Studying For PMP Exam With Your Own Timeframe Is Key: John D. Howze, PMP

studying for PMP exam in your own timeframe is key, says John Howze“Studying for PMP exam with your own timeframe is key”, says John, “so you avoid rescheduling, which can be stressful”. 

John D. Howze is a US Army veteran, currently working as Director of Sustainment.

He and his team safeguards 581 aircraft valued at $6.6B for US Army enterprise. He leads 298+ personnel directly with over 600-person workforce under management.

John decided to take up PMP while working in the Army.

In this article, he shares the steps he took and shares his advice to PMP aspirants.

You’ll be surprised to know that John spent just 3 hours on the 5 weekdays and 6 hours on the weekend, and did it in 3 months.

That’s about 108 hours over a 3-month period.

That’s pretty much what it takes, if you did focused study.

If you are short on time, here’s how you can go about your PMP plan:

You can fill 100+ study hours in 4-6 weeks. That’s about 17-25 hours a week. Or, roughly 2.5 to 4 hour/day, on average.

Of course, you will need a plan and approach. Find out more about this from PMP toppers’ experiences and by following my LinkedIn profile for PMP support.

This is a short interview, but each word of strategy, approach, and technique John shares is gold.

Why PMP?

PMP John HowzeI mainly pursued my PMP to become more competitive in the civilian sector prior to retiring from the Army.

I had acquired certification in Scrum and LSSBB and wanted to add PMP to my credentialing.

What was the core benefit you expected from PMP certification?

I took PMP to become more marketable in my job search. Research proves that PMP is and remains in high demand.

Now that I’m certified, I see limitless opportunities, which is great.

Also read: 

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Which study resources did you use?

I used various sources, including PMBOK guide.

Information from your PMP blog site and the daily support community was very helpful in achieving my goal.

Can you talk about your study approach?

I studied for 3 months intensively and felt comfortable taking the exam.

The key was receptiveness.

I totally immersed myself in PMP and became focused on succeeding.

Did you face any challenges along the way?

In the military, time is precious and limited.

My daily job consumed most of my time, but I committed 3 hours a week and 6 hours on the weekend.

Dedication was the key to my success.

How did you approach studying for PMP exam in the week before exam?

The week before the exam was stressful, and I only reviewed areas that I did not score well (Executing and Monitoring/controlling).

I honed in on those areas, and it proved very beneficial.

How was your exam experience?

The exam was daunting and required a high level of focus in those 4 hours.

Most questions were situational, and it was important to know which Process Group I was in related to the question. This was not surprising because the test is for working professionals (one of the mandatory requirements to take up PMP).

I had very few formula-based questions.

I couldn’t figure whether there were equal questions on agile as well as traditional project management approach, but my particular exam was centric to agile.

Do not overlook Agile, Risk and Change management aspects.

Would you like to share any study tips for PMP students?

Consistency and repetition was key to success.

Try to complete at least 800 Simulator questions. I attempted at least 1600 mock test questions, which gave me a frame of reference for the exam.

Studying for PMP exam with your own timeframe is essential, so you avoid rescheduling. That can be stressful. I gave myself 3 months based on my workload and time availability. A bit of advanced planning will help you manage PMP with work and other commitments. 

Also, right at the beginning of the exam I wrote down the EVM formulas, Process Groups and Knowledge Areas. This allowed me to answer numerous questions.

Guess this is called as Brain-dump strategy.

See if this works for you. If it does, you don’t want to take more than a few minutes to write down.

Good luck!

John D. Howze, PMP

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