After I passed my PMP exam many people have asked me to share my PMP exam tips and study resources. I hope these points will help.
1) Study Resources
We have so many resources available online – free as well as paid ones. Select just one or two more resources along with the PMBOK. Don’t take too many books and study, you will not have enough time for your preparations, and worse, you may feel overwhelmed and not make progress.
I have not used Rita Mulcahy’s book and HeadFirst PMP book, but I’ve heard that they are worth including in one’s study arsanel. I found PMESN notes are very useful. Some of the reference materials I used are,
2) Practice the PMP Essentials
Practice the 47 processes thoroughly and daily at least once, for last 10 days before the exam date. This is very important to pass the exam. The ITTO’s will be easy if you have thorough idea of the processes and how they are related to each other. Don’t try memorize the ITTO’s, rather just understand the concepts. For the first few times you may not get it, it’s okay. Just continue reading the flow (use Data flow diagrams given after each process in PMBOK).
Below is an awesome way to remember 47 processes (Table 3-2 in page 61 of PMBOK).
3) Keep a daily study schedule
Preparation efforts daily for an hour or so will help cover syllabus quicker than you can imagine. Plan for target milestones to finish the preparation and start practicing mock exams. Practicing mock tests is one of the keys to success. The efforts we spend on mock exams will decide the final success.
4) Practice to manage those 4 hours well
The time factor is also important here. This can be really achieved by taking more exams with time. Even though I tried to follow the multiple-swipe technique you suggested in here, I found that time management was difficult during my final exam. I thought of skipping the lengthy and uncertain questions in my first pass but after attending some 50 to 60 questions I found that I have skipped almost 20 to 30 questions.
Then I was afraid of skipping more questions in the first pass itself and I continued attending most of the questions instead of skipping. There I lost time and at the end of the first pass I had consumed 3 hours. Then during my next pass I was able to complete the remaining 20 to 30 questions. It was a close call!
Also Read: How 2 friends cracked PMP together
5) Make use of the available free mock exams
Here’re the ones I used:
On these websites you’ll find many links for free questions. Just practice those questions. Shiv’s 6 books including the questions and answers was also very helpful as the answers are well explained in these books.
5) Formula based questions
Most of the problems are very much simple, but we need to think and look at options first before starting to work out. Memorize all the formulas and understand their application, practice as many as you can. Sometimes the question will be simple and it will not be straight to use the formula. We have to know how and where to use each formula.
6) Choose a exam time-slot that suits you
I have taken the 12.30PM slot which worked quite well for me. Don’t take heavy food and water before going to the exam, you may feel drowsy. Note that there is no scheduled break in the 4 hours, if you take a break the clock will not stop.
Reach the exam center at least 60 min in advance. Consider time taken for security check etc. Use the workout sheets to write your brain-dump (I wrote all the 47 processes and formulas during the first 15 min). It will be very helpful as sometimes we tend to forget simplest of the formulas during the exam. Use the head-phones during the exam which will be better to prevent ambient noise.
Hope the above PMP exam tips will be useful for your prep. All the best!
Once again Shiv, thanks for doing such a wonderful job. Keep going. Cheers.