Many people think that PMP exam preparation has to be complex with detailed planning (I have had people sending me their study plan in MS Project Gantt charts!). And then once in a while you will come across few people that put in simple, and even old-school methods to simply go ahead and pass their PMP exam. And when I request them to share their exam preparation the write-up will be pretty short. Understandably so, as they simply stuck to 1-2 simple strategies and reached their goal!
Here’s one such, shared by Sheila Chau. She’s one of the busiest working mom that I have seen hitting their PMP goal. It’s not easy, but they make the most of limited resources at their disposal – mainly time. Like a true Project Manager. Don’t let the simplicity of this article let you convince that PMP prep is easy. And at the same time, don’t ignore these techniques because they are simple.
With that said, here’s Sheila sharing her PMP journey (Thank you, Sheila!)…
Here’s a short and to-the-point write-up about my PMP exam preparation and few study pointers I got that may help you.
As I only had weekends to study, juggling between an IT job and 2 kids meant lots of help with family and no time to dedicate to anything else. Essentially my studying method was handwriting all my notes for the last few months to commit my learning to memory.
I took a PMP boot camp from Global Knowledge to start off my studying.
Then I used their study guide and supplemented with the Rita’s book as I went through each chapter.
My biggest blocker is finding the time to study and by the month of the exam I resolved to take Mondays and Fridays off to study.
I made my own ITTO sheet, mentally connecting the outputs of one process to the inputs of another. I complemented this by using few PMP study apps on smartphone to make use of any 5-10 minutes breaks I could get during the day.
In the last 2 weeks before my exam, I used the PMP Exam Simulator in learning and timed mode to get accustomed to the style of questions.
I would take short mock tests on the go and then at home on an actual PC.
The final two weekends before the exam I began doing the full exams on the PMP Exam Simulator.
This helped immensely as I got to work on the speed of my responses. My goal was to finish the sample exams between 3 and 3.5 hours.
When the real exam happened I got hit with some pretty involved questions and by mid-way I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish the exam on time!
Fortunately, I was able to make up the time in the second half by applying the experience I picked up from the Exam Simulator.
Best tip, do the practice questions! Work on your speed so when you get the harder questions you can afford to spend the extra time on it as you can catch up with the less complex questions later.
With enough practice you don’t even need to do the brain dump!