My PMP Exam Preparation Tips
Study resources & planning
PMBOK 5th edition and Rita’s Book 8th edition update, Shiv’s study blueprint and lots of online mock exams.
My exam was in March-2016. I started preparing PMP from Nov, 2015 which gave myself about 5 month to prepare (which, later I found to be a bit on the longer side).
Here is the schedule I followed –
Jan, 2016– Made some notes from the mock exams and read Rita’s book one more time.
Feb, 2016– Took more mock exams and read the chapters that I still had problems with from both PMBOK and Rita’s book
Mar, 2016– Read the PMBOK guide only and read the notes that I took, also took mock exams.
My study plan worked just fine.
I played some video games and relaxed on the day before the exam (not a good idea, lol).
On the exam day, I read the notes one last time right before the exam.
One problem with my schedule was that the preparation time was too long and I was frustrated in February. I should have arrange the exam in Feb itself so I didn’t have to live with heavy pressure for one more month.
One more thing, don’t trust your online exams too much. I scored at least 80% for more than 6 exams in last two month. I was really confident that I can easily finish the exam with good score. Instead, I received just 4 Moderate Proficient and 1 Proficient ratings.
I won’t say the actual exam is harder, but I would say that don’t get fooled by the lengthy, worded questions. Focus on the issue and look for the best solution.
Many people want to know how different is the new exam. Not really, the exam felt just the same.
Blockers I faced
The PMBOK is one of the most boring book that I have ever read. Plus, it was hard to understand when I first read it.
Shiv’s study blueprint helped a lot. That is why I read the study blueprint books before I read the PMBOK. It helps you understand the concept. After that, the PMBOK will be easy to read.
Again, don’t depend on the mock exams too much. If you do, you might fail the exam. However, please do take them as they prepare you for the real exam much better.
I attempted more than 3000 questions and I was confident right before the exam, but I still panicked during the exam.
Therefore, I would suggest you try to understand the concepts rather than memorizing the whole book and the ITTO.
Specific study tips
Study hard and trust yourself! At times it feels like you are not getting much, especially initially, but you will be able to remember as you keep up the study efforts.
An important tip is to make your own study plan! Treat it as a project!
When answering the question, put yourself into the scenario that the question plays out and think what is the best answer.
BTW, DO NOT take Red Bull and coffee at the same time.
Why is that? Well, it kept me awake by having very bad stomachache. 🙂
Alan Lin, 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.
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