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Lessons Learned - Feeback from successful PMP's
81 replies to this topic
Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:39 PM
Books - Rita Mulcahy and Kim Heldman are good. Rita's book is only focussed on the exam and Kim Heldman is helpful from a real world use perspective.
Also you can practice some of the free sites like
Posted 21 January 2008 - 01:29 PM
I have just passed the PMP exam self-taught using Headfirst & PMBoK only in 1 week during evenings and two weekends...However I do NOT recommend this strategy as it was very intense and Headfirst -as brilliant and wonderful as it really is ( I don't think I could pass without it) - I have many years of Project Management experience and training that really helped.
In addition, I did use the Web to find out about concepts not covered in Headfirst especially some PTA formula's which did come up in the exam. I heavily relied on two good practice exams (plus the HF one) which were the Oliver Lehrman and www.pmstudy.com which were both free (the latter free in the first 24 hours only).
I did panic at one point and think about purchasing the practice exams from companies like Certgear, but when you do the trials I found they were way harder than the real test -and probably a marketing tool to ensure you fail so you purchase the software.
If you get any wrong answers in the practice exams, always look for the explanation as to why as that will help a lot. I didn't learn all the ITTO's though it would have really helped..but I am single focused and my goal was to pass the exam, not get a high score (I don't know what score I achieved yet).
Nevertheless, using the practice exams plus the other resources on the internet (e.g. eBooks library for PMI members on their website) filled in any gaps that HF didn't cover. PMBoK is necessary to read at least TWICE for completeness (though I didn't have time to read twice but in hindsight, it would have my ordeal a lot less stressful if I had done). In any event, I am really pleased that I passed, that's what matters the most.
Good luck to everyone, it was a great experience to learn the formal proceses behind what I do on my job anyway and I am happy to be a PMP!
Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:16 PM
I passed the PMP exam last week and it was a great experience!
I would say one of the best sources for understanding project management (PMI Style) is 'Head first PMP' book. Read it before going through PMBOK for better understanding of concepts.
If you are a seasoned project manager, take as many exams as possible. There are lot of websites offering 'practice exams' and I bought a few online. This helps you to prepare better!
My preparation time -- 40 days --
Some important exam specific inputs
1. Know ITTO fully for all 44 processes -- create a mental map of how they fit together -- in the exam you will answer questions related to inputs, outputs, tools in a flash (saving lot of time to focus on other questions)
I completed the exam in 2 hrs 30 mts and revised for 1 hour!!!
2. Allocate a day to practice all math problems and you can be assured of answering 10 questions correctly related to SV, CPI, Float, PERT, SD, etc.
You will get one related to 'communication channels'
3. Hot topics for my exam were Quality Control, Scope Verification, and Administrative Closure
4. Actually 1 question repeated itself -- it was 45th and 200 -- same question related to scope control (surprised!!)
5. Dont be complacent!!
Some questions can throw you off guard and you will spend more time than ever in answering them
6. I got quite a few with 2 BEST answers particularly in HR, Professional Responsibility, and follow your intuition in answering them
7. If you cannot answer a question in 2 minutes (max) move on to next after marking it -- (Again, if you are thorough with ITTO, problem solving it will give you the bonus minutes!)
8. Sleep well the previous day of the exam - your brain should be really active & fresh to comprehend some of the questions
9. Have CONFIDENCE!! If 250,000+ people can do it, YES -- anyone can do it with proper preparation!!
pmhub.net (very useful)
Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:21 PM
Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:57 AM
For PMP preparation -
1. First Head First Labs from O'Reilly -- you easily understand PMBOK process.
2. Read PMBOK as many time you can.
3. Read PMP RITA MULCHAY book.
4. Solve as many as questions you can.
Satish - PMP
India - Pune
Posted 01 June 2008 - 05:45 AM
I have been a silent spectator mostly, because mostly i would find all the info by searching the forum Smile Some one else already would have asked the same question. I thought i will put my LL for all your's reference. The tips on this forum have been really useful and helpful. Thanks for all the valuable posts.
Went through the grueling process of applying for the exam.
