Shiv, happy to share that I passed my PMP exam with Above Target result in all 5 domains. Here is my study approach as you requested. I have project management background, particularly in Lean Six Sigma and Supply Chain management related projects in the Oil industry.
The PMP trigger
I am an Industrial Engineer with 15 years of experience in the Oil industry. I hold both a Bachelor and a Master degree in Industrial Engineer, graduating my Masters in Industrial Engineer in 2006 from the University of Houston in Texas. I work in Category Management in the Houston, Texas.
I wanted to earn PMP certification to enhance my career, open the door to new opportunities, and also formally document the experience in Project Management that I have gained so far.
This certification is also very well respected in the industry. An ideal professional certification to get for every project manager.
My study resources
I figured that having too many resources will only slow down the pace of my exam preparation. After some research and discussions with other PMPs, I decided on these 3 primary resources –
- PMBOK guide
- Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Success Series: Exam Study System, by Crosswind Learning.
- The PMP® Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try, 5th Ed, by Velociteach.
I took PMI’s 35 hours course from the PMI Houston chapter, back in February of 2017.
This was a very good course that provided me also with the PMBOK 5th edition and Crosswind Learning System material. Due to work and family commitments, it was really difficult for me to take the exam shortly after taking the course.
My PMP study strategy
To enhance my understanding, I created my own study cards as I studied these books. And I used the simulation exams contained in these books to ensure I can apply the concepts to a given situation on the exam.
I found some time to study, few hours here and there but I started to study really hard at the end of August. My target to pass the exam was December.
My preparation picked up pace as I deep dived into the course materials, PMBOK and a couple of books. I also wrote several study cards with the key concepts and then reviewed them before taking the exam.
Well, I had few challenges as well.
Remembering all inputs, outputs and tools was the biggest of them all.
I overcame that by preparing my own study cards and notes, doing the exercises and tests in the books, and writing the formulas several days a week, memorizing certain keywords.
I’d recommend going over the Glossary at the end of PMBOK guide and any other books you may choose to study from. Sometimes understanding of a term can even help you answer a question on the exam.
The other challenge was finding time to study.
It was definitely difficult to find time to study several hours straight in a row, having a full time job and family. I’m very thankful to my family for their support. I could delegate some of the work, and carve out time every day to dedicate for PMP study.
PMP Exam experience
Couple of days before the exam, I went over the tests I took and the answers I responded wrong. I read all my flashcards created during the study. I also took a couple of full 4-hr simulated tests.
This gave me a lot of confidence, and it felt I was wrapping up my studies nicely.
On the day of the exam I was relaxed but then definitely started to feel the pressure at the beginning of the exam.
I knew that time management is very important and so I decided not to leave many questions for the end. I didn’t leave any questions without answer, and I got 10 minutes to review a few of the questions I had marked for review.
PMP is definitely is a long and challenging test that requires all your attention during the 4 hours duration. And I would recommend having a good night sleep the day before, and posing trust in yourself and in your preparation prior to the test.
I am very satisfied to pass the exam with Above Target results in all 5 areas. All the time invested really paid off.
Study tips I’d like to share
Here are few things that I think will help you if you are preparing for your PMP exam.
- Create your own flashcards or study notes. They are great source of revision before the exam.
- Expand your reading on the topics that your failed while doing mocking tests.
- Read the advice about taking the test contained in your textbooks, they teach you how to respond tricky situational questions.
- Like the PMESN PMP facebook page (PMP exam notes, tips and resources) and attempt questions every day. Join the LI group. The Fb page helped me to always keep the test in my mind, even on vacation, I replied to the questions posted on the group and really appreciate receiving feedback on the right answer.
Trust you’ll find at least one or two points here useful to include in your exam preparation plan. I wish you all the best.
Carolina Rivera, PMP