I passed PMP in my first attempt yesterday Aug 25, 2011.
My learning methodology
Used Head First book alone. Never read PMBOK guide and never tried any brain dump exam questions or never practiced a full cycle exam questions. I paid the price for this as I took 4 hrs to complete the exam as my
speed was low!
I would call myself as a very lazy average person with a little above average intelligence. Never thought I could work like this to prepare for PMP. Getting PMP was a plan in my mind starting 2000, but all those formalities, horror stories and hard work required kept me away. Knowing my laziness, I kept on postponing the PMP. But career wise I was hitting my career ceiling and needed this ornament to enhance my profile. Took a break from my job (there were other reasons too) spend 1 month for study. I had never did this in my entire educational career J. There I used to mug up the previous day and attend exams!
Do you really have things to learn this much? Or is PMP hard to learn?
Well 99% of PMP learning is only learning 42 processes, its inputs, tools and outputs (ITTO). Once done, you are ready. So roughly (42 x 4 x 4 x 4) or around 1500+ plus items. Can you learn all items? Well No. Better understand what each are and you will slowly remember it; at least half of it.
If you understand and learn, you can sure say all the 42 process and its major inputs, tools and outputs; but not all. PMP exam is based on understanding and even if you learn the definitions, no use. The big task in the exam is in understanding what the question is actually asking. This is where practicing mock exams helps. Also most questions are tricky enough and if you don’t read it carefully you will answer the opposite answer which is also added to trap you. So if you can complete the exam within 2-3 hours, you will get the presence of mind and can read and answer sharply. Beyond this time your mind will be tired and sharpness will reduce and may affect the answers. This exam is not like university exams which is also 3 hrs plus where you donâ€™t need to be that sharp minded.
Also thru PMP you are learning the concepts only. For example you might learn about Monte carlo analysis. You know where it’s used for. But you may never do it and its not part of exam. So this is a challenge. Explaining about things which you may not have used but need to learn for the exam its purpose.
Advice to new PMP aspirants
Never go away with all this big experiences which says referred 5 books, did 2,000 questions, and learned all ITTO etc. By reading these experiences we feel getting a PMP is rocket science. But still there are things you should really take care. It’s only about 2 things
1.Understanding the concepts clearly and not mugging up everything (this is enough). When you learn, create a video/picture in your mind about the documents and the process. So recollecting will be easy later.
2. Practice as many questions as you can (Minimal questions is enough but more questions give you speed and less surprises in exam and you can walk out of the test centre quite early J