Passed PMP Oct'16-LL
I have been following this forum since a long time and wanted to post something once I clear my PMP exam. And I did it succesfully 2 days ago. And here are my lessons learnt:
1. Took me 3 months to study and understand the topics.
2. Started with Headfirst to understand the concept. Its easily explained there with good examples. Later I started reading RITA and completed all its exercises along with understanding of chapters. And at last I came to PMBOK. This is the book and the key to success ultimately. You have to understand each and every sentence given there along with the Data flow diagrams.
3. Along with reading PMBOK I used to give mocks. I purchased PMZest and along with that I did many online free exams available like examcentral, PMStudy free exam, Scordo, Sean Whitkar etc.
4. Earlier my scores were in the range 60 to 70%. I had to read PMBOK again and again and analyze all the wrong answers. in PMZest I used to score even less like 58%. But after gaining a good understanding scores improved a lot and I took a date for the exam.
5. After that I used to practice daily 100 questions and read PMBOK. in Weekends I used to do the 200 question mocks and analyze all wrong answers.
6. Finally the exam day came. The real exam questions were mostly situational. Only the numericals were the ones which one could guess easily. Else all were to test the actual knowledge gained. I could not guess at a single moment if I will pass or fail because questions were tricky and it was really difficult to judge between the 2 best answers. This exam indeed is a difficult one and judges your capability and thorough knowledge as an ideal project manager. New pattern questions were not many. But a lot of questions on Change management, Stakeholder management, Communication management,Risk management, Charter and SOW. No org theories were asked and the language and inputs/outputs questions were based on PMBOK language.
7. I used to complete all the mocks in 2 and half hours max but in real exam it took me 3 hour 35 min to complete. I marked only few questions, did not do any dumps, just wrote the main formulae on scratch paper. Till I reviewed all my marked questions the time was over and congrats message appeared. It took me some time to digest that I actually passed.
8. It does not test you on memorization but on concepts understanding. You don't need to remember ITTOs if you understand how are they used. PMZest was of great help because actual exams question were that tricky, some even more. Do not take it lightly and study thoroughly before appearing for the exam and then you can surely succeed.