Submitted my Application in April and heaved a sigh of relief when the application was approved without any audit.
Thought I could immediately get to do my exam, but found out I could only schedule it for 4 weeks later..so May 31st it was. So in case you are planning to take a test on a particular day make sure you do your app much in advance and atlest 4-6 weeks in advance of the desired date.
On the scheduled day, went in to the testing center about 30 mins before the exam schedule.
Tried hard not cram at the last minute and glad I did not do that because is a long long 4 hrs. Just sat down and tried to keep my mind free
They took me in into this waiting room where they checked my id again and gave me some sheets(scratch paper) and pencils. I asked for a Calculator and there was a brief “panic” there because the lady said “No calculator”. I was like “I need a calculator”, then she looks up and tells me “Calculator is built in”. Everything was normal again and I breathed normally J
I did not click on the tutorial rt away…I took some time did a Brain Dump.
Started the Tutorial and did some more brain dump in that 15 mins.
The test itself went smooth and I had the longest 1 minute at the end of the exam while I waited with bated breath for my result and then the relief followed when I saw I passed. I pretty much did a small Jig there.
Head First PMP. That was the primary reading material.
PMBOk (Skimmed thru it atleast 2 times)
Kim Heldmann: Good practice questions
Rita Mulcahy Pre exam Prep (found it in the library and it was based on the old PMBOK but useful tips)
Online Pmstudy exams.
SKillport PMP training: This resource I was lucky to find internally in my company. It turned out be really useful.
Olivr Heldmann questions: Forced me to go back to the book to review fundamentals
While preparing for the exam i tried to remember everything and link everything logically. For e.g all the processes were easy to remember once they were grouped into Process Groups. The I/p and O/ps and TT also fit in similarly. It would be real hard to memorize all that. But i have to say that once you have that under your belt, you will have a bunch of GIMMEs in the exam.
Exam was close to what I saw online and the practice tests I did from the back of the chapters.
Tips for Exam taking :
Read all 4 options , Do all the Performance formulas , Professional Responsibility takes you by surprise. Do not take this lightly.
All in all i fell good that my PMP quest is over.
Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:59 PM
Well, I passed the exam - first try - this morning.
My preparation for the test included the BMBOK, HeadFirst PMP, and the True Solutions, Inc, online course which gave me the 35 hours. In retrospect, I wish I had read the HeadFirst book first and learned about the varied options many here have used. Other than the hours, I thought the TSI course was a bit outdated.
Unlike others, I had no problem scheduling the exam. In fact, I could have scheduled it as early as 3 days after PMI gave me the green light. I didn't do it quite so fast, but I did schedule it 6 days out.
Although my scheduled time was 9:00a, the doors opened at 8:15a and I was on the test by 8:30a. Before starting the test, I had to empty my pockets completely and put everything into a locker. I asked her if she wanted my belt and shoes too. (smile)
I was told I didn't have time to do a brain dump before starting the test, so I didn't. I did write information down as the need arose. As posted elsewhere, the calculator is online. Handhelds are no longer given to you. I was concerned, but it was a non-issue.
My first pass through the questions took two hours. I spent the next hour taking a second pass through the questions. Feeling comfortable that I was doing fine, I closed the test and got my "pass". Out of the 5 processes groups plus "professional and social responsibility", I received a combination of "Proficient" and "Moderately Proficient". I wish that could be translated into percentages, only to see how I scored.
The majority of the questions were situational. Many were easy to reason out the correct answer. However, there were some where the answers had to take some serious reasoning skills. I thought some could have been either of two answers and found myself trying to decide which PMI would want opposed to which made more sense. Terms were used that I had not seen, and I had to relate them to the learned PMI terms.
The questions involving quality control seemed to be ambiguous as to whether they were addressing the process or the process group.
The formula related questions (CV, SV, etc.) were easier than I expected. Nothing fancy.
Now you can see where the "Moderately Proficient" came from.
Anyway, it's over.
