A PMP since 16-Jan-2014
Thanks to this forum, for aiding me in clearing the PMP exam. I passed in the first attempt with 4Ps and 1MP (Closing).
I would like to share my experience with the preparation and the exam.
I started my preparations somewhere in the middle of October. Read Rita once. Glanced over the PMBOK once, following which I felt that I needed to take a more interesting approach. So, I started taking tests right from November. Kind of a brute force technique, to understand the concepts. First I did all of Rita's book questions and all of her PMFastTrack (about 1600). I was scoring in the 85s then. I did Oliver Lehmanns 75 and 175 as well.
After doing so many questions, one naturally gets and idea of the expected answer. Probably that's why I was doing really well with Rita's questions.:)
Just 3 weeks before the exam, I took the pmpforsure free test of 100 questions and got the shock of my life - flunked the exam with 61%. I was not sure what went wrong. Everything seemed so hunky dory. So, bought the pmpforsure package (about Rs.1200) with some 10 tests (more as a challenge :)). As I went through the tests, I got the "ah-ha" factor. They do dig in very deep into the PMBOK. Most of the time the questions seem to be picking the exact sentences from the PMBOK, and that forced me to actually read the PMBOK line-by-line, numerous times. You can ignore the error in the grammar and spelling in the database. Not a big deal.As I completed all the tests, I somehow managed to touch the 70s.
Just 2 days before the exam, I took a PMStudy test of 200 and got through quite easily (85%). That re-instilled some confidence back in me.
I would have loved to read the "A user's manual to the pmbok guide" by Cynthia Stackpole, but didn't find time. Also, "A Roadmap to Cracking the PMP" by Stuart Brunt. I just read the preview versions in Google Books. These two books explain things in a very lucid manner.
A few other websites, especially DeepFriedBrain, helped a lot to clear some concepts. Also the android app PMPocket was extremely useful. It extracts info by Process group, Process, Input, Output and T&T separately. Very handy indeed.
The actual exam was OKish. I took a lot of time in completing the exam, than usual.Probably was being extra cautious with every answer. I did the first run with just about 20 minutes to spare.
After all that, I feel only one basic methodology you need - For each of the ITTO Just ask yourself, why do you need it in a particular process. Then verify that using the PMbok and Rita/Stuart/Cynthia. Read everyday, about 2 hours. Focus focus. You will anyway do that once you have applied for the exam. You money would be at stake :).
So, from my side done and dusted. Wishing all the aspirants the very best.