My PMP Prep Plan
I planned to write PMP examination about 6 months ago. First, I bought PMBOK in order to go through the theory and concepts. Yes, it is a bit boring read, that is what I understood at first. 🙂
As I visited the PMI website, I understood the advantages and disadvantages of having a PMI membership. My intention of getting a membership in the first place was to get a reduced exam fee. That was the primary reason why I enrolled myself for the PMI membership at that time.
Meanwhile, I subscribed to the Online training for PMP, PM PrepCast from Cornelius (this is only one which I used, there are many others available in the market)
I started watching the videos daily spending at least 2 hours a day.
I was not comfortable watching the videos always on a computer, hence I used to stream those lessons to my Television set and then sit and prepare exam notes. Self-made notes are the ones I would rate as best reference material to go through before the day of examination.
Going through the concepts, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that I have already been doing in my daily work most of the concepts. I just did not know the technical terms.
A Technique I Used to Internalize Knowledge
Since I registered an account with PMI, I started getting information about monthly premium deliverables and workshops from projectmanagement.com (you can register using your PMI credentials). Gradually, I started understanding the concepts from PMBOK and from the video tutorials and started applying my lessons in my daily office work.
Fortunately, I was given the responsibility to initiate a transition project from my company, and I used this opportunity to apply the different processes and tools. My manager supported me in this, as he was happy to get the work done in the standard way using the required tools and templates.
The artifacts such as templates, which I used to get from projectmanagement.com website were used for many activities from then on. I remember the quote “The best way to learn is by doing it”. I would call that as a self-initiated hands-on training. This was done for almost 3 months.
If you can get to apply what you learn at work and observe results, that would be a cool way to include in your PMP prep plan.
I know it’s not easy or feasible to straight away implement PMP concepts on your project. What I would suggest is to talk to your PMO or manager and find out project(s) at the beginning stage, or have a junior project manager. Then volunteer to help her to manage the project the standard, recommended, professional way. Chances are you’ll get the nod quickly.
Now, I wanted to prepare for the examination, for which I had to plan, prepare and enroll for the examination in January 2017.
Once you have the target date, you will be more serious and you will have a fire inside your belly to prepare and achieve your goal.
Additional study resource
One day I accidently found PMExamSmartNotes page on Facebook. I LIKEd the page and began to follow the daily quiz and the learning materials posted on it.
I used to answer almost all quiz questions posted on it from last 2 months or so. The questions were good, and the most important aspect was that answers were posted for those questions explaining the reasons.
Last 3 weeks were the critical time period for taking the examination. It is not the time to learn something new, but to revise what you have learned and practiced and trying out some sample examination.
I subscribed to a few sample exam simulators (PM PrepCast, Pmstudy etc are few available in the market). As soon as you try out sample examination, you will be able to have an understanding of how the real exam will be.
Sitting 4 hours in front of the computer focusing the questions was difficult for me. Normally after 30-40 minutes, you will get saturated and lose your focus. Trying out sample examinations will give you this capacity to handle 200 questions in 4 hours.
My first sample examination score was 30%. It was only because I was fed up sitting in front of the computer for 4 hours to take the exam. Trying out at least 4-5 sample examination will make you flexible and adaptable to handle this time period without losing the focus.
When I tried my last sample exam before the final PMP examination, the score was about 74% and I felt confident that I will pass the exam.
My exam experience
The day before the examination, I stopped learning anything new. I was going through all the notes that I had prepared. I worked few specific examples related to Network diagram and Earned Value Management.
Writing examination at Prometric center was a good experience.
You can take breaks in between but watch out the time left and adjust your breaks based on the confidence level that you will be able to complete the exam within 4 hours.
For me, the questions for the final PMP examination was not as tough as what you find in different exam simulators on the Internet.
The questions were clear and not confusing, and identifying the question to which process group and what is it intended to do was the key point to answer a question.
It was a wonderful experience, seeing the final page after the PMP examination displaying “Congratulations, you have passed the PMP examination”.
Go ahead, prepare your PMP prep plan and practice what PMBOK preaches 🙂 . I wish you all the best for your PMP exam.
Plato Pathrose, PMP
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