Shiv, I have cleared PMP exam in first attempt with 3MP & 2LP on 31st March 2016.
I am very very happy and thankful to you for your guidance. TRUST me your SMARTNOTES helped me in quick revision & the study advice shared by other successful PMP students helped me a lot in making strategies for studying.
I spent overall about 2.5 months for my PMP preparation.
Study resources used
- Started with Rita Mulachy 8th edition
- I started with HeadFirst PMP book at the same time
- Various Android apps like HyperPMP, PMPPro etc. (Shiv: Here’s a list of PMP apps)
- Lastly a quick review of PMBOK 5th edition.
- PMP SmartNotes from PMESN (Shiv: in book format here)
- I started my PMP journey last October with classrooms training. I must say classroom training played a big role in my success, because from there you get clear picture of the whole thing.
- As the class was coming to an end I decided to start my studies subsequently and planned to take the exam before new syllabus kicked in (12 Jan 2016). However, managing a hectic job and studies simultaneously was difficult for me. I could start studies only by mid November. I started studying around 1 to 1.5 hrs daily and on weekend for 3 to 4 hrs. I continued this way till for about a month.
- I was getting confident enough that I would clear my exam before 11th January as my studies were going good, but Christmas & New Year celebrations diverted me from my studies. Then on 31st I made it as my first resolution for 2016, and again resumed my studies around mid January. I continued to study daily for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs.
- I read Rita’s book twice, HeadFirst once and a quick view of PMBOK once and then the SMARTNOTES by Shiv. I simultaneously started making my own notes, which were very useful. After completing these readings I took mock test from HeadFirst – where I scored 73%, and then a full test from my training institute – in which I scored 75%. Then I took various smaller mock test available on web. (Shiv: find some here).
PMP study plan that worked for me
I divided my study Knowledge Area wise. For instance, I would take one Knowledge Area say, Integration and then I set daily targets to complete certain number of processes in a day – till I’m done with that KA. Then I take a mock test and move on to the next KA.
I made good use of my smartphone to study during short free time slots. I installed various Android applications like HyperPMP, PMPPro etc and various videos.
The exam day
I was difficult to sit for 4 hours on exam trying to concentrate, and I found that taking mock tests would make it easier.
I didn’t find any straight forward questions on ITTOs and I got hardly 2 to 3 numerical questions. Major questions I found were on Stakeholder, Risk & Quality. I didn’t found anything new outside of what I studied, on the exam.
In the end, one thing I’d suggest is to keep yourself calm on exam day. I was pretty nervous so I kept listening music to keep myself calm. I’d say find something like that to keep yourself calm.
Avinash Bajaj, PMP
Shiv loves to help start-ups build software products, PMP aspirants ace the exam and shine at work, and help individuals and SMEs get most out of their internet presence (read 'earn massive money' 🙂 ).
Shiv lives on the picturesque suburban Bangalore with his wife and two lovely kids and in his spare time he plays flute and paints.
Reach him at these social networks and say Hi, he'd love to connect with you.