Passed PMP on 5th Nov
Finally I got my part going... erstwhile peeper into this forum , now someone who is sharing his experience of a successful journey. So , yes I am happy indeed.
My PMP journey began earlier in June 2014, when I was already working as a PM for some time. But it was mainly around that time I wanted formally an acknowledgement that would prevail beyond my company's premises. So I thought of taking advantage of the 35 mandatory hrs of training session that was being organized in a 6 weeks program , as a part of developing PMs at my company.
But, as luck would have had it.. I got drifted away to 'other' and so many other 'errands' :) .. Life never stops them for sure... and before I realised , it was a year or more over , and I was still not with even an iota distance of executing my plan - being a PMP.
So, around the middle of August , I discovered that the exam is going to change very soon(now it is 11th Jan 2016) - decided , enough of contemplation - Let it be now or never ! I applied for a PMI membership and then booked the date.
Looked around a bit , and found this lovely forum - the stories and guidances would ignite my enthusiasm and keep me going. It has not been an easy journey. Work , life balance takes a hit. A lot of credit goes to my wife , for having been so patient and helpful towards me. But glad that it is a successful one.
The following are just my own personal views and opinions; these ways can vary from person to person.
a. Please have discussion with your colleague(s)/ supervisor(s) whom you choose to show as the confirmer of your experience and get their agreement - lest an audit takes place.
a. The first thing I did was look up YouTube and finding a video which helped me with memorizing the 47 processes. I am sure that this helped me a lot to have the overall picture in mind.
b. I used only Rita Mulcahy, 8th Ed. as my main study material. I really read through the book in details , understanding all the concepts as much as I could, tried to draw parallels from my own PM experience and that realy helped draw a mental picture. My idea was to form a MindMap to all the processes and their logical juxtaposition in the overall project management perspective. Some concepts like Risk, Procurement PTA I cleared from Saket Bansal's YouTube videos, which I found good ( not all though ).
c. Once completed, I did a second iteration of Rita's book , this time with the chapter end answers ( accuracy was around 70% - 75% - of course, not something you can be very cheerful about.
d. It was only once I started writing the mocks that I started feeling more confident. Sitting for 4 gruelling hours is not easy...it needs practice. I gae the following mocks:
1. Scordo : These are free for PMI members. There are a total of 18 mini mocks of 50 Qs each- The questions are very good for practice and they are driven by the PMBOK 5th ed. Till this point I had not read the PMBOK notes much; I used these Scordo mocks wisely to grow my stamina. I gave the first 2 mocks , sitting for 1 hr tests. Next, 4 mocks in two seatings of 2 hrs each. I was left with 12 mocks at this stage. I created 3 full length 4 hr mocks out of them. This process really helped me build my stamina. Accuracy was something like 75%... The concepts and questions that I needed to understand, I would this time refer to PMBOK notes - so I followed a test-driven approach at this stage.
2. Next I appeared for the below Free mocks:
a. HeadFirst - 76%
b. SimpliLearn - 72%
c. Oliver Lehman 175 - 76%
d. PMStudy - 82%
Feel prepared by doing as many mocks as you can. This will make you confident.
Have a very good night's sleep - the night before the exam. Don't stress - trust me it is not worth it.
The questions that appeared on the exam , were having a very direct influence to your own experience. So , no matter how much you read, they will still test you for sure. Keep your cool and just keep an open mind during the exam.
I would also like to Thank Nibha Rai from this forum who helped me a lot with her tips and suggestions.
Glad that I could share my own story as well.
It has been a long post, but I am sure some of you wouldn't be disappointed , at least you had the patience to reach through this point :)
Wish all the aspirants Best of Luck.