Passed PMP on Dec 13th, 2012 – 5P’s

I am very happy to share good news that I cleared PMP today (Dec 13th, 2012) and scored Proficient in all 5 areas.

The reason I am sharing lessons learned at PMZilla is that I owe to this forum a lot and it has contributed 30% in my success. My special thanks to KK and Pawar. I followed almost all of their posts and especially the tenners and questions posted by them. I connected with KK 2 weeks back and it helped me much.

Please beware, this post is little long.

Background

I am a project manager in IT industry and have got close 4+ yrs of project management experience. I have little practical experience with procurements, quality assurance/control areas which helped me for PMP

 

Preparation

I started my preparation in Jan’2012 when I took 35hrs of PDU from the employer through Skillsoft (self paced web training). This training was very close to PMBOK which I did not realize until I read PMBOK later in Nov’12. Only thing I did during this training was making notes in Excel sheet and understanding the concepts. I completed training in Apr’2012 due to my personal and professional commitments. I tried to prepare further on and off from April to October but that never happened.

Finally, on Nov 9th I decided to take PMP before the year end and I took PMI membership and submitted my application which got through without any audit. I put my target date as Dec 30th but did not schedule the exam. I spent one full day to plan my preparation.

 

I read following books/websites and extended my notes (Excel format) based on these readings


1.      

Andy Crowe as a refresher to recap what I learnt during training


2.      

PMBOK (cover-to-cover) - 12 days


3.      

Rita (cover-to-cover) – Did not solve questions during this pass


4.      

Read PMBOK (not in detail like in first pass)

Did Christopher Scordo Mock Test #1 to #18 (scores below) and refreshed my gaps


5.      

Referred Kim Heldman book from PMI website for Procurements, Closing and Ethics


6.      

http://www.deepfriedbrainproject.com – Excellent website to clear any doubts on the topics; presented in very simple and easy language


7.      

http://pmstudycircle.com – Another excellent website on certain topics


8.      

Attempted mocks and review questions


9.      

Read PMBOK and Rita to close my gaps based on the mock ups

I spent roughly 4 hrs on week days and 8-10 hrs on weekends.

 

Mock Up Scores

Christopher Scordo Mock Test #7 to #12 (medium difficult)

87%

Christopher Scordo Mock Test #13 to #18 (very difficult)

79%

Head First PMP – 200Q (Easy)

89.5%

PM Study test 1 – 200Q (very close to real one)

88%

Oliver Lehmann 175Q

78%

Oliver Lehman 75Q

82%

Anbari

94%

Ferndale 262Q

89%

Exam Central (200Q)

88%

Rita’s Fast Track PMP

85%

Rita’s Fast track Super PMP

79%

 

2 days before Exam Day

On Dec 10th, I decided to pre-pone my exam date from Dec 30th to Dec 13th due to my planned vacation. Once I scheduled my exam, I started revising


1.      

Self prepared notes (from multiple sources so that I don’t spend time finding them)


2.      

PMBOK Glossary


3.      

Closing from Kim Heldman


4.      

PMZilla - 00_PMP_Formulae_CheatSheet_Anil_Tanguturi

I stopped reading on Dec 12th at 6:00 PM and spent time watching TV and reading magazine.

 

Exam Day

My exam was scheduled for 8:00 AM and reached center at 7:30 AM. Test centre allowed me to take exam before 8:00 AM.

During initial training of 15min, I dumped formulas and Pg43 in PMBOK on the scrap sheet. I did “not” refer this even once as whole thing was in my mind during the exam. I wrote it just to ease some pressure. I finished dump in 6 min and proceeded to exam. My strategy was to take 3 breaks even if I don’t need it and these were my targets (which I maintained) 

90 min – 85 Q followed by 5 min break

60 min – 60 Q followed by 3 min break

60 min – 55Q followed by 3 min break

20 min – review


1.    I marked only those questions if I realized it has taken more than 2 min. At the end I marked 15 questions and changed answer for 3


2.      

There were 14 questions on EV and 6 on CPM related


3.      

Direct ITTO questions – 3


4.      

Scenario based ITTO questions – multiple – You can easily eliminate up to 2 options. IMPORTANT: No need to memorize ITTO’s. It’s waste of time, instead spend time on which tool to use when.


5.      

For all scenario based questions, easiest way to answer is find process group question is talking about and then knowledge area and then the process. This will help to narrow down the options.


6.      

I read every question twice and read options from top to bottom and then bottom to top, just because I had this habit during mocks where I was not reading questions and options carefully.

 

I finished my exam 10 min before 4hrs and clicked END EXAM. It took 45 sec for screen to flash up a survey screen with 9Q and then got the CONGRATULATIONS screen with Proficiency in all areas

 

Tips


1.      

Attempt atleast 3-4 full mocks as you can. PMP exam is “not” tough if you have read PMBOK thoroughly. Only thing you have to beat is the 4 hr long exam and the puzzling questions. Attempting mocks will help us to tackle that


2.      

For people who have not taken 35hrs PDU yet, I would suggest to read Headfirst PMP or Andy Crowe before training. This will help to understand the material better and motivate to write the exam. (I did not do this though as I did not realize until later)


3.      

Don’t be nervous or panic before or during the exam. If you are panic or not able to concentrate, just take 5 deep breaths and you will be normal. If not, just take a 2/3 min break

 

List of Mock Exams

This list might help you guys to attempt mock exams/questions. I did not complete everything but I attempted most of them.


