I passed PMP on 05 Oct 2010
I have been a follower of this site for quite a while now and it's time for updating my lessons learned for the PMP exam.
My exam (and when I am talking about my exam I mean my set) had mostly lengthy questions and I have to admit that after half and hour it broke my confidence and I knew it is not as easy as I thought. I used all 4 hours of my exam except for last 3 minutes which I spent praying. not only the questions were lengthy the choices were very close, close to a point that it annoys you. In short, I think this exam should not be taken lightly.
Scores: Proficient in Executing and Monitoring and controlling. Moderately proficient in all others.
Duration: 4 months, 3 hours on weekdays and 8 hours on weekends.
Books: Rita Mulcahy, Kim Heldman, Brain friendly guide, PMBOK (3 times)
My Rating of books:
Kim Heldman: This one helped me the most in the exam, the concepts are really detailed.
Pros: Good content, Learned lot of new things in a nice way.
Cons: Too Big, less questions (although the quality of questions is pretty good).
Rita Mulcahy: Nice book but I don't like the tone of the book and in real exam there was lot of stress on ITTO which was not clearly defined here.
Pros: Quality of questions is good. Exercises are good too.
Cons: Not a very nice tone will make you feel like that this is the best book in the world.
Brain Friendly: I just loved this book, good for numerical questions and concept. I would suggest that use this book as a starting point of your PMP preparation.
Pros: You will enjoy reading it. Numerical and critical path explanations are too good. Don't miss it.
Cons: Questions are too easy does not reflect real exam. Topics are not detailed enough.
Brain friendly: 90% (Midway through my preparation)
Oliver: 69% (midway during my preparation)
PMStudy: Test 1(free) (78% - without revision, casual) Test 2(paid) (81.4%) Test 3(paid) (81%) Test 3(paid) (80.57%) Test 4(paid) (82%)
Andy Crowe: 87%
and Others, At the end I was getting 80%-90% consistently in all the exams (I did around 4000 questions in total)
1. Be calm and be positive. There are a good chances that you might get an easier set. So smile when you start the exam.
2. Take a coat with you. It was chilling the exam room and it was a distraction for me.
3. Don't underestimate the exam but don't over study as well.
4. Try to understand concepts, memorizing things will NOT help you.
Good luck for future PMPs