PMP Journey

PMP Lessons

Hi All,

Before I start my LL, I would like to thank PMP Google Groups, Yahoo PMP Groups, my wife, my son and friends and families who encouraged me to achieve one of the best certifications in the world.

I have cleared my PMP certification on March 28th,2012 at Columbus, Oh, USA. That is one day before my birthday. It was my birthday gift , presented by myself.

Prometric exam center is very big, protected with full of cameras, Metal Detector, and routine check ups with staff.

My Lessons Learns are different from other PMP holders. Because, I have already cleared CAPM from PMI in Feb 2011. That means I have already gone thru the PMBOK, Head First and Rita at least once before my CAPM exam and solved 100s and 1,000s questions.

I have submitted my PMP application in Oct 2011 and got approved by PMI.  There was no immediate plan for me to give PMP but want to complete before June 2012.

Strategy/Commitment/Initiation:

Before my Family planned to go to India for Vacation for 2 months, I have decided to give my PMP in March and booked my exam date as March 26th 2012. I need to give my exam before they return to the USA in the 1st week of April.

Planning:I have taken Xerox of Feb, March calendar and created a study plan and used to track my progress and pinned my study plan to my wall.

Execution:I have started my serious preparation from Feb 8th and used to spend at least 2 – 4 hrs a day and 8 – 10 hrs on the weekend. At the same time, I bought “brainbok.com” Three months membership and used for ITTOs, Flashcards and Quiz.

Started with PMBOK – Read one chapter from PMBOK and refer Head First whenever required and give HF chapter questions ( At the same time I thought of going thru Cornelius Fichtner’s PM Prepcast, unfortunately, I felt like wasting my time,felt boring and stopped after 2 chapter video lessons ) . I tried my best to complete each chapter per day. But, I missed completing a chapter per day for some of the chapters.

I have decided to stop reading PMBOK after communication chapter on 18th and decided to move to Rita. ( 🙂 There was an approved change request from my side to update my plan for better results in the exam) Because, I thought that Rita will give me more information than PMBOK. But still I used to glance at different chapters in PMBOK.

Now, my updated plan is to read Rita chapters one by one and give chapter wise question from Rita PM FastTrack V7. I have followed the plan and completed all chapters and Chapter wise questions from Rita PM FastTrack V7 by March 10th except Risk and Procurement which I solved only chapter wise question at the end of the chapter. I have created my notes from the wrongly answered questions and their explanations.

Monitoring:Questions / Full Exams (Mock tests started on March 12th)

 1. SimpleLearn – Not really tough – 4 Hrs exam.
2. http://free.pm-exam-simulator.com – Felt very difficult and never felt that I heard some of the terminology used in the exam questions – 90 Questions.
3. http://www.edwel.com/ – 4 hrs exam
4. EPMC – Very Very lengthy questions. I could not complete all questions in 4 hrs.
5. BetterPM.com – 4 hrs exam
6. pmstudy.com – 4 hrs exam. Medium Difficult
7. Farndale’s PMP® and CAPM® – Around 200 Questions
8. Downloaded Free Andriod, iphone, ipad apps and solved all the questions.
I have been following question a day from EPMC. Their questions are very good.
9. Solved many short exams which are freely available online. You can check http://www.squidoo.com/pmp-certification-exam-free-sample-questions 
10. Searched with word PMP exam or free PMP exam questions in google and gave some short exams.
Change Request: Changed my exam date from 26th to 28th, took 3 days leave from 26th to 28th and was very serious to solve all type of questions from the below sites

4 days before the exam:

11. PMI.org -> eReads & Reference -> PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers, & Explanations by Christopher Scordo around 250 questions and Q & As for the PMBOK® Guide, Fourth Edition by Frank T. Anbari (ed) Project Management Institute © 2009– Around 175 Questions
12. Examcentral.net – Very good site – Solved 400 – 500 Questions
13. Brainbok Formula 50 Qs exam, solved many ITTO questions, I was really very good in solving ITTOs.
14. I have gone thru http://sridharpeddisetty.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-notes-on-pmp-formulas.html and http://sridharpeddisetty.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-notes-on-pmp.html & http://sridharpeddisetty.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-notes-on-pmbok-v4.html
15. http://www.deepfriedbrainproject.com/ – Lot of good material and explained lot of concepts with good examples.
16. Oliver Lehmann – 75 questions (online only)
Before 2 days. I have revised the PMBOK from the first page to Last page in 8 – 10 hrs time and revised Risk and Procurement from Rita.

I slept at 12: 30 AM on the day before the exam and woke up at 8 AM.

I have gone thru my notes and revised some concepts from HR, Communication, Procurement and all formulas.

My exam is at 12:30 PM. It is 20 mins drive from my place. I have reached Prometric at 12 PM, and before I enter into the hall opened my Head First PMP book, gone thru Network Diagram to understand Forward pass & backward pass calculations and glanced at EV formulas.Entered into Exam center and got a locker and kept everything inside. I have started my exam.

About the exam:I have dumped page 43 PMBOK in my booklet which was provided by Prometric with 3 pencils, noted down all formulas and any other concepts which I thought important.

  1. I did not see lengthy questions.
  2. Only 1 or 2 questions are very strange; I never came across those questions in my entire preparation. Those may be dummy questions
  3. Not many questions on math.

