Here’s my PMP preparation experience and few points of advice.
I registered for the exam before I actually started studying to ensure that I would stick to my plan and that I would not get sidetracked. I gave myself just over 90 days to prepare.
Before I registered for the exam and began studying I spent a couple of weeks doing research on which exam prep resources were recommended by those who had already taken and passed the exam.
Eventually, I settled on the below resources:
- PMP® Exam Online Self-Study Program with Aileen Ellis
- PMP® Exam Simplified by Aileen Ellis
- Head First PMP by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman
It took me around 6 weeks to work through both of the above books and to complete the full-length mock exams contained in the back of both books. I scored a little over 70% on both of the mock exams.
Most of the recommendations I had read from PMP credential holders suggested that when you are scoring 85% or better on mock exams the first time you take them that you are probably ready to take the PMP exam.
During this time I was also watching the videos on Aileen’s online self-study program which really helped reinforce the ideas and concepts I was learning in the books.
Using PMP Simulator
I signed up for PM-Exam Simulator and for the next 6 weeks I took one or two full-length and timed mock exams. I think getting a Simulator is crucial for anyone’s PMP preparation.
PM-Exam Simulator was great for a couple of reasons,
- the exams are timed so I learned to monitor my progress and
- it provides detailed results summary which helped me to identify the gaps in my knowledge.
Other study aids
When I identified gaps I referred back to my books and the PMBOK in order to better understand the concepts.
I created flashcards for terms and concepts I needed to memorize.
I drew mind maps in order to better understand how things flow, e.g. the path of deliverables, the path of Change Requests and the path of Work Performance Data, Work Performance Information and Work Performance Reports. Afterward, I would retest and do another gap analysis.
By the time I took my last 3 mock exams on PM-Exam Simulator I was scoring well over 80% and feeling pretty confident.
Take support from PMP groups
It was a great help to be able to discuss PMBOK topics with others who were preparing for their exam.
My recommendations would be to focus on as many questions and mock exams as you can get access to.
Do not worry about questions you get wrong on mock exams.
Getting an answer wrong on a mock exam, and the subsequent analysis will reinforce the concept much more effectively than just reading about it in the PMBOK.
The more questions you answer, the more the ideas and concepts will become intuitive to you.
Hope what I have shared here will help you in your PMP preparation. Good luck to PMP aspirants!
Jim Bongiovanni, PMP
Connect with me on LinkedIn here.
Also Read – The Complete Guide to Earning PDUs
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