Details

# of Q

Type

Rating

Source

Paid/Free

Source

Rita Mulcahy - PMP Exam Prep - 7th Edition (Knowledge area wise)


409


 


Excellent


Textbook


Paid


 

Andy Crowe - How to pass PMP on first try? - 4th Edition


200


 


Good


Textbook


Paid


 

Head First PMP (Questions at end)


203


 


Good


Internet


Free


http://archive.org/details/Head.First.PMP.2nd.Edition.Aug.2009.pdf

Christopher Scordo (Lite Mocks + Knowledge Area wise)


1100


18 Mocks (50Q)


Excellent (Must #13 to #18)


Internet


Free for PMI Members


http://pmi.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bookid=45515

Kim Heidman


200


 


Excellent


Internet


Free for PMI Members


http://pmi.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bookid=32020

Oliver Lehmann 175 Q


175


 


Excellent (tough)


Internet


Free


www.oliverlehmann.com/

Oliver Lehmann 75 Q


75


 


Excellent (tough)


Internet


Free


www.oliverlehmann.com/

Andy Crowe - How to pass PMP on first try? - 4th Edition


200


 


Good


Textbook


Paid


 

PMP For Sure


100


 


Excellent


Internet


Free


www.pmpforsure.com/

Simpli Learn


200


Full Mock


Average


Internet


Free


www.simplilearn.com/

PM Study


200


Full Mock


Excellent (Must)


Internet


Free


www.pmstudy.com/

Exam Central


900


Full Mock


Good for practice


Internet


Free


www.examcentral.net/

PM Zilla 30 Tough


30


 


Very Tough


Internet


Free


www.pmzilla.com

PMBOOTCAMP


200


 


Good


Internet


Free


www.pmbootcamp.org/

Head First PMP - 200 Q Full paper


200


Full Mock


Good (Should be attempted as first mock to gain confidence)


Internet


Free


http://www.headfirstlabs.com/PMP/pmp_exam/v1/quiz.html

TechFaq360


200


Full Mock


Very Good


Internet


Free


www.techfaq360.com/

Frank T. Anbari


200


Full Mock


Good Before Exam (PMBOK review)


Internet


Free for PMI Members


http://pmi.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bookid=35841

Farndale


262


Full Mock


Excellent


Internet


Free


http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/19564168/1150747748/name/farndales_guide.pdf

Rita's PM Fast Track v7


1565


 


Excellent (but expensive)


CD


Paid


 

BrainBoK


185


50Q Mock


Very Good


Internet


Free


www.brainbok.com/

Total Q


6804


 


 


 


 


 

 If you need my notes or any guidance or tips, you can reach me on rajesh.thallam@gmail.com

 Dear Rajesh,

       Congrats . Your LL really helps for PMP Asspirants like me who are planning to appear for exam. Thanks alot for posting LL.

Regards,

Vishwanath

 Congrates you many more. I think u r in good shape in ur company. I request u to send the soft copt of the materials including the dumpsheet and the cheat sheet preparation to me in - manoj625@hotmail.com

Pls have a brak and enjoy.

 

Thanks in advance

Manoj

 

Congrats for your PMP.  Thanks for sharing your prepartion for the exam & LL with us.  Best of luck for your future.

 

Regards

Pradeep

 

Congratulations!!!!!

Its great success , and your LL showing you are really deserve for 5Ps.

Date 13 th normally people avoid, but you proved it just reverse.

Regards

Thanks Pawar!


During my exam, I thanked you thrice. I read some topics after referring to you post on self-made PMBOK questions.


 


You are an asset to this forum!

Congrats Rajesh! And welcome to the 5Ps cult :-)

~ Diba

Diba, I forgot to mention your name in my Thanks list.


It was your LL which I read first during my preparation and that motivated me to go for 5P's.


 


Thanks again!!

admin's picture

Your LL is  a perfect example. Looking at your mock tests score , one can easily see how to get 5Ps.  Its collection of good study plan, and using right materials and mock tests.

5Ps are always exciting for PMZilla members , if you have any notes to share you can email me at admin @ pmz.....

Thanks Admin!


I will sure share my notes over the weekend.

 Admin, I sent you my notes on admin@PMZilla.com. Please review and upload the notes on the site.

 Congrats Rajesh!. From your LL write-up, it is so glearing you are so good at what you do. Keep it up Bro!!. Your career has just been lunched to a different level. Congrats once again.

Hope your present employer can keep you, because indeed you are an asset. 

Kindly send me your notes on engrglory@yahoo.com

Thanks all for your generous comments!!

 Many congratulations and your LL shows the amount of practice and organization that went into the exam :).

Did you have to face any ethics related questions ? I am finding few questions on that topic tricky , and just asked the same question on a different post in pmzilla. Looking forward to hear your inputs too.

 Many congratulations and your LL shows the amount of practice and organization that went into the exam :).

Did you have to face any ethics related questions ? I am finding few questions on that topic tricky , and just asked the same question on a different post in pmzilla. Looking forward to hear your inputs too.

Hi Manoj,


Can you pl. share your cheat sheet as it is becoming a real task what can be covered & written in 15 mins at aspirant2pmp@gmail.com


Apart from the page 43 & the formulas for EV, PV, CPI & SPI - please advice what should be covered.


Thanks & Regards,


 

How do you access Kim Heldman's free test at PMI site?

I clicked on the link but it only opens the book itself without any practice exams for 200 questions. 

There is no 200Q test in Kim Heldman'a book. The 200Q referred in the post are the questions at the end of each chapter in the book.

Dear Rajesh,

Congratz...

Please send the ppt and other docs/pdf you have for PMP exam prep

my email : itillove@gmail.com

Thanks

You sir are the man

 

This is easily the best LL on the site

Without your matrix of worthwhile mock exams I wouldnt have passed PMBOK5 tonight

I will be doing an LL for PMBOK 5 later on this week and will tell it far and wide to read every word of this excellent post

 

thanks again