Yet another lessons learnt PMP exam, Passed in First attempt on Feb 23rd
This forum and couple of others has wealth of information and I think I did not use it to full extent, but defenitely got information. would like to give back something :-). Hence my lessons learnt..
I have been managing projects from quite some time and was planning to take PMP exam from couple of years. I decided to take the exam with December last year. But finally ended up taking the exam in Feb 23 this year.
I started to read the PMBOK guide version 3 during my journey in train for 15 to 20 minutes and some time during weekends. It was miserable :-) and nothing worked out. The integration management seemed to be every thing needed to execute the project. !! Then I postponed preperation for several months ..
After fresh start, I started with Head First PMP and for me it was an wonderful book. Concepts were so clearly explained with examples ..I enjoyed reading the book especially cross words.at the end of each chapater. Read all most all knowledge ares and solved the sample exam questions. I never memorized any formulas or ITTO's. By my nature, I know that if I dont understand well , I can never recall.
I happen to read to forums where several discussions about memorizing IITO or not. I all most decided that I better put more effort and remember ITTO's ( yes, againist my wish and my own lessons learnt over several years :-( only discover later that its not required)
Having read most of Head First PMP book for second time in December break, I thought was ready to give exam. I thought would check my knowledge against Rita's PMP book..I could not answer as well as I thought..I postponed the exam to Feb 23rd and decided to read Rita Book thoroughly and do exercises sincerely.
After having read Head First PMP, I could easily grasp Rita contents and surely Rita is very methodical approcah to Pass PMP. I would highly recommend reading both Head First PMP and Rita PMP book thoroughly in the same order. I also happen to scan through some sections PMBOK book, but to be honest PMBOK looks very good once you have grasp of all the subject matter :-) . As Rita clearly pointed out, there is no need to memorize any ITTO's. I strongly agree with her, once you understand you dont need to memorize.. After all we want to use them in our every day work. All the EV formulas needs to be memorized and brain dumped in the beginning of exam. Its even more important to understand interpretation of the results from calculations. By memorizing ITTO's you may get couple of questions more right, but its not a good ROI as per me.
Rajesh Nair's notes are tremounds and he deserves a big thanks, its a wonderful summary for last week review.
I was running out of time and hence decided to buy commercial practise tests. I tried samples PM exam simulator, PM study. I decided to take PM study 4 exam tests and consistently scored 72 to 77 % in tests. After 3rd test I felt that I can do the exam confidently. I cant comment on pracise tests from different vendors since I did not do a comparitive study. I just went with PMStudy. But I feel most of the commercial/free ones might be just fine.. Honestly I think once you understand the concepts one or two resources for practise exams are good enough. I took the 4th exam day before exam ( this was a bad decision) and suggest couple of days early to make sure to review the wrong answers. Inspite of several people suggesting to have a good night's sleep previous night I did not follow. It was bad on my part. Recommend doing whatever you like previous day,..watch movies, play with your kids, listen to music..
Day of Exam : Till date, I have never finished any exam early and same went with PMP exam. I took 5 minutes break in between, but finsihed exam in exact time of 4 hours with answering one question which I marked earlier. But to be honest, I started to get confident after answering 20 to 25 questions that I would defenitely pass.
Finally, for me managing work schedules,personal work, family and playing with Kid was challenging and would defenitely thank my wife and son for sacrificing 6 to 7 week ends allowing me to prepare.
The best part is going to be application of knowledge areas which I was not using till now. Next to my heart is Agile PM methods and closely plan to follow PMI.
All the best :-)