~~~~PMP Cleared with flying colors~~~My journey!!
Phew!! So much to say!! So the good news first! I cleared my PMP Exam on 22nd of July 2013 with Proficient grade in 4 Knowledge Areas (except Execution where I got Moderately Proficient). I am not just super happy with my results but proud of how smartly I approached the preparation and how easy it was compared to my own nightmarish imagination of the difficulty level of the exam
So here is what I did for my preparation and would whole heartedly advice to all who are thinking about not just clearing it but acing it!!
PREPARATION TIME GIVEN - 2 hours everyday for 2.5 months (I took almost 3 weeks off in between give or take)
a.) RITA MULCHAY BOOK
b.) RITA MULCHAY SOFTWARE
c.) PMZILLA QUESTIONS
d.) NAIR NOTES (only one look)
e.) PMBOK (Only and only GLOSSARY SECTION and that too for just half hour - YEAH YOU READ IT RIGHT!! NO PMBOK STUDY at alllllll)
I DID NOT START WITH PMBOK! For some reason, that book put me to sleep every time I read 10 pages of it (Did I tell I have aimed for writing PMP for last 2 years but never got to it cuz of boring 10 pages of PMBOK and thus gave up?)
I did Rita Mulchay chapters one day at a time followed with test questions at the end of the chapters every day! Marked everything important to read again and questions that I did not get right. I got all my chapter tests in 70% range as it was all fresh in my mind after reading the chapter.
I finished the first read after a month!!!! Gosh I thought there was no end to it, but there was! Once I finished the book, I started following PMZILLA and noticed how much preparations geeks do ;-) so having nothing else, I started revising Rita Mulchay again!! Now it went super fast!!!! within 14 days I did the revision for the whole book and this time got more questions right!!! Then I got the software and started taking each knowledge area test. Every day target was to skim the chapter and then do tests on software for that chapter!! I was getting 80+ percent scores by then already except in Communications that I got 76 (yeah it is a tricky one). This process took another 14 days give or take and now I was two months into it and had completed one book revision thrice and done all software questions by knowledge area and scored 80% + all along.
Took the exam date available before July 31st and got it on 22nd. Had almost 11 days for the exam.
Now came the BIG Question of - TO DO or NOT TO DO (PMBOK)
I have secretly never liked it anyway and there were mixed reviews about it everywhere I read...so I decided against it. But somewhere I ended up reading that sometimes there are direct questions from GLOSSARY! and it made sense to read it cuz atleast I would know what Rita did not cover by seeing what PMBOK has! Turned out to be right, I found atleast 8-10 terms that RITA book did not cover and PMBOK had it so I went and skimmed. Just skimmed!
Used alllll my days to do questions here and there on websites, Nair notes has some websites mentioned and just kept re-reading RITA.
Went for the exam (saw people from so many institutes with such big charts and stuff, scared me a lot). Started the exam, covered 60 questions in first hour and was happy that I am going fine but marked atleast 12 questions for review. Second hour, I was sweating crazy!!!! The questions got tougher and I could only complete 40! So in 2 hours, I was down 100 questions and I was not happy with my performance cuz on this rate I would never get to reviewing, so dropped all plans to take a break, do peace yoga or brain refreshment and JUST GOT ON IT!! Third hour, I managed around 57 and 4th hour, I went even faster and completed the rest 43 in 35 minutes...
Had almost 35+ to review and 25 min but reviewing did not take that much time! What came to me originally was usually the choice I stuck with cuz the otherswere obviously not right! I actually got done with the review in 15 minutes.
In the second hour, I had a tough question about critical path calculation and if you remember that hour was making me cry so I marked it UNDONE and moved ahead., So I was yet to do that question for the first time! Now that I was done with all, I did it in PEACE in last 10 min and got the good great right answer in almost 5, Then I started revising questions in general and submitted it with 13 more seconds to complete 4 hours!! Phew again!!! Got popped with a survey about the center and all and as much as I hated doing the survey while I was only thinking about the result, it actually turned out to be a good distractor. It took me only 2-3 min to do the survey and when I pressed submit, THERE IT WAS !! My fav message, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh my!! I was almost super dead cuz of 4 hour stress and ecstatic at the same time! You would know the feel when you have it yourself :P
1.) Test is easy but timing could be tricky! Please keep a check on the pace
2. ) Pee before you sit for the exam, may be you would never get a chance to do it during the exam
3.) Prepare to take the exam time at the time you are most active and if possible, take sample tests during the same time of the day while preparing. It sets your body clock to be alert and focused for that time of the day!
4.) Don't sweat about what to read and what not to read! One standard book and one standard software could give you enough to clear it with amazing scores. Dont go crazy abt doing them all...just be smart with what to do
5.) During the exam, RELAX and make SMART choices!! Don't waste time on long questions first cuz all questions have the same score. So better to mark tough ones for review and come to them once you have completed all!
There it is!! More like 45 cents of mine instead of 2! Lol! I just thought it would be good to inspire and motivate the confused aspirants who think this is a tough cookie to crack and dunno HOW HOW HOW to do it!
Thanks PMZILLA for the amazing experience and help and All the best to all of you future PMP-ites!!