Hi Obalim. The pmp Journey has been a very interesting one. I started preparing for my PMP exam in April 2016, I began earnestly studying for the PMP certification – with the goal of passing on the first attempt! On October 17, 2016, I earned this prestigious credential and here is how I did it!
My PMP Study Books
The two resources I used were the Head First Book, and the Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep – updated eigth Edition. I read the Head First book first to gain a basic understanding of the PMP concepts and then I tackled Rita’s book. (Learned Rita’s process chart).
I did not read the PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition, I only read the glossary. In my opinion, above two resources form the perfect knowledge base for preparing to pass the examination. After all, that is the goal, right?
After devouring these books, in July, 2016, I began to focus on my study notes and learning to write the 47 process grid as I was thought in Ciel PMP class as well as the EVM formulas. A great tip I discovered is that the best way to learn the 47 processes chart is left to right – up and down. That one tip proved to be invaluable as I began to learn to think the PMI way. I practiced writing my brain dump on a daily basis.
I submitted my PMP application on August 23, 2016 and it only took one week to be cleared. I scheduled for the Paper Based Test PBT in Nigeria. The exam held on the 8th of October at Meadow Hall School Lekki.
Some more PMP study material
After I was comfortable with the study materials, I started taking sample PMP tests and keeping track of my test scores. Please use the exams in Rita’s book as well as the sample exam questions that are offered by the authors of Head First PMP. I believe their sample exams are online.
I also downloaded apps on my iPhone with sample exam questions. Additionally, I joined Facebook groups and answered questions there.
I found many other valuable resources for sample tests; however, about 3 weeks before my exam, I paid for the PM Prep simulator by Cornelius Fichtner. Access to this wealth of PMP sample questions cost $125. I never took a full exam using this simulator; however, I did do the quizzes. I also liked the fact that I could target my questions for a particular knowledge area. The PM Prep simulator questions were very difficult. The questions I found that were most like the real PMP exam were Rita’s.
The last two weeks before the exam, I took two full sample exams from Exam Central. This resource is free and you can also take timed quizzes here.
As others have stated, please don’t focus too much time on memorizing the ITTO. I may have gotten just one question asking about an input….. The test is comprised primarily of situational type question… of the type, ‘What does the PM do next?’
I honestly did not feel that the exam was as difficult as I feared. The hardest part is the preparation….. just make sure you KNOW exactly what a PM is doing in every situation and how to handle the next decision. I did not take a break during the exam.
My PMP certification exam strategy
I had about 5 EVM questions total. My strategy (I HATE math), was to answer every question and mark all the math questions for later. (I went back and answered them after answering the rest of the questions). This strategy worked for me. I completed the exam in 3 hours. I did not go back and change any answers because I was confident that I knew my stuff!
Finally, find a method that works for you, exercise good time management strategies, and gain an understanding of the PMI methodology for managing projects and you will succeed. I studied an average of 3 hours on weekdays and 8 hours total on weekends. This WILL consume your life! However, the reward will be worth it!
Reading others’ success stories on this site also encouraged me… who better to learn from than people who have already mastered this exam?
I know this prestigious credential will help me to further my career goals.
Good luck to all!