Passed PMP on 3rd Dec 2013
1. Finally passed my PMP exam on the 3rd of Dec. I had never studied so hard in post 1996 after leaving my college :-).
2.Firstly it didnt feel so hard from the questions part but very hard from the endurance part. Sitting for 4 hours continously was the toughest part. Although the questions did look easy I ended up getting just one proficient(Initiation) and all others Moderate Proficient. So that means I just scraped through. But I felt comfortable throughout from the questions point of view.
3. My preparations started with post working time evening classes for getting my 35 classroom hours at Green International. That was three days a week and around a month. I wasnt very serious with the studies part during that point of time and did just brush through the PMBOK for a few chapters and do remember reading Risk Management pretty well. Did miss a few classes too . that was way back in August.
4. Didnt study much during Septemeber too. Started going through Rita as general reading, a casual approach. Found it much interesting than reading the PMBOK.
5. October was the month I decided that it was high time I start studying. I started reading Rita seriously . It got me getting into the groove. I started getting interested in studying . I was studying around 2 hours in the morning . Near the end of October I was much more clearer with concepts. I started reading PMBOK again. Now PMBOK felt different. The problem with PMBOK is that you cant miss a word :-) cos it is the bible of PMP.
4. It was Nov first week and I had to go on vacation to India in the second week of Dec. I decided that I had to give the exam before I go. I started studying with more vigour. Was thankful to my wife who kept my lovely little ones at bay engaged so that they wouldnt trouble my study schedule.I started studying 3 hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.Lucky that I could manage so much time as a major project was over and I had regular working hours
5. I had to take the date but was not very confident yet. Novemeber started with me reading Rita and PMBOK side by side. One chapter of PMBOK followed by thesame knowledge area in Rita. I was solving the excercises at the end of the chapter at the end of each knowledge are. At office if I could squeeze in time did some questions in the PMFASTRACK for the particular knowledge are. It helped me in finding the gaps I had.
6. The second week of Novemeber was over and I had to take the dates. I registered and finally got the dates confirmed for the exam for third of Dec. I was much better but then still was not able to remember the ITTOs. I had assumed that as my concepts were much clearer I would be able to pass the exam.Around 15 days before exam I had a conversation with one of my collegues who had cleared the exam last year. He told me to memorize the ITTOs and that it would help me.
7. I hit upon Mnemonics for the TTs on net . Modfied a few according to my convenience and started memorizing. And I repeated going through the same till the exam date. I was comfortable remembering within around 5 days. I realised my grey cells still have some juice left in them But my collegue told me that it would be better if I could remember Input output too. I was clear with concepts by now but still thought would give it a try. Got all the ITTOs pasted on my bedroom wall ( 6 A3 size sheets covered all ITTOs). Got the same from internet. I was spending around 1 hour everyday in the evening solely on chart. As the same was getting registered in my grey cell the flow was too getting imprinted clearer.
Remembering the ITTOs really helped me. Threre were quite a few very straightforward TT questions.
8. Besides I was making notes on a brainmapping software mindmiester(paid) . (I have all the brainmaps if someone needs it.It helps in just looking into a topic in a short time. It can be opened using freemind software which is free for use). These helped my in the final two three day revision.
9. I gave a few mock exams.
c) oliver lehmann
d) Kim Heldman (I did only a few chapters)
I was able to score around 70 plus in most of them except Kim Heldman. I found some Kim Heldman chapter questions pretty tough. May be it was just me.
The doubts and questions raised on PMZILLA by the members and discussions on them was pretty helpful.
10. Exam day.
I had planned when I had taken exam date that I wouldnt study a day before the exam. But it was not to be. Due to some reason I couldnt stritcly follow that. I just brushed up my mindmaps and the ITTO chart. And in the morning just practiced the 47 processes and formulas. ( i was practicing writing them down almost everyday for last month)
I had gone and checked the exam center a day before. Reached by around 7:45 filled up form and completed formalities. As expected instructions came up. I just dumped the processes and formulas on the sheets although i dont remember looking at them at any stage.
I had decided to target first 25 question within half an hour and first 50 questions within 1 hour. I could manage to attempt the first 50 withn 50 mins (with a few mathemetical questions not attempted). My plan was complete 50 questions in one hour session by session Luckily could manage that. I could complete with around 20 minutes to spare. The last session of 50 questions took quite a bit of time. I couldnt review all the questions I had marked.
And then while I was reviewing I get the time over message. And then I have to fill the prometric feeback review form which seemed to take like ages. And the white screen was flashing for a few seconds which felt like hours to me. I could clearly hear my heart pounding. And then I saw congratulations and was pretty happy. I had expected a better score but am happy that I cleared(1P and 4MP).The questions were very simple and straightforward at times.
Quite a number of Tuckman ladder questions.
Quite a lot of conflict resolution question.
Did get quite a few questions on change control.
All an all I did feel easy answering. The calculation questions can be tricky. There were quite many EVM questions some of them had extranneous data. Reading the question is very important. As people have earlier mentioned some questions do have keyword to the answer. So please read the question carefully.
I do have the some of study material I used. Please do email me for the dropbox link.
Thanks for the support. God bless you all and best of luck