Shiv, I passed my PMP test on 16th August 2017 on my FIRST attempt.
My mantra was to practice on a daily basis and strive for continuous improvement.
I took about 5 months to prepare well for the exam.
My PMP Test Study Resources
I used 5 types of study resources – Study books, Exercise Books, Mobile Apps, Online blogs, and Mock tests.
PMP Study Books
After doing my research I chose the following 4 PMP prep books. The first one is purely for the ease of study, second one for breadth of content, third one based on a recommendation and fourth one is again for simplification.
- HeadFirst PMP
- Rita Mulcahy, 8th Edition
- PMP Exam Simplified Updated for 2016.Exam of Aileen Ellis
- PMP Certification All-in-one for dummies
PMP Exercise Books
My aim was to practice sample questions while I was studying the exam content. I decided to use simulators only after 2 rounds of complete PMP study is finished. I chose the following 3 books.
- PMP Examination Practice Questions, 3rd Edition – from APress
- PMP Exam Practice Test and Study Guide 9th Edition (I found this pretty close to the real exam)
- PMP Exam Prep Q-A of Christopher Scordo
Also Read: Rakesh’s 7-Step PMP Study Plan
Mobile apps helped me a lot by saving a ton of time. I was able to study them whenever and wherever I could. Even a 30minute break I got from work or in any social engagement, I could fire one up and do a bit of study. I cannot stress enough how convenient the apps have been in my PMP preparation.
I chose Android based apps. You should be able to find them in iOS as well.
Online reference material (blogs)
- Shiv Shenoy’s chapter-wise notes (Excellent resource for revising the chapters quickly)
- PMP Certification prep from Dummies site
- PMP prep material from Greycampus
- iZenbrudge PMP blog
PMP simulators helped me time the exam so I can practice not only the realistic questions but also practice to take the test within the stipulated 4 hours. I have selected most of the Free Simulators below –
If you want PMP success, Simulator are must-haves.
- PMP practice exam from HeadFirst labs – very good to gain confidence
- Rita FASTRACK v.8 (2 full exams and 5 Super-PM exams)
- This PMP practice test.
- This practice test from Justacademy
- This one from ExamCentral site
- This free PMP simulator from Cornelius
- This one from PMStudy
- PMAspire site
Phew! That is quite a few. But know that more sample questions you take, more easier your exam will become.
My PMP Test Study Plan
I started the journey with the reading of HeadFirst PMP book.
This is a great book for those who want to have the concept. The brain-friendly images, simplified examples and gamification (crosswords and such) is a fantastic way to learn PMP concepts.
However, due to unexpected challenges at work I had to postpone the learning for one month.
After that month, I started reading Headfirst and Rita at the same time in order to make my own notes.
Shiv Shenoy’s chapter-wise notes helped me in this activity. I did end chapter exercices of both the book without missing any.
My PMP Test Preparation
We have only Paper Based Test in Cameroon. So I went ahead and scheduled for the month of August, which left me with 3 months of preparation.
I decided to take the approach of Process Groups based reading.
I used 2 formidable books: PMP exam simplified update for 2016 of Aileen Allis, and the book PMP Certification All-in-one for dummies of Cynthia Snyder (links given above).
These books, with their tips helped me master a lot of knowledge and I began to understand a lot of concepts, projets documentation and the right order of activities of every process group.
Since I was working, I could only manage to spend 2-3 hours for studying during weekdays.
This got me worried. I was not sure whether this would be sufficient. But I promised myself to be persistent and make the best out of this time slot.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
The third part of my preparation was practice.
With the app, I created a database of questions based of the chapter-end exercises of my study books and came up with about 1000 questions.
I continued the practicing sample questions from other books and began gaining confidence progressively.
My mantra was “Practices Makes Me Perfect” and this helped me a lot. I could write down my daily goal and work to achieve that goal.
My goal with mock tests was to achieve 80% in consecutive tests.
After every test, I spent more time to understand my results and the rationale behind the answers to all questions.
I wanted to know if my understanding is the good one.
When I was 2 weeks away from the exam, I began working with Rita’s Fastrack. I also began taking online free tests (links in earlier section). My score was between 71%-94%.
I went to the exam after taking about 4500 questions.
Note of Thanks
I wish to thank my trainer, my mentors who guided me in the right way (Shiv Shenoy, Tony Karim) & my family who always supported me. Their contribution was invaluable in my success. Good luck to all future PMP exam aspirants. Once more, remember that Practice Makes Perfect.
Thank you, and good luck!
Fredy WAPPI, PMP