I am not sure how others were able to complete exam in 2 or 3 hrs and reviewed their answers.

Here, is my progress:

Question Numbers Time Taken
42 60 mins
100 120 mins (2 hrs)
@110 Taken break, and had my break fast bar
145 3 hrs
200 3 hrs 50 mins

There was only 3 or 4 unanswered questions and marked couple of them. I just answered and reviewed those questions and submitted my exam just 53 secs before my end time.

Participated in their survey and click on the Next/End.

Lot of tension at the movement and was thinking “what should I do If I fail in my exam?” and took my ID card and decided to leave from my place before I see my results.

But here you go….

BOOOM……!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS ………Finally that’s what everyone wants.

Suggestion: (This is my personal suggestion. Some people may like it or may not like )
1. Commit yourself. If you are not taking PMP training or PMP Bootcamp, make sure that you have reasonable target. Don’t set your target like “Need to give exam in 1 month or 2 months ” unless you are really spending extraordinary effort on your preparation Or If you have too much experience in the project management + able to spend extraordinary effort on your preparation.
2. Allocate Time for your preparation and join in yahoo, google groups (Yahoo: PMPExamForum,pmpbest , Google: PMP Cert Online Study Group, try to participate in the groups and ask questions and answer question ) 
3. Read Head First PMP if you think it is difficult for you to understand the PMBOK.
Read the PMBOK and Read Rita/Andy (based on your preference, Some people like Andy, some like Rita) at least twice Or thrice.
4. Solve Rita &  Andy’s questions behind the chapters ( if you have this book,  Or borrow if you can )  (  Opinion: Highly Recommend )
5. If you get a chance try to solve all questions from PM FastTrack V7/V6. It has 1,400 + questions. (  Opinion: Highly Recommend )
6. Prepare notes while preparation Or some important notes can be found in explanation from answer key.
7. If you are PMI member, make use of safari books.
– PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide, Fifth Edition by Kim Heldman
– Q & As for the PMBOK® Guide, Fourth Edition by Frank T. Anbari (ed) Project Management Institute
– PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers, & Explanations by Christopher Scordo
8.Try to solve examcentral.net questins – 1,000 Qs
9.Try to purchase http://www.brainbok.com service if you think you need it. Read, http://www.deepfriedbrainproject.com/, There is lot useful material available. Most of the free questions found in this website.
10. There are 1,000s of questions freely available. Please do a google search with word PMP exam or free PMP exam.
11. If you have a smart phone, ipad.. download all free apps and solve question, just give it a try.
12. Learn from your mistakes while giving mock exams/sample questions/Answer Key and try your best not to make the same mistake.
 Finally Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price  Vince Lombardi 
Note: PMI is charging $70 for postponing the exam from April 1st 2012, So make sure that you plan and fix your exam. 
 Best of luck to all my friends who are planning for PMP and CAPM exams.

 I have prepared some PMP notes , I will update in my website soon.

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16 Responses to PMP Journey

  1. Sampath says:

    Congratulations!. How much were you scoring in all the practice tests.

    • Sri says:

      I got 2 Proficient and 3 Moderate. as I said my preparation was very short and was having CAPM .I would like to see my suggestion section in my PMP lessons

  2. Gita says:

    Congratulations!!

    Would you please send me the notes you have for PMP to my email id?

    Thank You!
    Gita.

  3. Gita says:

    Hi,
    I passed my PMP exam today. Huge thanks to Sri for his invaluable PMP notes. I would recommend this site to all my friends.

    • Sri says:

      Congrats Gita. Good to hear from you. Thank you very much. I have created app for iOS devices “https://itunes.apple.com/app/pmp-help/id585127188?mt=8”

  4. Gita says:

    Amazing!! Great Job!

  5. sana says:

    Hi,

    I am planning to write my PMP sometime next month . I started off with Rita’s 6th edition. I am bored and donot feel like reading chapter 11 risk and 12 procurement. I havent started off with PMBOK yet.

    Suggestions are much appreciated onto how to go about studying.
    Is it better to read Rita and PMBOK simultaneously?
    My initial plan was to complete Rita once and then go to PMBOK. I feel i am lost.

    Thanks
    Sana

    • Sri says:

      I have followed Head First, Rita and PMBOK. PMBOK is very important. Initial round may be boring . Once you complete the first round of PMBOK and referencing this book now and then will make you read more . you may start liking PMBOK.

      Chapter 11 and 12 are very important and very well covered in Rita and you can also refer PMBOK.
      Try to understand ITTO from PMBOK. Enjoy reading and involve yourself as Project Manager incase if you are not implementing PMI practices in your company.

      Try to answering Rita chapter questions from 2nd round and solve Head First too.
      Your planning to good. Try to read PMBOK twice.

  6. Gita says:

    I wondering what’s the best approach to earn PDU’s. Seems like one needs 60 PDU’s in 3 year cycle.

  7. Pingback: 100 PMP Exam “Lessons Learned” Posts… All In One! « TestPrepSupport.com Blog

  8. Your suggestions for PMP exam study are very valuable. I follow most of them when studying for my PMP exam. Thanks a lot!

  9. Subramaniam C says:

    Dear Sri, Thanks for your valuable suggestions for PMP exam.I am planning to write my PMP sometime next month (Aug 2014). Could you please share me your notes. I hope it will be helpful to achieve my goal.

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