My PMP test prep journey started in June 2015. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be PMP certified.
I started by joining PMI, then I spent a few months researching and compiling data for the application. I finally applied for PMP test and in February 2016, right after making my payment for the exam, received notification that my application was being audited.
I successfully completed the audit process in March and planned to spend a few months studying before scheduling the exam. However, due to various life events, I ended up actually taking and passing my PMP test on February 4, 2017.
Here are a few things I think are very important to keep in mind in your PMP test prep –
The PMP application
Make sure that you would be able to contact the managers you listed for your projects in the event that you are audited. This is really important because the audit process is essentially your manager providing verification that you actually worked on the projects you indicated.
Time scheduling of your test
Schedule your test 2 – 3 months into the future.
When you have an end date, it’s easier to plan your study course and stick to it. Without a date, I found it difficult to study diligently.
Once you schedule your test, work backward and prepare/adjust your study plan. Have milestones (weekly/monthly) and aim to hit them. Give a bit of buffer in case you fall back. Things always don’t work as per plan, but having your PMP test prep plan helps you make progress consistently.
Full-length mock tests
Practice taking at least one full exam so you can figure out how to manage your time – more the merrier.
I discovered that the test center no longer allows you to write during the tutorial (brain dump strategy recommended by many), so I had to do my brain dump while my exam clock was ticking.
I also didn’t take any breaks during my exam because I didn’t want to lose any additional time.
You should also dress in layers – my exam center was cold so I was freezing most of the time… another reason I didn’t take a break 🙂 I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.
My PMP test prep tips
Here’s what I did that helped me to pass the PMP test on my first attempt.
- Joined the I Want to Be a PMP LinkedIn group – members of this group post questions and provide explanations as well as give tips and hints to those preparing to take the exam.
- Subscribed to Shiv Shenoy’s blog, pmpexamsmartnotes.com (planning page) – I reviewed all the exam Blueprints and anything I thought was useful on the website.
- Took the 4-day University of LaVerne PMP Exam Prep course about 2 months before my exam date. In addition to the 4 days of classroom training, the program included an online course with tests and sample exam. I reviewed all the videos, read through the notes, and took the tests and sample exam.
- I also reviewed the PMBOK 5th Edition and Rita Mulcahey’s book although I didn’t spend a lot of time on them. I used them more as a resource to get clarification on areas of weakness based on the exam scores.
- I spent a lot of time memorizing the 47 processes. I used a blank table and practiced writing down all the processes along with a few key formulas. I did this 3 – 4 times a week for a few weeks prior to the exam.
- I also reviewed a few PMP prep videos on YouTube from Praizon Media.
Being a full-time employed mother of two children, it was challenging for me to find time to study in the evenings and on weekends. However, with a clear target, goals, and determination, anything is possible. I am proof of that!
I wish you all the best of luck in your PMP test prep.
Grace Manjengwa, PMP