Passed PMP - First attempt - 3P & 2 MP
A roller coaster journey and a bumpy ride ended happily on Jul-10th, when I saw “Congratulations” popping up the screen.
I shall not write about dos and don’ts, as each one of us is unique and what worked right for me won’t suit you and vice versa
Having said this, let me start with major mistakes that I committed
Mistakes on scheduling the exam
1. Procrastination and lethargy took a toll when I realized for almost 9 months I did absolutely nothing after my application was approved
2. Consequently, I had to devise a vigorous plan to crack the exam on my first try, as the option for second try seemed uncertain.
3. Collecting all guts, I scheduled it on 10 – July, sparing just 60 days for first attempt and meagre chance of reappearing if I fail in the first attempt
4. To my horror, my office schedule became so hectic and I hardly found time for preparation.
I understood scheduling the exam within first 6 months and adhering to the schedule is the best thing to do, as having a buffer will boost the confidence
My preparation Strategy:
After a thorough research, purchasing izenbridge online PMP course was the best thing I did
1. Despite having professional Project Management experience, I found Headfirst PMP useful in understanding the basics of Project Management from grass-root level
2. Watched the training videos by Saket in parallel.
Doing these simultaneously, I gained the insights of most of the topics.
3. In-depth knowledge was gained when I started reading Rita Mulcahy and PMBOK simultaneously.
4. Purchased an iOS app called PMPRO. It was a handy app comprising more than 1000 quality questions, one full length exam, flash cards, ITTO, formulae, etc.,. This enabled me to review the topics during free time.
5. Preparation of Hand-notes
I made personalized hand written notes compacting each knowledge area to 1 to 2 A4 sheets. From this point of time, my one and only reference was my hand written notes
I am very poor in memorizing. Hence decided not to memorize the ITTO.
Instead I referred the inter-relation of process groups, well explained in PMBOK (for all knowledge areas). This helped me to build a story and logically remember ITTO.
7. Last 30 days, I took the following tests
i. Headfirst PMP 200 questions – Scored 86%. These were easy questions, which helped me to check my understanding
ii. Chapter end questions from Izenbridge (scored 75% and above)
iii. Rita Chapter end questions (Scored 70% and above)
iv. 70 questions per Knowledge area from PMPRO app (700+ questions in total). Consistently scored 70% and above
8. Last 20 days, I took 5 full length PMP mock exams from iZenbridge, consistently scoring 83 percent and above. I could finish the exam in 2.5 to 3 hrs
9. One full length exam from PMPRO, scoring 76%
10. After every exam, I analyzed my weak areas and referred some additional materials
11. Last 10 days, I went through almost all discussion threads in iZenbridge forum which clarified most of my doubts. (I recommend this)
• Brain Dump wasn’t allowed during tutorials. Hence initial 7 minutes after start of exam was used for that
• The quality of questions and toughness level was more than what I expected and faced before
• Though I finished mock tests in less than 3 hours, I took 3 hours 50 minutes to complete actual PMP exam, with hardly any time left to review the marked questions
• 80% of the questions were lengthy, wordy, situational questions. 2 incorrect options could be easily knocked off. Difficult to find the right one of the remaining two!
• 6 to 8 ITTO questions. (no direct questions)
• 3 EV questions. Easy. Application of direct formulae
• 2 CPM questions. Easy. Just find critical path in given 3 to 4 project paths
• Video lessons were out of the world. Simple, yet effective. Cloud based approach helped me to watch the videos during daily office commute. Accessible anytime. Saket has the acumen of explaining complex concepts in a simple way!
• I found iZenbridge mock exams to be damn easy and almost 20% of questions were repetitive. Hence I could finish an exam in 2.5 hrs with a good score, whereas the real exam was a different world altogether. My suggestion to iZenbridge is to improve the quality of mock test questions.
• Going through the iZenbridge discussion forum answered all my doubts and I didn’t find a need to join google hangout sessions.
This was my experience. The relaxed feel of accomplishment is priceless