Passing PMP in 20 days – or whichever time period you want to target – is definitely possible. I passed my PMP exam recently with about 100-120 hours of study effort, in just 20 days.
I have jotted down my experience of passing PMP exam in this detailed post. Hope this helps you, especially considering the fact that PMI is going to roll over to the new exam format on 12th Jan, 2016.
My main PMP lesson learned
..is not to over-read but rather to have a plan in place to what to read, how to read and how many times to read (to understand the PMI’s way of project management). Also to figure out how to take mock tests and how much time to spend to assess test results.
Planning properly by considering the above points will definitely increase your confidence level as the exam approaches.
Difference between many other exams and PMP is that we can clear the exam ONLY when we understand the PMP concepts and achieve the ability to answer scenario basedplease don’t go through the books only for the sake of completing the book but try to understand the concepts and the ‘PMI way’ of project management.
I spent about close to 70 hours for studying and understanding the concepts and then went on to try 4hr mock tests, reviewing the correct & incorrect answers. I spent approximately 5 hours per test.
My PMP journey
Passing PMP is definitely not hard. Here’re few tips from my experience that I hope will help you.
- I started reading PMBOK two days prior to the PMP workshop. Though reading PMBOK was very dry with less examples, have tried to be patient to understand the basics.
- After completing PMBOK, I started reading Rita’s PMP preparation book and found it very easy to understand the topics and terms. The explanation is given in a way that helps even a layman understand and analyze the PM methodology.
- While reading Rita, I realized that I have committed a mistake by reading PMBOK first and then coming to Rita. It would have been even more helpful, had I done it the other way of around – reading Rita and Kim Heldman first and then coming to PMBOK. This would have made my understanding even better and easier.
- After Rita and PMBOK, I started to read the Kim Heldman’s book. I covered only the ‘Notes’ and ‘Exam spotlight’ from this book as I had very less time.
- Lastly, I went through the PMBOK Glossary, which is a must-do action item for passing PMP – knowing these alone may help you answer few questions.
- Started with the difficult Mock tests from Oliver Lehman and PM study and got about 65%. Later I took many mock tests from various sites including the one from Head First mock tests and simulators on the internet – both free and paid.
- Most Important point about a full mock test (200 Qs) is that you may have to spend a minimum of 5 hours for each test. It takes about 3+ hours to finish the test and then some more time going through all the 200 Qs, answers and explanations. The reason you may have to go through the entire 200 Qs again is – during the test we may answer few questions right by guessing the answer but without understanding the logic/reason. So, it is better to spend time in going through all the mock test questions and answers.
- Your scores may initially range from 60 plus and gradually go up to 80-85. Once you reach a consistent score of 75 plus, you may feel confident of passing PMP exam.
My PMP study resources
- https://www.youtube.com/user/izenbridge?feature=hovercard Few topics like 7 Quality tools,EVM,TCPI and PTA are very good to help us understand the complete concepts.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALFPW9qPXag This particular video is very helpful to memorize the 47 processes.
- http://edward-designer.com/web/list-of-free-pmp-exam-questions/ Very important site with a lot of information and links to other useful sites. It also has the NOTES for all the chapters with very easy to understand terms.
- http://pmstudycircle.com/ Another very important site with not just the PM terms but also lot of other information we do not know or we assume differently.
- http://pmp-tutorial-free-sample-questions.blogspot.in/2008/09/chapter-10project-quality-management.html Very good site to check our understanding of PM terminology before we actually go through the scenario based Qs. Once we are good at this, we can try the actual real mock tests which are tougher than the tests in this link.
- http://www.pmi.org/learning/virtual-library-ereads-and-reference.aspx Once you become PMI Member, you get access to this link. This is PMI’s official learning page with lot of notes and chapter wise mock tests. Very informative and helpful !
- http://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/index.htm Good site for specific topics and mock tests.
Some more PMP exam tips
Exam time: I suggest that you don’t over read the day before the exam. It adds lot of stress on you. I stopped reading by 9 PM the previous day and only went through the mock test with answers for a couple of hours after stopping my study.
IMPORTANT: The exam schedule divided in 3 parts :
- 15 minutes to read the instructions
- 4 hours for the actual test
- 5 mins for the survey about the Prometric centre
You may use 1st 15 minutes to do the brain dump. You’ll be given a booklet to do the workings. I checked with the person in charge at the test center as to when exactly can we start writing on the booklet and was told that we can start writing only when the clock time for 15 minutes starts.
My exam experience
I took 6 minutes to draw the process chart as per the video above (memorizing 47 processes). I practiced this table at home till I could get it in 7 minutes. Then, have wrote all the formulae on the paper I was still left with 4 minutes to read the instructions which are easy to understand from the pictures.
Doing this brain dump in the 1st 15 minutes slot was very helpful in referring to that info when I was answering the process related Qs and numericals. This would save your time in thinking a lot while answering the relevant Qs.
Finally, the exam started. 95% of the Qs were totally scenario based and very few were direct Qs.
Don’t spend too much time on ITTOs. There were only 3-4 Qs on that. Better understand and analyse them while studying and then and leave it and concentrate on otherwe have understanding of the concepts, we can easily relate the ITTOs from the scenario.
Finally, the result time. Heart pounded for a couple of seconds and stopped seeing the screen till it was loaded with the result. Happy to see it say Congratulations!
I trust my experience in passing PMP will help you.
Please understand that this is my personal experience. You may already have a plan in place to how to move forward and use this ONLY as a reference of someone’s experience. Request you not to make this as your primary plan but customize as per your time,seriousness andme, setting a target of 20 days for passing PMP exam and planning accordingly enabled me to give the exam on the 20th day as per my plan.
I wish you good luck!
Hari Chand, PMP
Please feel free to reach me on email@example.com for any comments/feedback.
PMI®, PMP® and PMBOK® are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc.