I completed my PMP on 18 Jan 10. At this moment I would like to thank PMHUB since I was a regular reader of the PMHUB websites and specially the LL’s section on your website which helped me in my preparation especially few days before my exam.
Thought it better to share my personal LLs in achieving the 3 letter word PMP next to my name. So here goes: My primary advice/ suggestion to all PMP aspirants would be to execute a study plan if not at least a planned exam date to start focusing on the main exam. Further more PMI has raised the difficulty level of certification exams which makes it little tough to clear. Questions where quite wordy which makes it really confusing to answer. However PMBOK 4 is the key.
It took me roughly 3 months( which I personally feel is much longer than what I initially planned), I started studying with Headfirst which I collected from the local library and post completion of reading the same took up PMBOK 4. This helped me in understanding the tools and techniques in a much better way. I had to reschedule the exam twice due to various personal constraints and finally made up my mind to take up the exam on 18 Jan , with a week buffer.
The final week I utilized to run through PMBOK 4 simultaneously taking practice tests covering Headfirst, PMstudy, PMZILLA, Oliver Lehmann, PMP sample questions from Cornelius fichtner and other free test available over the net. The scores were oscillating between 70 to 75 % and far lesser with Oliver and PMZILLA (but the same helped me understand the concepts in a better way). Of course I did not forget to keep myself updated on the various PM blogs and forums available in the market.
Finally I signed up for PMSTUDY exam 3rd paper just three days before the exam, after scoring 87%(in my second attempt) I was convinced on taking the exam. Preparation tests were the key; it gives you a preview on the actual questions that we might face in the exams. My primary suggestion is once you complete your first round of study of PMBOK start taking sample questions and then get back to PMBOK, you could end up remembering all the questions as you read through the book.
Weeks before the exam I went through the LLs in website( Regrets that I could not reach it before) and found out the particular LL’s which made me gain confidence and forced me to read through them again three days before the exam.
Just few days before the exam I suffered from severe cold but I did not dare to postpone my exams since I had already done it twice. Finally on the day of the exam I was surprised to find in my Prometric center ( a good practice which I later realized) that I was not allowed to take anything in side even water bottle / watch / not even medicine for my cold.
The exam started with some familiar questions and after passing through the first seventy five questions the fatigue started catching up and that’s when I thought of taking break. The next 125 questions were tricky enough but I did have some time to review my marked questions. This really helped me a lot especially with the EVM questions. Once the time was up I closed my eyes ( as I had read in previous LLs) since I wanted to watch the much awaited message of congratulations displayed on the screen, however i took a little while longer to open my eyes and by the time I opened.. the result had vanished and all that I could see was a feedback form about the Prometric center. Hmm this was a sad end to my tense saga and I promptly filled up the survey and on clicking the last option I was presented with my examination result with those magical words “Congratulations on passing the PMP exam”