Shiv! Thanks a lot to for creating such a wonderful blog which shares loads of information on PMP & CAPM preparation.
I am happy to inform you that I passed CAPM on my first attempt. I would like to mention that though I was preparing for CAPM, I had referred more of PMP notes and mock tests which made me sail through easily.
My CAPM Study resources
1. HEADFIRST PMP – I had first gone through this book which had a very interactive way of explaining each processes and ITTO. I used to go through each chapters take notes on it and made it sure to practice chapter test after each chapter. This book was very good to start up with. This book helped me gain confidence inspired me to apply for CAPM on 28 January.
2. PMBOK GUIDE – I completely referred to PMBOK GUIDE Edition 5 for preparation of my exam. I kept a target of completing one chapter every 2 days. This took me one and a half months to complete with my work posing a major constraint.
I took notes on ITTO and made data flow diagrams which were useful for review before the day of exam. One key point – ITTO are very important to be understood. Try not to memorize them, understand the flow on how one particular input of a process becomes an output using specific tools & techniques.
I got about 30-35 direct questions on ITTO in my CAPM exam.
Shiv!, I would like to thank you for your guidance during my preparation for my recent PMP Exam.
I am happy to report that I passed the first time and couldn’t be more relieved to put this test to bed.
I would like to share my experiences with the future PMP’ers preparing for the exam with the following takeaways:
PMP Study resources
a. I read Rita cover to cover two (2) times. One KA per day usually and reviewed Risk, Quality, and Time Management several times.
c. Two full Mock Exams and scored an average of 74%. Reviewed all incorrect answers and reviewed those subject areas.
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 I 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)
My PMP Exam Preparation Tips
Study resources & planning
PMBOK 5th edition and Rita’s Book 8th edition update, Shiv’s study blueprint and lots of online mock exams.
My exam was in March-2016. I started preparing PMP from Nov, 2015 which gave myself about 5 month to prepare (which, later I found to be a bit on the longer side).
Here is the schedule I followed –
Jan, 2016– Made some notes from the mock exams and read Rita’s book one more time.
Feb, 2016– Took more mock exams and read the chapters that I still had problems with from both PMBOK and Rita’s book
Mar, 2016– Read the PMBOK guide only and read the notes that I took, also took mock exams.
My study plan worked just fine.
I played some video games and relaxed on the day before the exam (not a good idea, lol).
Shiv, I passed PMP exam on 1st March 2016 in my 1st attempt, with Proficient in all 5 domains!
Preparation time: 4 months
- HeadFirst PMP (I read this before PMBOK),
- RITA Mulcahy, 8th Edition (read along with PMBOK)
- Shiv Shenoy’s chapter-wise notes (Excellent source for revising the chapters quickly)
- PM PrepCast Simulator (9 tests) & EPMC mock tests (5 tests)
My PMP exam study plan
- I started the journey with classroom training at Effective Project Management Consultancy (EPMC) for 35 PM contact hours. It’s very important that you select an institute with a good trainer. I was fortunate to get trained under Mr. Sateesh Kamat.
- Since I was working, I could only manage to spend 2-3 hours for studying (during weekdays) which got me worried in the beginning on whether I would be able to do sufficient revisions to pass, but I promised myself to be persistent.
- During free time, I used to solve questions for practice from http://www.projectmanagement.com/questions (PM Challenge) and http://www.examcentral.net/pmp/pmp-exam-questions. I also used some Android apps like PMP Exam (Free), PMP Exam Prep.
- I read PMBOK and RITA’s book twice, took down notes while studying and revised only those notes and Shiv’s notes for filling the gaps.
- After reading the books, I started giving mock tests from PM PrepCast Simulator, wherein I was scoring between 80-90%.
- Alternately I took mock tests from EPMC. These tests were way more difficult than the main PMP exam, because of which I could prepare for questions with higher level of difficulty. I was scoring 70-75% in them.
The Exam day
Shiv, I’m very proud that I have now passed the PMP Exam on my first attempt.
Though my initial interest in obtaining my PMP started several years ago I found myself often not following through. On 2 separate occasions I went so far as to have my application accepted & still did not schedule the exam (for fear of not passing).
This time that was not option. I started in Oct with the PM PrepCast (Cornelius Fichtner). Once I completed the PrepCast videos I devoted myself to studying 2 -4 hours a day every day using Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep & the PMBOK guide (as a reference).
I will admit I did not READ the PMBOK.
I concentrated on learning / understanding the formulas & paid special attention to the tools & techniques in Quality Management, Risk Management, & Procurement Management.
Shiv, thanks again for your valuable stuff. I passed PMP exam on 1st of March, 2016 on my first attempt. I thought it’d be nice to share my PMP exam tips with your readers.
My PMP Exam preparation
Preparation for the exam took me around 8-11 weeks. I started preparation 19th of October, 2015 with short breaks (Christmas, New Year…). I studied materials in the evenings and weekends, sometimes at work – on an average I studied for about 2-3 hours per day and 5-6 hours on weekends.
My suggestion is that it it you have possibility, it would be good at least one week before scheduled exam to take out of job (academic vacation).
My PMP study materials
Regarding materials, I tried to concentrate on 4-5 sources.