Sandwich Approach for Passing The PMP Exam On First Attempt
I completed PMP on 02.11.2015. Based on my experience - please find few useful tips on taking PMP exam :
1) Most important tip is to decide timeline for taking exam. Unless and until you decide on the exam date you cannot motivate yourself!! I got this tip from my colleague who is PMP certified.(Thanks to Raghavendra)
Think practically and book exam time slot (For working professionals 2-3 months of preparation may be ideal. It depends on your study time).
2) Sandwich approach
STEP-1# Read PMBOK 5th edition -- to get overview and process interaction
STEP-2# Read Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition) -- understand the concepts & practice the questions(at the end of each chapter)
STEP-3# How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe [ Concepts are explained in simple way ]
STEP-4# Attempt mock tests(as much as possible) - PMP Exam Prep Questions, Answers & Explanations by Christopher Scordo is good book ( This book was suggested by my colleague Raghava. It contains variety of good quality Qs)
STEP-5# Quickly scan through the key concepts from Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition)
STEP-6# Again read PMBOK 5th Edition
Take final exam!!!
3) Strategy for taking mock tests
--Attempt as many Qs as possible
--For every wrong answer(s) - make deeper analysis, understand your gap areas.[Don't skip this step!]
--Keep record of your performance (%).
--In my opinion if you are able to score approx 80-85% in your mock tests, it’s good confidence level. Keep focusing on your weak areas
4) Don't memorize ITTO - While referring process inputs, tools and techniques and o/p for any the process. Focus on the following
- What is the purpose of the process (focus on outputs?)
- Ask "why","why"...certain input is needed? Understand it's relevance.
5) Decide the content of your brain dump & practice few times before taking the exam
--Content may include - formulas (especially EVM,PTA, No of communication channels formulae etc),key processes in each of Knowledge areas
6) Network with PMP certified members. I got very good tips/experience from my colleagues. My sincere thanks to them.
7) Be familiar with exam center/location. Prior to the exam date (visit the location).
8) Final day of the exam
-- Reach the exam centre on time at least 1hr prior to the exam. In my case, there was risk in reaching exam centre on time due to heavy traffic.
-- Carry identify proofs as hinted in your exam appointment letter (passport,..)
-- Request for manual calculator from the PROMETRIC centre. It is much easier to use than using online calculator.
9) Time management - Exam duration is 4hrs
-- When I started with first Q - my impression was 4hrs is enough time!. But it's not true!. You need to manage time.
My approach/target was to attempt minimum 52-54 Qs per hr.
--When I completed 200th Q - I left with 1min & 37 seconds! I did not get much time to review the Qs which were marked for further review.
10) Excellent references:
1.The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe [ Concepts are explained in simple way ]
2.Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition) [ Very good refence ]
3.Rita Mulcahy's Hot Topics Flashcards for Passing the PMP and CAPM Exams(8th Edition) by Rita Mulcahy [ Quick reference on concepts, formulae , key inputs/outputs of process ]