Lessons Learnt – PMP® exam
Place of Exam: Johannesburg, South Africa
PMP® Exam Prep:
- Took 3 month PMP Preparation course from PM-Ideas, a Registered Education Training Provider for the Project Management Institute (PMI). Course was very expensive, but provided:
- Pre-assessment of eligibility of all candidates prior to course confirmation
- Provision of CV templates, assistance with completion of CVs, quality check, online CV application to PMI®
- 3 day Project Management Intermediate Course with integrated case study
- 10 x 3 hour evening sessions covering 1 Knowledge Area per session
- Case Study per Knowledge Area, which was individually assessed
- 1 day Exam Preparation Session with a 1 hour examination, which is assessed and an individual report was provided
- Assistance with all communication with PMI®
- Booked my exam when the course was finished to set a milestone (very important for me to have a date to work towards)
- Created a two month study schedule, based on a Knowledge Area focus (as opposed to Process Area, which may work for some)
- Used two texts to study: PMBOK® and Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep. I had several others, but found that they confused my Knowledge Area approach. Would recommend Kim Heldman for anyone using a Process Area tact.
- Rita’s book was invaluable – the PMBOK® alone does not provide enough detail to pass the exam.
- After about 6 weeks of studying I started to do hundreds (probably thousands) of mock exam questions. All were based on the “old” exam-type questions, but this really starts to get your head around the semantics and scenario-type questions. I used the CD that came with the Kim Heldman book, as well as 500 questions that I got with my course. There are several online mock exams as well that I found helpful.
- As we are all made well aware, the Professional Responsibility domain has now been incorporated into the Process Areas, which eliminates the nice, obvious “do-the-right-thing” type of question. Means that now we need to think about the hard facts, as well as the soft logic that needs to be applied to the situation.
- My questions were very wordy and it took me the whole 4 hours to write the exam. I usually finish these types of tests in half the allocated time, but at the 2 hour mark, I was exactly at Question 100.
- Know your Input, T&T and Outputs! Not an option to think that logic will dictate if you have the processes memorised, which I first thought would be my approach – thank goodness I was advised otherwise.
- PTA did show up on my exam
- The majority of questions were not formula-type, which would have been nice, as I memorised all the formulas.
- All in all, it was a fair exam, in terms of content, but it was quite difficult, and I would recommend at least 2 months of study.
Catherine D’Amico-Maharaj, PMP®