Shweta Silakari – Solve PMP sample questions to identify study gaps

pmp sample questions shweta silakari

I started preparing for PMP from June onwards. Although I had thought about it many times earlier, I could never really prepare for it seriously, and this time I decided to go for it.

I started in June by reading PMBOK 5th edition and I signed up for PMP online training on Vision training systems where I could fulfil 35 hours training requirement needed by PMI during my application process.pmp sample questions shweta silakari

My PMP Preparation

I spent almost 4 hours every day preparing for PMP by reading PMBOK and side by side going over the training for every chapter that I read.

I did not like PMBOK a lot, to be honest, for me it was difficult to read and follow. But I knew I had to stick with it. After completing PMBOK I started reading Rita Mulcahy 8th edition. I really enjoyed it. I liked the way she explained concepts and I understood every knowledge area very clearly by going through Rita’s book.

I started solving the questions at the end of every chapter, and this helped me build my confidence that I understood the chapter. I continued marking the questions I got wrong and reviewed it before giving my real exam, so I was prepared for those difficult questions.

While reading the book I always used to think about my old projects and the processes we followed. This helped me understand everything in a practical way. I worked on a global project once, it was a big project with 100+ team members working in different time zones. I imagined how that project could have been done using PMP processes when I read the book, and this approach helped me a lot to internalize the application of processes. This understanding is critical in solving PMP questions.

After I completed Rita’s book, due to some reasons I stopped my preparation for 2 months. And then I again picked the book in October and started reading it from the scratch. I completed it once and then I again skimmed through it two more times to remember all classifications, formulas etc.

Also read: PMBOK + PMESN + Prep Tests = PMP : Sunil Narula

The final push before the exam

When I felt I understood everything and am ready to give exam, I signed up for the exam for end of the month of October.

Just 10 days prior to the exam I started solving mock tests I found online and discovered that I needed to focus more on ITTO diagrams.

Rita’s book did not show ITTO diagrams. It just asks you to think and find out input-output logically and I was not able to do it somehow. PMBOK book has so specific Input Output and lot of questions come on ITTOs so I picked PMBOK and tried to understand all ITTO diagrams and was able to understand it better this time.

Then I came across an excel from this site on the Internet.

This sheet helped me to look every input & output from overall knowledge area perspective and to understand the sequence in which each process happens from integration process perspective.

For example, Change Log comes out from Integrated Change Control process and goes into Manage Stakeholder Engagement process – that’s it, it is not used anywhere else.

Also, Work Performance Data comes out of only from Direct and Manage Project Work process and it is input to all the Control processes.

Change Request is input to ONLY for Integrated Change Control process. Accepted deliverables are output of only Validate Scope.

In Identify Risk process there are so many plans which goes as an input to this process which made me understand how important this process is. Such insights I got with the help of this sheet and was able to see the bigger picture and how everything is connected.

I was able to answer so many mock questions correctly. Then I went to PMBOK again for noting any tools and techniques which are specific to only one KA process. This also helped me score few more questions right.

Practice PMP sample questions for speed

Next gap in my knowledge area was practicing situational questions. I knew I had to practice PMP sample questions. For this I searched on Internet and found Cert gear website which provided good difficult situational questions and I purchased it for $101.00 just a week before my exam and I solved almost 1000 questions from Cert gear.

This is a good resource in that if you don’t get any question, it explains you very nicely. I learned a lot of new things even while doing mock tests. I practiced so that I am close to 50 questions/hour or how to keep a pace so that I can answer one questions in 1 minute 12 sec on an average. I noticed that when I was hurrying up I ended up answering questions wrong but when I took some time to think then I answered it correctly.

This is what made me decide that I will answer all my questions in the exam and will not leave any question unanswered.

Note from Shiv: search for “proven strategy” on this page to discover a highly useful technique to get MOST of exam questions right, optimize your 4hr time and potentially answer few ‘no-clue’ questions right!

The D-day!

I answered all my questions and I had 15 minutes to review questions that I marked for later. One trick I applied for situational questions is to read the last line first and then read the whole questions this helped me avoid the distractions in the questions.

Note from Shiv: Check out the book ‘the super guide to PMP® question types’ to understand 14 categories of PMP questions and strategies to answer them quickly.

I took a break in between for 5 minutes and I decided not to take anymore breaks. 5 minutes break can cost you 5 questions, and they security check you again before you enter the exam hall again and ask you to sign in again which wastes so much time. So plan not to take lot of breaks.

These pointers may help you

  • I realized that the more I had practiced mock tests more I was able to build my confidence. In mock tests I scored on an average 75% which made me pretty confident. Therefore, solve as many PMP sample questions as you can.
  • Keep the last day before exam just for revision, and on the exam day don’t study much, just relax and listen to music.
  • Eat food moderately before you take exam so that you are not hungry in the middle of it. But don’t eat too much that may make you feel sleepy. 🙂
  • I was allowed extra papers when I want them at my exam center. Find out about your exam center, lot of center don’t allow additional papers, or may take back your original papers on which you would have written your brain dump.
  • There was screen calculator to use for mathematical questions, there was a head phone but it was pretty quiet in there so I never used them. By all means ask for it just in case your surrounding is noisy.

Good luck for your exam.

Shweta Silakari, PMP

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