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I’ve been thinking about getting a project management certification for a while. Did not really act on it as I gave myself all sort of excuses. Then I discovered PMHub at the beginning of August and more strikingly was on the warning statement on PMHub about the upcoming changes to PMI exams. I need to manage the risk and decided to take up the avoidance path and shoot for the Aug 30 target date.
I made it a personal project with a very aggressive timeline.
On 4 Aug, I visited the PMI web site and identified that CAPM would be a feasible option for the 30 Aug deadline. Despite the fact that I have almost 15 years of IT project experience, I have always been an analyst with a focus on system/solution design rather than on PM duties. However, as you would expect, you just can’t get away from project management tasks. So, the choice is to learn it properly and do it right!
Once the Project scope is defined. I worked out my plans and the required deliverable components. The top level WBS item is the CAPM certification with single Control Account associated. The lower level work packages include:
-23+hours contact hours
-500+ PMP/CAPM questions completed with +85% correct answer
-Complete reading of PMBOK4 guide
-CAPM exam application & scheduled
At this point, a total budget of USD600 is assigned and around 80 man-hours is estimated. Having reviewed my plans, and consulted a critical stakeholder – my wife, it is approved. I was also making use the excellent notes from Jim Owens (JIMBOK 4th edition INDEX) to complement the study. Thanks Jim!
Having searched through PMhub and tried out a few different resources, based on cost/benefit analysis, I picked PMstudy 30days online training to further my study.
I registered with PMStudy on 16 Aug and started my course right away. I have completed up Cost Management by the 18 Aug. Here, it gave me another indication that I am on track for the CAPM certification exam and so I register myself for PMI membership on the day and got my copy of PMBOK4.
With a tight schedule, I resumed with Mr Philips’ course and studied with the PMStudy materials in alternation, I was able to complete the lot by the 20 Aug. How’s about PMBOK4? I was reading it whenever I have some quiet time during the day while at work. It helps in reinforcing my night study and make clear of the concepts!
With the contact hours and study material completed, I proceeded to register myself for the CAPM exam on the 21 Aug. The time from there to the 29 Aug – today was then focus on working on the simulated exams on PMStudy. I knocked out the exams one a day and finished the 3rd one on 25Aug. All exams have been +85% correct.
Here I took a break on the night time of 26 & 27 Aug as I simply need it and also a long time friend has come to visit me and also a long scheduled gathering with church member was on 27 Aug. Such a good reason for a break!
Finally, on the 28 Aug, after return from church, I locked myself up to finish the last PMStudy test and have another quick scan with the PMBok4. I further searched for other free material online including the three free 30 questions exam from the free.pm-exam-simulator.com and also free questions from PMCampus as a final review on my preparation. I closed my preparation by 11pm Sunday.
This morning, I arrived at the test centre by 9:15. Got the paper work finished and get started with the exam by 9:30 am. After an hour and a half, I am done. Although I know I did not get every single question correct but I am confidence that I will pass. I hit the “End Exam” button with confidence and I passed even with quite a few pass with “Proficient”. I am happy with the result and now I can rest and later start the next phase of this program — That is PMP certification!
JIMBOK 4th edition INDEX (FREE from PMHUB)