PMP Prep Advice by Deepa John, PMP

pmp prep advice deepa pmexamsmartnotesI decided to attend PMP exam more from the perspective of learning the ideal way to approach project management process. As I started learning the concepts my way of thinking and approaching the day to day project management problems changed completely.

I started going through PMBOK and other study books not just to pass PMP exam, but to apply my learning in real life.

My PMP study approach

pmp prep adviceAfter making up my mind to appear for PMP exam I joined PMI and attended the 35hr contact classes on October 2015. Prior to attending the course I skimmed over PMBOK and felt it was really worth the effort. After my contact classes I decided to cover the rest of the guides – I bought the books written by Kim, Rita Mulcahy and the Head First PMP book.

I personally didn’t find Kim’s approach much useful, so I moved over to Rita’s book. Once I went through it I tried to look into HeadFirst book as the mathematical portions were covered in a better way. I liked the lessons on critical path calculations, earned value, float etc. much better in this book.

Went through Rita’s book thrice, PMBOK & HeadFirst twice.

After the second round of study I took few mock exams.

Once I was confident enough on the mock tests, I registered for the exam and opted for the afternoon session.

Prior to the real exam I took full 4hour exams continuously for 5 days, to refine my timing and approach.

Then I prepared my brain dump, especially this link was useful, to learn how I should approach the exam.

Though I completed my mock exams by roughly 2hr 45 minutes, on the actual exam I was left with 10 minutes to spare when I completed 200 questions.

Also readSpend 10mins a day on PMBOK this way to get bird’s eye view.

Here are my PMP Exam tips

  1. Understand the definitions/glossary terms as it helps to cracks many questions.
  2. More than one of the choices will be similar, understanding the definitions and usage will help in choosing the correct option (Rita’s book helps in those types of questions).
  3. Questions like “what to do next” – you need to write and study all the processes as in the process chart from PMBOK book. At the start of the exam I wrote it down on the rough paper, and it helped me answer some of the questions of this type.
  4. Understanding the ITTOs – actually I skipped this portions, and approached exam questions depending upon my memory and ‘educated guesses’.
  5. Practice the mathematical problems in Rita’s book. If you find it difficult use HeadFirst for an easier way to catch up.
  6. Do lot of mock exams and assess the questions you get wrong. Making mistakes and analyzing is a good way to learn quickly.
  7. While answering, do check an answer, before marking it for review. I had marked around 40 questions for review. But when I completed the first round and was about to check the marked questions, there was only 10 minutes left n my brain didn’t work during those tense minutes. Since I had already marked the answers, I skipped the review and ended the exam to check the result.
  8. I wasted so much time on first 20 questions due to anxiety and too much concern to choose the correct answer. I lost time on critical path and formula based questions. My advice is not to skip – do find an answer quickly and then move on/mark it.
  9. It is best to go from 1 to 200, than trying to answer from here n there or from 200 to 1; as we can have an idea of time and questions remaining.

Good luck to all,
Deepa John, PMP

Shiv:Here’s how I did my PMP prep.

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