Kim Hammond, PMP – Be sure to get Test Center experience!

pmp test centerHi there! Here’s what I have to share about my PMP journey…..

I think it is important to know about the Test Center experience. For some reason, the entire process threw me off, and impacted my ability to remember all that I had studied. Everyone should read about what happens on the day of the exam. Also be aware of when you function the most efficiently….AM or PM. The entire testing experience is exhausting, so know when you are at your best.

pmp study resourcesThe 1st time around, I made many mistakes.

First, I used way too many sources during my study time.

I watched YouTube videos, used Rita’s book, read the PMBOK, used at least 5 sources for test exams, and checked every single piece of advice on the LinkedIn site.

I believe this was a mistake, and it made me crazy and I felt overstimulated.

The 2nd time around, I found sticking to 2-3 sources was best.

I used Exam Central for test simulations and Q&A’s, and then used the comprehensive exams from my Bootcamp. This was sufficient.

Also, I used a different method to memorize the 47 processes….I used a ‘memory map’ that I googled that was very visual. I drew it out, then made ‘blank copies’ and kept writing and rewriting it until I could get it done in 11 or 12 minutes.

[Note from Shiv: Table 3-1 on Page 61 of PMBOK-5 also works well. Make it a habit to draw an XL sheet and write down this table and noting how some of the processes flow naturally across KAs and PGs. In a matter of days you’ll internalize it well.]

I also did this with the formulas.

Another lesson learned for me had to do with study time.

I was spending 2-4 hours every night, and at least 4 hours on both Saturday’s and Sunday’s to study. This was too much, and my mind could not handle that amount of time. I would suggest developing a study schedule, and keeping the study time limited to 2 hours at a time, then 4 hours, once per week, for test simulations.

I found I had not spent enough time understanding the different theories, such as Tuckman’s Ladder, McLelland’s Theory, etc.

[Note from Shiv: Some of these are not in PMBOK. You can get a quick collation of such concepts from my brain dump.]

These were important for the test, and I had been focusing on the processes and formula’s. Have a basic knowledge of these. Also, know network diagrams (simple ones), and understand leads and lags.

Lastly, I spent more time on the ITTO’s. I had not spent enough time understanding these initially. No need to memorize all of ITTOs, but just be able to identify the difference between an input, an output and a tool/technique.

Knowing these allowed me to easily eliminate some answers that I knew weren’t right. For ITTO’s, Rita’s process game helped me significantly. I practiced this at least 100 times.

When I started getting this right, I started answering more questions correctly. If you can use deduction to eliminate at least two answers, you are more likely to pick the correct answer.

I wish much luck to anyone who decides to pursue their PMP. The feeling of elation, when you pass, is worth the effort!

Thank you for allowing me to share.
Kim Hammond, PMP

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