Posted 02 July 2008 - 11:38 AM
I just passed the exam. Took an hour and 40 minutes, didn't go back over many questions. Started studying abut 10 days ago. Used Ritas book which is overly wordy and full of egotistical comments about herself. Also used headfirst which is a bit better, I like all the charts in it. Still those little stories the weave in don't really do much except make it harder to find actual info. My technique was to first take an exam with no studying (50%) at pmstudy.com (excellent test) and write down all the terms I didn't know. Then study all those terms for a few days and take the free headfirst test (75%).
Coursed it also helped that I had a lot of this material in college 'bout 15 years ago and some college since. But in some ways I just looked at this as a vocab exam. Lots of words you need to know the PMI def'n for.
Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:26 AM
Spent 4+ months trying all the following to study for PMI's PMP. Passed it last month, but if I'd known the process to follow, I'm now certain I could have done it in 1 month. HeadFirst PMP along with a sample test board like PMStudy and the PMBOK are all that you need. Totally AVOID depressing books like Mulcahy's, Lehman like tests or other similar ones that make the subject matter more complicated than required and try to scare you that you cannot succeed without their material. These are the steps I would now follow in that order (it's like a guaranteed formula).
1. Read HeadFirst PMP (Days 1-7)
2. Take PMStudy Chapter Tests by Chapter (Days 1-7)
3. Read PMBOK with reference to Headfirst to understand more complicated concepts (Days 8-22)
4. Take HeadFirst and re-take PMStudy Chapter Tests (Days 8-22)
5. Do PMStudy Simulated Practice Tests (1 test per day with 1/2 day more for revisiting incorrect answers and revising those topics using HeadFirst and PMBOK) (Days 23-26)
6. Revise HeadFirst book and PMStudy Notes last 4 days before scheduled PMI PMP exam (Days 27-30)
Posted 13 September 2008 - 10:43 AM
I passed on PMP exam today.
Here my study guide:
I read Head First PMP 2x
I took the Head First simulation exam with 84% score.
Too simple right? Yes. This book is simply amazing. I didn't get the PMBOK from my library.
Posted 03 December 2008 - 06:34 PM
Big fan of the book. Liked the different tools to reinforce the material--crossword puzzles, word matching, etc.
The sample test was a decent representation.
Supplemented the book with Cornelius Fichtner's project management prepcast--www.pm-prepcast.com--and with on-line tests at www.pmperfect.com.
Created brain dump when I took the test. I think I only referred to it a couple of times, though. Still a valuable exercise. Know the table on page 70 of the PMBOK (process group/knowledge area). Earned value formulas were good to have. Also had the six ways of dealing with risk, 5 forms of power, the values for 1, 2, 3, and 6 sigma, Maslow's triangle, and 7 tools of quality.
Another exercise I went through--try putting the processes w/the inputs and outputs into Project or graph it some other method, I think it really helped me get a sense of how it all goes together. (I think there's a lot of duct tape and baling wire involved--side-effect of being developed by a committee, I think...)
Worked with a study-buddy. We did a chapter a week and did the sample questions from the book. He had Rita Mulcahy's book, so we mixed it up. I think Rita's questions were harder, but HF-PMP got the material through, better.
Take lots of sample tests, in my opinion. There's a quite a bit of material on the test not covered by the PMBOK. Taking sample tests will expose you to that material and give you a chance to get it down.
Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:29 PM
I cleared PMP last week. I really like Head First PMP. I started reading PMBOK but it was very boring so I left it and read Head First again.
I studied for 5 days before the exam but I have read Head First PMP book once few months so it didn't took much time to finish it second time.
I found that Head First practice test is easy and take less time to finish in comparison to actual exam, but it was helpful.
My suggestion is if you have real project management experience you can study in following order....
1) Two reading Head First PMP (two weeks).
2) One complete 4 hour test to find the topics were you need to study more. (4-5 Hours)
3) Read these selected topic from Head First or PMBOK again (1-2 days)
3) Rita Mulcahy PMP chapeter questions (1-2 days)
4) 2-3 more small practice test
I didn't read all questions from Rita Mulcahy question but I recommend that..
All the best for your exam...
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