Mark Brock is a US Army Veteran with 20 years of experience leading and managing teams and projects in complex organizations. He passed his exam earlier this month, and I requested if he could share how he approached the exam. In this short article Mark reveals the PMP strategy and top study tips he has for you if you are preparing for the PMP exam!
Yes, Mark got Above-Target overall and Above-Target in all the 5 domains.
Don’t forget to download the prep material Mark has prepared. The link is provided at the end of this post.
-Shiv Shenoy, PMP
Over to you Mark!
How PMP happened
I am a firm believer in engaging the lifelong learning process and was in pursuit of a certification similar to what I do in the US Army. The PMP Certification was it. After years of putting it off I decided to complete it, especially as I head toward transitioning out of the military.
For my study, I used..
- Skillsoft Videos
- Rita’s Exam Prep
- PM Training Mock Exams
- Exam Central
- Pocket prep
- Free mock exams from Simplilearn
- PM PrepCast
- Oliver Lehman’s questions, and of course
- The PMBOK
Also read: Air Force veteran’s gritty PMP story
The study approach was..
I eased into learning the material, then mock exam after mock exam. That was key to identify my gaps and go back and work on them.
Like most professionals I was busy. I just had to pace myself and maintain quality training.
One challenge I had was 2 weeks before the exam I had emergency oral surgery. While it disrupted my schedule I was able to stay home from work and used that time to study. However, it wasn’t worth sacrificing my back molar..
The week before exam
The last week I was on a business trip from Mon-Wed so I reviewed some of the difficult mock exams and read every explanation for each question.
On Thursday, I took a 200q mock exam, light review on Friday, and Lehman on Saturday.
I scored a 73 on that so I knew I was ready.
On Sunday I watched football and reviewed some notes.
Monday was the exam day. I woke up and warmed up to some 20-question mock exams and then relaxed.
After 11 weeks of preparation the test was easy. I was done in 3 hours and 18 minutes and scored Above-Target overall and Above-Target in all domains.
Few PMP study tips
Get your base knowledge down.
Learn how the processes work together and take as many mock exams as possible. You will learn a ton from your mistakes.
Have a progression for each scenario question:
- Has the issue been Documented?
- Were the impacts analyzed?
- Were options identified?
- Has a change request been submitted?
- Has the change been implemented?
Asking theses questions in this order will help you solve a lot of problems with relative ease.
Lastly, set a date for the exam then plan backwards.
I started with my 35 hour course in Nov and tested 11 weeks later. During that period I didn’t study on two days, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I have prepared few study material that might help you. Download them here.
All the best!