Passed PMP (4P/1MP) on 4th Jan 16
Submitted by RahulC on Tue, 01/05/2016 - 12:02
Cleared my PMP exam on 4th Jan 16. Found the paper of medium difficulty, finished in 2:55 mins and had three questions marked for review, submitted final paper at 3:05.
Passed with (4P/1MP in initiating), not sure how I missed 5P's. Probably should have reviewed other questions in the remaining one hour.
Initial research on PMP started about six months back and the prep continued on and off for the most part, until last month when I went into overdrive.Came here to the US mid Nov, which also affected my prep.
You need to read three books -
HeadFirst - Just go through as a novel, understand concepts and answer questions dont worry about accuracy etc.
Rita Mulcahy and then of course PMBOK - Both at least three times.
Had downloaded free material from PM Zilla but really didnt go through them.
I read head first from my company library and returned the copy.
Next printed out Rita and PMBOK, created two binded books one containing chapters upto quality management with one chapter from PMBOK followed by Rita.
Idea was to read PMBOK first and then Rita which wasn't a good one, shoud have read Rita first and then PMBOK. Another, disadvantage was I used to read upto Time Management from both books and then used to get tired and never proceed. Used to again restart after a week and then same process repeat lol.
I finished upto Quality in Nov mid and finished one reading loop for the rest in the other book (HR, Comm, Risk, Procurement, Stakeholders) first week of Dec.I was under the impression that later chapters were not of that importance, after hearing about the triple constraints of scope, time and cost. However Risk and Procurements are really important.
Another couple of mistakes
1] Didnt start solving sample questions soon, I think you can skip mocks initially but solve other free questions available.
2] Didn't create a one or two pager summary for each knowledge area earlier, I created one just two days before the exam, which I read on the morning of the exam instead of browsing through those huge books.
Main thing is to understand the concept and not the definition and also why and when (Knowledge Area, Process Group) it is used, why it is used over others(this vs that) and its effect on other KA/PG's
Mock Tests -
Rita (one Super PMP) - 72%
Head First - 84%
Izenbridge free test - 78%
PM Zilla - 82%
Oliver Lehmann 75 question test - 74%
Scordo tests available in PMI books for members - 80%+ for about 5 to 6 test I gave from book.
Internal Company PMP Practise test (found the hardest, took me around 3:30 hrs others took me about 2:30 hrs normally for 200 questions) - 77%
I gave this test on the evening the day before of the exam at about 7 pm and finished after reading solutions etc at 11 pm. Probably tired me out and I didn't have the patience to review the questions in the 1 hr I had remaining in the actual PMP exam.
Used some apps on Android - found PM Pro and some others good for questions and Hyper PMP for ITTO's.
You don't need too many actual full length mocks, may be betwen 4-6, but solve questions from all free sources available (PM Zilla etc) when you get time. Main thing is to integrate all knowledge, and have a kind of index in your mind, so that when you get a concept in a question, immediately you should have in your mind what/why/where reasoning ready.While reading you may understand the concept since it is not rocket science but while answering questions you get some little doubts in your head, which you need to eliminate by conceptual learning.
Three months prep is definitely needed for PMP, but if you are familiar with most of the terms and don't suffer from procrastination two months also can suffice.I probably put in more effort than required (I had most ITTO's in my head which stuck not by rote but only due to understanding them), since we only have to pass.
It is not a difficult exam which I found was an anti-climax for me.
I was expecting questions where it will be difficult to choose from two options but most of them I could choose one clear obvious answer. Only had doubts in three questions, which I had marked.
Initially I was looking for the "trick" in the question but as the test progressed I realized the test itself is not tricky the tricks are all in our mind.After 2 hrs I had completed 134 questions (I think 68 in the first hour) after which I was already thinking how many P's I will get lol.
Lot of quetions on change, risk, EV problems (other topics had equal questions among them) but these three topics were repeated most often. Just got simple network diagram questions.
Forming,Storming,Norming,... very important.
Concentrate on Initiating and Closing if you want 5P's and easy sitters, I realized this late which cost me a P. (Try to ans questions based on Process group for this if possible).
PMP prep helped me a lot in understanding things we use in our projects. Genuine effort is really required for passing and there are no short cuts.