My PMP Lessons Learned

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Samuel Salumi PMP

Getting ready for the PMP exam is not to over-read but rather to have a plan in place to what to read, how to read and how many times to read (to understand the PMI’s way of project management). Also to figure out how to take mock tests and how much time to spend to assess test results.

Planning properly by considering the above points will definitely increase your confidence level as the exam approaches.

Difference between many other exams and PMP is that we can clear the exam ONLY when we understand the PMP concepts and achieve the ability to answer scenario based questions. Hence please don’t go through the books only for the sake of completing the book but try to understand the concepts and the ‘PMI way’ of project management.

I spent about close to 70 hours for studying and understanding the concepts and then went on to try 4hr mock tests, reviewing the correct & incorrect answers. I spent approximately 5 hours per test.

My PMP journey

Passing PMP is definitely not hard. Here are few tips from my experience that I hope will help you.

•I started reading PMBOK two days prior to the PMP workshop. Though reading PMBOK was very dry with less examples, have tried to be patient to understand the basics.
•After completing PMBOK, I started reading Rita’s PMP preparation book and found it very easy to understand the topics and terms. The explanation is given in a way that helps even a layman understand and analyze the PM methodology.
•While reading Rita, I realized that I have committed a mistake by reading PMBOK first and then coming to Rita. It would have been even more helpful, had I done it the other way of around – reading Rita first and then coming to PMBOK. This would have made my understanding even better and easier.
•Lastly, I went through the PMBOK Glossary, which is a must-do action item for passing PMP – knowing these alone may help you answer few questions.
•Also I attended the exam prep class organized by Ciel Consulting.

Some more PMP exam tips

Exam time: I suggest that you don’t over read the day before the exam.

It adds lot of stress on you. I stopped reading by 9 PM the previous day and only went through the mock test with answers for a couple of hours after stopping my study. You may use 1st 15 minutes to do the brain dump. You’ll be given a booklet to do the workings. I checked with the person in charge at the test center as to when exactly can we start writing on the booklet and was told that we can start writing only when the clock time for 15 minutes starts.

My exam experience

I took 6 minutes to draw the process chart as per the video above (memorizing 47 processes). I practiced this table at home till I could get it in 7 minutes. Then, have wrote all the formulae on the paper I was still left with 4 minutes to read the instructions which are easy to understand from the pictures.

Doing this brain dump in the 1st 15 minutes’ slot was very helpful in referring to that info when I was answering the process related questions and numerical.  This would save your time in thinking a lot while answering the relevant questions.

Finally, the exam started. 95% of the questions were totally scenario based and very few were direct questions.

Don’t spend too much time on ITTOs. There were only 3-4 Qs on that. Better understand and analyze them while studying and then and leave it and concentrate on other concepts. Once we have understanding of the concepts, we can easily relate the ITTOs from the scenario.

Finally, the result time. Heart pounded for a couple of seconds and stopped seeing the screen till it was loaded with the result. Happy to see it say Congratulations!

I trust my experience in passing PMP will help you.

I wish you good luck!

Samuel Salumi, PMP