PMP Simulator is a Lifesaver! – Igechi Worlu, PMP

pmp simulator is a lifesaver igechi-worlu“PMP Simulator is a Lifesaver!”, said Igechi Worlu after crushing his PMP exam. As I went over his prep strategies it was clear how cleverly Igechi used simulators to learn, test, and prepare for his PMP exam.

Igechi Worlu is versatile business executive with strong background working in SME based businesses. He is currently the Manager – Business Development and Projects at Primus Nigeria, an oil and gas service firm based in Rivers State, Nigeria and Manchester UK.
He started his career as an HR executive at DHL UK and briefly as a Resource Planner before moving back to Nigeria.

He has a first degree in Economics and Law From KNUST, Ghana and a Masters from Glasgow University in International Business and Entrepreneurship. Igechi is passionate about project management, business development and talent management.

Why PMP, and not any other certification?

igechi-worlu-pmpOver the past few years my role was becoming more strategic and front-line. I was getting more involved in strategic decisions and most importantly I was taking a major lead in client acquisition and project delivery.

It would be of great value-add to get a certification that would boast my competence and enable me align better, I thought before looking for a suitable project management certification.

I already had Prince2 Foundation certification, so literally tinkered between Prince2 Practitioner and PMP and ended up with the latter. I also did some research online and concluded that the content of PMP aligned more to my pursuit, especially in Nigeria.

Now that you are PMP certified, how does it impact your work?

The process of PMP certification has really broadened my horizon. As a manager business development at Projects, I will be running projects along the PMP lines though I will be adapting and tailoring to suit project’s needs and that of my organization.

I am also drawing up a training manual for my business. The aim is to bring the entire company up to speed in line with PMP project delivery tools and techniques. It would make so much sense for us all to speak same language when it comes to project management.

More so, I intend to keep learning and acquiring more certification as my experience grows. I am already considering Agile.
Having a grasp on delivering projects in both plan and change driven environments will definitely make me a better strategic project manager.

Also read: My simple 2 step PMP study plan – by Lijin Thomas

Which study resources you used?

PMBOK and Rita (ad) were my primary resources.

I also used other shorter summaries of the PMBOK especially those sent by Shiv’s PMP Study Blueprint email course (now replaced by PMP Launchpad video course).

How did you approach the exam and what was your study plan?

I read the PMBOK once, alongside reading, I made my own summary notes. This took me about 3 weeks of 2 hours study every evening and about 4 hours of study over the weekends.

Then I created my second summary notes 5 weeks to the exam. The second set of summary notes were more of a summary of the first summary notes.

With these summary notes I did not go back reading the PMBOK guide.

I referred to Rita’s book (ad) for better and easier / friendlier understanding. I actually read Rita just once and then glanced through about 2 more times and solved her chapter-end questions.

Having a dedicated timeline of study really helped me, I suggest test takers dedicate the first 6 – 8 weeks for proper reading of the PMBOK guide and Rita. And at the same time create summary notes.

Read your summary notes at all times, it will keep the guide fresh in your mind especially in understanding the ITTOs.

I did not cram the ITTOs, reading my notes often helped me understand how information flows in and out of processes across knowledge areas.

Was your prep journey a smooth ride?

Whilst I did not have major issues during the study stage, I did struggle initially with answering scenario based questions. This literally made me feel frustrated thus making my simulations scores fall way below expectation.

In first few simulations I scored below 70%. They were primarily from PrepCast simulation (ad).

I read online materials, spoke to some colleagues about their strategy then left the rest to prayer and faith in God.

Something I also did that helped was reading the entire summary notes after I took each simulator exam.

Regardless of my simulation exam scores, I went back reading my notes and in 48 hours tried another simulation.

How about PMP simulator exams?

2 months before my exam I bought Cornelius’ PMP simulator(detailed review here) and it really helped me.

My advise to you is not to rush into doing full 4-hr simulator right away, start with the timed learning quizzes of 20 questions.

Note – You can do this with this course as well, and the good thing is that these 20 question simulators are embedded right into video training modules for each chapter so you learn the subject as well as the applicability of knowledge to exam questions together.

Plan to do this for at least a week to firm up your knowledge and bridge any knowledge gaps you are struggling with.

If you struggle with any knowledge area, by all means do a learning quiz on that knowledge area. Cornelius’ Prepcast simulation software (ad) has all this in stock to drill down to particular request.

Dedicate the remaining weeks to solving the full simulations; I usually do mine in the morning especially on weekends.

I would wake early before everyone and hit the simulation, devoid of distraction. After simulation I go back and read the first and second notes and reference Rita if need be.

After each simulation exam, review your answers – especially the questions you got wrong, also quickly glance through those you got correct. Remember, the simulations from PrepCast are timed just like the real exam, so keep an eye on the timer so you can develop your speed.

I took all 8 of the 4-hr PMP simulator exams, interestingly my first 3 simulation scores were 63, 66 and 68. These score meant I had to read more in certain areas and that I did.

Also read: Get FREE 200-question PMP simulator here with lifetime access!

How about other study resources?

Brain dumps – I practiced how to produce the process table (table 1-4) from PMBOK by heart.

Also, I allocated 15 minutes every evening to really get this into my mind.

Same for the formula dumps.

I did not do any dumps in the exam because I knew them like the back of my palm.

Week prior to exam?

I took more simulator exams, read both first and second summary notes.

Also solved some calculation questions, especially those that required formulas to be reversed.

What was your exam experience like?

All my questions were scenarios, I only had one calculation question and that was earned value. A lot of change management, risk, activities requiring updates to the issue log, conflict management, resource management etc

I must confess the Prepcast simulation is tougher than the real exam. However I found it invaluable because it made me mentally alert. I felt as if I was taking another simulation exam in the exam hall. I am so thankful to God.

I finished the test in about 3 hours and had roughly one hour to review.

On time management, you should strive to attack at least 70 questions in the first hour, then another 60 in the second.

Also read: A unique way to take the exam and answer more questions in less time (search for “proven strategy” on this page)

Would you have any study tips for PMP aspirants?

My total study timeline was about 4 – 5 months. I had to manage my time due to work schedule.

  • If you can, do read your PMBOK and make your summary notes so you don’t go back reading it again, use any exam material, then get Prepcast simulation software. You wont regret this investment.
  • Sign on to emails / sites from PMP leaders. Their lessons and emails sent about knowledge areas can show you things you may have missed while studying.
  • Again, important – use PMP simulator as a means of learning, testing, and improving your exam preparedness.
  • Lastly, remember PMI is not testing if you are a perfect project manager. Rather PMI expects you to answer the questions according to ideal ‘PMI way’. Keep this in mind while answering questions, instead of answering them based on your experience. This might seem counter intuitive but this is one way of increasing odds of your success.

Good luck to you!

Igechi Worlu, PMP

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Chika Timothy Onwuchekwa(PMP) November 13, 2019, 10:14 pm

    Very useful tips for test takers… Any one who follows these tips will for sure pass the exam in one sitting. Ige, Keep up the good work!!!

  • Dr. Ezebuiro, Ugochukwu K. November 12, 2019, 5:12 pm

    A wonderful piece. Good advice from a good person. More grease to your elbows my friend. More success.