I passed PMP on 20th May 2010. I would like to share my experiences for the PMP exam preparation.
Testing/Aids and MaterialBooks
PMP Exam Prep, 6th Edition – Rita Mulcahy
The PMP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try, 4th Edition – Andy Crowe
PMBOK Guide, 4th Edition
Chapter End Questions in the books listed above.
PM Fastrack Software, Version 6.
Oliver Lehmann 175+75 Prep Questions.
Free questions available at HeadFirst.
PMstudy Free Questions.
Test tips on PMHUB.net
I started my PMP preparation 3 months ahead of the exam. I had decided to complete the PMP certification by May end.
Once I got the confirmation from PMI to proceed with scheduling the exam, I applied in Prometric and finalized my test date (I set my exam date for 20th may).
I started my preparation in February. Since I am a full time working professional, I made a plan to study for 2 to 3 hours during weekdays and for 6 hours during weekends.
Exam Preparation Strategy
I ordered Rita’s PMP Exam Prep 6th edition and PM FastTrack software.
2 Months Away:
I started the preparation with Rita’s book. I read each chapter and took the practice exams after each section. Took note of the questions where I was wrong and corrected my concepts. One good thing in Rita’s book is the explanation to the answers , which helped me to clarify several areas.
I finished Rita’s PMP Exam Prep, 6th Edition cover to cover once.
1.5 Months Away
One month into my study , I discovered PMHUB and realized that in addition to studying Rita’s book, I had also to focus on “The PMP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try, 4th Edition – Andy Crowe” and “PMBOK Guide”.
I went ahead and purchased these 2 books.
Started reading Andy Crowe and finished all the chapters and chapter end questions.
3 Weeks Away
Once I completed reading Andy Crowe, I started revising Rita’s book once again.
So overally I had finised reading Rita’s PMP Exam book – twice and Andy Crowe’s book once.
I used PMBOK partially and only skimmed through the important topics.
Now I was mentally prepared to face the questions. So I went ahead and took the test at the end of Andy Crowe’s book. I scored 75% .
From this time onwards I started practicing full tests in Rita’s PM Fastrack software. I was scoring on an average 72%
I memorized page 43 of PMBOK guide which gives a mapping of Process Groups and knowledge areas.
2 Weeks Away:
Took the test for the questions of Oliver Lehman (75 questions). I scored around 60 %.
also took the test of Oliver Leyman’s (175 questions). Here too I scored 62%.
Made some notes on Glossary terms from Andy Crowe and PMBOK for quick reference for last minute revision. Made charts for Inputs/Outputs/Tools and Techniques from PMBOK and wrote down all formulaes in a sheet.
These notes really helped me on the day before the exam, for quick revisions.
Went ahead and took the 175 free questions test from PMstudy. I scored 73%.
1 Week Away:
Reviewed chapter end questions from Rita PMP Exam Prep and Andy Crowe’s book.
Parallely continued with the full tests using PM Fastrack.I was scoring on average 71%.
I took 2 days off from office before the exam.
The Day Before: I revised my notes and materials I prepared. I re-read the test taking tips/strategies found in the study books I went to bed early to give some extra rest to my brain.
I scheduled my exam at 12:30pm . In the morning , I browsed through my notes . Got ready and stated for the exam center. The exam center is 1.5 hours drive from my residence. Keeping in mind Bangalore Traffic I stated early. My wife accompanied me to the exam center and gave me a lot of encouragement.
I arrived at the exam center 1 hour before the scheduled time. So i had to wait outside for 45 minutes .
For checking in for the exam, I was asked to show my identity proof and then they asked to empty my pockets. I kept everything including water bottle in the locker provided. After this security check I was escorted to the area where I was to take the exam .
Taking the Exam:
I began performing my brain dump of page 43 of PMBOK guide as well as all the formulas onto the scratch paper during the 15 minute tutorial. As soon as the test started, I read each questions intently, remained aware of the wordings in the questions, took care to read through all the options and finally selected the option which I felt was the best suite. This made me a bit slow in the test taking, but I made sure that I was selecting the best answer. After the first 1 hour I had finised only 50 questions though I had targeted 75. I took a short break and come back to answer the rest of the questions. I did not take any more breaks and finised the remaing 150 questions in one go. I did not have much time left for revision (only 15 minutes). So I quickly skimmed through the questions which I had marked while answering. 2 minutes before my time was to get over, I clicked End exam. The screen started to flicker and soon a prometric feedback came up. I gave very good in most of the questions and then went ahead. The screen flickered for few more moments. I was very nervous during this time and finally the message came up CONGLATULATIONS.I was so happy and relaxed .
I came out of the exam area. The admin at the exam center gave me a print out of the result.
My wife was waiting for me in the car for the whole duration of 4 hours. I quickly went towards the car and broke the news ,that I passed.
With this I closed the project of PMP certification.
Surajit Mondal , PMP