I would like to share some of my PMP study and exam experience.
I felt that the PMP exam was much easier than the hype, or what I expected it to be.
I think this was because of the following –
I booked my date for the exam mainly because my year was expiring. I had only about 2 months for PMP study from scratch, and I was really busy with work at this time. I therefore had to choose an approach and act quickly.
I read the PMBOK guide within 3 weeks whenever I had spare time, not spending too much time in trying to memorize anything, but rather to understand, even if not 100%. If I spent too much time on anything I felt it was a waste as you eventually forget. The trick is to go through the content as often as you can.
The next book that was very good was the Kim Heldman PMP Study Guide. I went through this book over the following 3 weeks. After going through the framework in the PMBOK Guide before, the Kim Heldman Study Guide just put everything in perspective, as it takes you through the process. The question in the Kid Heldman book are excellent to start to understand practical questions.
In parallel to reading these books, I had downloaded 2 PMP apps on my iPhone, and I just went through as many questions as I could. My phone was always on me so I could always just go through a few questions where ever I was. This helped just to stay focused on PMP study. It didn’t matter if I got the questions wrong, the main thing was reading the explanation of the right answer, I learnt a lot from this.
Lastly, I took 2 days study leave just before the exam just to simulate a 200 question exam on the first day and go through the results and just revise on the last day. The simulation helped me realize that maintaining good concentration for 4 hours took some effort, so the practice was good.
Train yourself not to use the rest room in those 4 hours, eat right before and get good rest the night before.
The questions in the exam just needed you to think practically, and use best practices according to PMBOK. I passed with 3 ‘Proficient’ and 2 ‘Moderately’, which surprised me given my lack of ‘sufficient’ study. This indicated to me that your PM experience plays a big role, it helps much more than intense PMP study, even though intense study is recommended.
I also found myself changing all the questions that I set to ‘Review’, so I just stopped looking at them else I would have changed all my answers. Just trust your instinct in the exam else time will pass you by very quickly.
I enjoyed the exam and am glad to have passed.
I wish you good luck with your PMP study and the exam.
Dane Moodley, PMP