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
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