Passed PMP today (8 Nov)
I passed the PMP exam today on my first try. My lessons learned:
I used the Ultimate PMP Exam Self Study course from True Solutions (truesolutions.com) for 95% of my prep. I was able to dedicate an hour or two daily for about three weeks to get through the curriculum. It's a good system that integrates reading sections of the PMBOK while keeping enough variety and practical application where it doesn't get too dry or repetitive. Additionally, it comes with six hours of videos and about the same of audio for reviewing and reinforcing the concepts. This came in handy since I had about a two month gap between when I completed the self study program and I took the test. Over the past couple weeks I went through all the videos (reviewing the processes) and put the vocabulary word review mp3's on my ipod. In addition to all that, it provided the 35 contact hours I needed to apply for the certification. Overall I felt it was a thorough program that I used some of the informatio.
Besides the true solutions program, I looked through some of the tips here at PM zilla and took one or two online practice tests (which actually hurt my confidence more than anything).
My overall exam prep time was about 40 hours for the self study program and another 15-20 hours reviewing during the past week.
The true solutions course had a test expectations guide which said to expect the actual test questions to be different than any I seen previously. I definitely found this to be the case and most every question required some thought to answer. The test creators do a good job of making at least two answers look right on every question.
For types of questions, I had quite a few cost control questions and I was glad I reviewed the formulas and had them down before going in. As soon as I sat down I did the memory dump on the scratch paper. There were at least 10-15 questions I referred to my memory dump paper for. The rest of the questions were balanced among the process groups. A few questions I figured were part of the 25 control questions since I was completely guessing on them.
I answered the first 100 questions before taking a break (2.5 hrs remaining) then did another 75 until break two (1.5 hrs left) and took one final break before review (40 min remaining). I had about 15 Q's marked for review (only one I had not answered) at the end. I found that breaks did a good job of getting me back focused and that I was able to get through the questions quicker with a clear head following the breaks. Especially at the end when I had been concentrating for a few hours straight. I changed the answers on about half the questions I had marked for review and pressed submit with about 25 minutes left on the clock.
I felt pretty good about my chances of passing but still very happy to see the "congrats" displayed on the screen.
If anyone has any specific questions let me know. Best of luck to others working on their PMP!