First, I acquired my 35 contact hours from ESI International-George Washington University. Then, I read the PMBOK 5th addition cover to cover and took a Velociteach, timed PMP simulation to baseline my skillset and identify gaps.
I felt like I needed additional help, so I attended a Rita Mulcahy 2-day PMP Prep boot camp, which was extremely beneficial. Following the boot camp, I participated in a study group with my local PMI chapter led informally by a PMP credential holder. The study group lasted for 2 months.
After the study group, I developed my own personal intense daily study plan which included:
1. Read the PMBOK again at least one more time concentrating and paying particular attention to definitions.
2. Begin taking more test exams. I took them excessively. I got them anywhere I could, including free versions from the Internet.
3. When I achieved a typical score of, say, 75% or more, I used the test exams as study guides to close my gaps.
4. Finally, I set my exam date for 21-July, 2015 and continued my study efforts using Rita Mulcahy tools and resources and practiced my brain dump 3-hours a day.
The entire process took me 6-7 months overall. It was intense but so worth it. What a huge relief and accomplishment when I passed!
Trey Deón, PMP