If you simply follow his 3-step PMP approach, you will cover 100% of what is needed for the exam.
Robert passed the PMP exam recently.
With an impressive ‘Above Target’ score in all the 3 domains – People, Process, Business environment.
Robert lives in Munich, Germany, and has been working in the field of semiconductor chip development for the past 15 years.
In this week’s PMP Lessons Learned series, Robert shares his exact process and insights.
Why take up PMP, and not any other?
As a Project Management practitioner, PMP certification gives me the right tools to exercise the profession at a higher level of confidence and performance. Best way to grow my career. 🙂
The worldwide recognition of PMP certification turns the balance while comparing to different certification options in the industry.
The need for maintaining PMP credentials using CCRS ensures that I keep myself updated with the latest knowledge of the project management world. This considerably reinforces my knowledge base about the art and science of project management.
I am now in a better position to link the big picture of the PM profession to the detailed processes, tools & techniques required to generate added value for my organization.
Can you share the study resources used for your preparation?
I love reading books, but video courses help quicker learning. Thus, I chose one of each in these categories.
Then I added simulators, so I practice mock tests and prepare for the real exam much better.
- Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep, 10th edition
- PMP Exam Prep Seminar by Joseph Phillips (Udemy course)
- PrepCast Exam Simulator
- PMP Mock Practice Tests by Yassine Tounsi (Udemy course)
How did you approach the exam?
After deciding on taking the exam, I’ve set up a simple PMP approach consisting of 3 steps –
- Getting familiar with the PMP Examination Content Outline document. This is an important step because this document is the syllabus for the exam.
- Selection of the study materials by leveraging the experience of different PMP communities (PMP blog, “I want to be a PMP” on LinkedIn, Reddit PMP blog). Here, it is essential that you pick the ones that you feel comfortable studying from, and don’t just go blindly with what people suggest.
- Scheduling the exam based on a realistic learning pace. I’ve found out that in about 4 weeks after starting preparation we can reach a stage to forecast the exam date realistically.
- Elena shares her 3 focus areas every PMP student must focus on
- Study for the exam only with your own researched sources, suggests Vijay
- Madhu shares how a good PMP approach can cut down as much as 50% of efforts.
What was your study plan?
I went through my exam preparation while sticking to the following plan:
- Studying Rita Mulcahy’s book, and exercising chapter-related exam questions (done after each chapter).
- Taking Joseph Philip’s course, and doing exercises and mock exams after course completion.
- Taking mock exam offered by PrepCast Exam Simulator and Yassine Tounsi.
Did you face any challenges?
The biggest issue was to keep the motivation alive across the long-term preparation.
This is true especially because project management concepts can be pretty abstract at times.
My remedy was to study in time slots. Allow short breaks during preparation and refresh my mind.
Also, I often recalled the reward of having PMP after my name after passing the exam. This motivation worked well. 🙂
Learning Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs was a challenge too.
I decided to understand them rather than trying to remember everything.
This, I think, worked out well for me. I have seen people taking unnecessary pressure trying to rote learn ITTOs – which is not necessary at all.
The week before the exam is crucial. What was your PMP approach to study during this week?
The week before the exam was devoted to taking the PrepCast mock exams.
On the exam you need to answer 180 questions in 230 minutes, so you do the math. Not much time per question.
Therefore we need to focus on managing time in addition to knowing the (or being able to apply concepts and solve for) answers.
Working on time management in realistic PMP exam conditions was critical for me.
Mock tests also helped me identify and fill the knowledge gaps.
What was your exam experience like?
I opted for an exam hall experience, thereby truly taking advantage of the two breaks offered.
The level of complexity of the questions was comparable to the ones I experienced with the PrepCast exam prep simulator.
Exercising time management helped me a lot to go through the exam and cover all questions without putting time pressure on myself.
Would you have any specific inputs for those preparing for PMP?
Not many, just the following –
- Create a study plan that you can stick to. Regularly monitor the learning progress against it. If necessary, adjust the study plan. Your PMP approach decides to a large extent, your success.
- Self-created study cards are very useful for reviewing from time to time the studied stuff.
- Mock exams from different sources help in gaining confidence for passing the exam.
All the best,
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