need explanation to understand, by Answer C is right choice. This is because, in PMP exam, question won’t have same word as question appeared in Mock, but would be on the similar line of context.
Then, I came across PMZilla site, where many people recommended PMStudy (http://www.pmstudy.com/). PMStudy gives one mock test free, and I appear it. It was the ground shaking moment for me, because many questions were from PMBOK study guide and I didn’t read at all.
Initially, I was looking for some free test options; I came to BrainBok (http://www.brainbok.com/) which offer free 50 and 200 test questions on the similar lines of PMstudy. This made me to take, PMstudy PLUS pack. Exam layout was very similar to PMStudy site; In addition, there was onscreen calculator button to do some basic calculation for PMP exam. Thank god, I didnt encounter any to the power formule question in exam, otherwise, I had no idea, how to do that on simple onscreen calculator
Here one for point, taking 200 question in one go takes 4 hours, but it very difficult to get 4 hours in one go in normal working lifestyle. So, I took in bit of 50-75 question and continue rest in next available time slot. Most sites allow you to break and continue format.
Once done that, I took PMP Exam Prep by Christopher Scordo, this book you can find of PMI Knowledge Centre -> eReads and Reference section.
More the test you take, more confident you are with clearing PMP exam. But caution here, take quality test, as there are thousands of PMP free test available of net, which are not authentic and could misguide your concepts. Same question would have different answer on different sites.
I found Rajesh Nair notes on PMzilla, which was superb and help me get one shot revision to most of the concepts in 9 knowledge area.
How do I know you are ready for exam, if I start scoring 70-80% percent in most, of the exams, I was sure, I am ready for the exam.
Remember, PMP require a lot of concepts to be remembered, revise daily to keep all those information in the head till time of exam.
August First two week
I had 3 week leaves pending (thanks to last year sat-sun working and busy schedule), I took 8 days leave for PMP. I schedule exam on 13th August.
On Exam day, I didn’t study much, had good night sleep a day before, as to keep my brain free from anxiety and help it concentrate on 200 questions for next 4 hrs. After giving exam, prometric test machine screen went blank for 30-40 sec. This took my heart off, and then the feedback screen appeared. I was thinking in my mind, Dude, where my result. After feeling feedback form, again screen went blank for 20-30 secs, then appear most waited screen. You Passed, Phew!
During training, you should apply for the PMI membership around that time. It because it will give you access PMI knowledge eBook and references, where you will find PMBOK study guide and much more.