It took me 8 weeks of preparation time. Started reading through PMBOK making sure that I understand the language, terms and the finer details. While reading the PMBOK, I started reading Rita Mulcahy’s Exam Prep book and listening to her audio lectures. I went through PMBOK and Rita once and completed the audio lectures twice. I also listened to PM PrepCast episodes during my morning / evening walk using my iPod.
A month prior to exam, I also get registered for PMI-Karachi PMP Exam Preparation Workshop to earn “35” hours of Contact hours as well as to refresh my understanding of material I read prior to that. It was a 4 full day workshop (over 2 consecutive weekends) during which presentation slides, videos and notes along with personal experiences of other participants were discussed.Following sample tests I covered for my preparation
- Rita’s Fastrack
- Oliver F. Lehmann’s 175 questions
- PMP Study’s practice questions
- PM Hub’s sample questions
- I found Oliver F. Lehmann’s questions of very good standard. Rita’s fastrack questions were more helpful to summarize all that is necessary and sufficient to clear the exam in the very first attempt.
- I did not really memorize ITTOs but I did understand the flow. Rita’s Process Chart helped quite a lot in identifying the sequencing and required information for each process.
- I spent three days prior to the exam day practicing all sample tests. My intention was to practice sitting for 4 hours and practice to answer 200 questions on a stretch.
- I never stopped studying prior to the exam.
- Had my exam scheduled at 9:00 AM and was at the Prometric center by 8:00 AM. They didn’t allowed me to enter the premises as administration staff was not checked in yet. I stayed in my car and attempted to do a last minute review of my notes and able to accomplish this in time to take the exam.
- The security people allowed me to enter the test site 30 minutes before my scheduled exam and they checked my passport and National Id Card, provided my with a key to a locker, and let me know to put everything I had brought (except my extra pair of glasses) into the locker and proceed to the waiting room where I me the site administrator who introduced himself and handed over a instructions/rules sheet.
- After reading and acknowledging they asked me to proceed to testing room where once again another lady supervisor checked my passport, asked me to confirm my date of birth, my contact information and father’s name, signed me in, made me pull out the pockets of my pants, and then provided me with 4 sheets of paper (in booklet form)—8 sheets including front and back—and 2 pencils.
- I was able to be seated at my desk and had about 5 minutes before my tutorial began—a popup screen appears saying I needed to begin.
- Once clicked on the button to begin, the tutorial then started and the 15 minute countdown began.
- During this time I did write down all the earned value formulas and Rita’s process chart so that I could just refer to it and not have to think so hard.They allowed me to start my exam early.
- There were roughly 30 systems and the place was empty so there was no noise and it remained quite peaceful throughout.
- During the exam there were multiple times power outage but that did not disturb the exam at all due to backup generator facility.
- Initial few questions were very tricky and I marked them for review. After that my nerves were settled and then from there on I sort of enjoyed answering the questions.
- All those practice tests helped a lot especially Oliver F. Lehmann’s long description questions which gives one the much needed practice of reading through essay questions.
- Most of the time, I found myself reading the question twice and checking my answers to make sure that I read the question and answers correctly.
- I got around 5 questions which were directly asking about the ITTOs and around 10 questions on Mathematical formula which were fairly easy and straight forward.
- Couple of questions required me to draw a network diagram and verify the duration and floats.
- There were more than 15 questions related to conflict resolution.
- I found Professional Responsibility questions the hardest as for most of them 2 answers seemed correct to me and confused me for several minutes.
- I managed to complete the 200 questions in 3 hours 40 minutes without a single second break and in the last 20 minutes I reviewed the 19 marked items which consumes the remaining time entirely so in actual I consumed entire 4 hours to attend to 200 questions with a break.
- After I submitted my test the screen went white for about 30 seconds, then a screen came up for me to take a survey about the Prometric testing experience which I skipped as I was anxious to know my result.
- It took about a minute for the “Congratulations…” message—from PMI—to display on the screen.
- After this I clicked on the “Next” button and my results came up. My overall score was “Pass” and my results for each process group were: Proficient (Planning) and Moderately Proficient (Initiation, Executing, and Monitoring and Controlling Closing, and Professional and Social Responsibility).
- I’m not sure what my percentage was. I wish this was displayed.
- I left the test center and the proctor/supervisor printed out my score sheet and signed me out. I gathered all my belongings from my locker, dropped off my locker key at the front desk, and proceeded to walk out the room as a newly crowned PMP!
- It was quite an exhaustive journey but end result was good and I was happy to pass the exam in my first attempt.
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