Certification Insider

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Cornelius Fichtner help you with your PMP Exam Prep (https://www.project-management-prepcast.com) as well as earn free PDUs (www.pm-podcast.com/pdu). Passing the PMP Exam is tough, but keeping your PMP Certification alive is just as challenging. Preparing for the exam requires an in-depth study of the PMBOK Guide and dedicated study discipline. And once you are PMP certified, then you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification alive. Let me help you make this journey easier with tips and tricks on how to prepare for and pass the exam as well as efficiently earning your PDUs once you are certified.

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The 40 Flashcards a Day PMP® Exam Study Habit

Episode 393: How to Pass the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam

Episode 392: Face it. Your Project Requirements are Poorly Written!

Episode 391: My Agile Exam Application Got Audited

How To Get CAPM® Certification Using Four Study Techniques

The 40 Flashcards a Day PMP® Exam Study Habit

The 40 Flashcards a Day PMP® Exam Study HabitStudying for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam may feel like a long and daunting process. There are many study aids available for use that can help make the studying process feel a little less overwhelming. One such study aid is a Flashcard. A Flashcard is defined by macmillandictionary.com as “a small card printed with words, pictures, or numbers that helps someone learn something.” In this article, we discuss how Flashcards can make your PMP® Exam studying a lot easier, along with how developing a 40 flashcards a cards a day habit can help you pass the PMP Exam.

The use of flashcards is a form of distributed practice. Distributed practice means spreading study sessions and self-testing out over time. Distributed practice is a proven method for enhancing student performance, so use flashcards to actively test yourself on concepts one at a time. Flashcards can be used to spread your studying out over time when you are in the process of studying for the PMP Exam. You can use then use your stack of Flashcards to quiz yourself again on the PMP material closer to your PMP Exam date. Flashcards are light, portable, and typically small enough so they can be used to study anywhere and anytime. If you are not interested in carrying around hard copy flashcards, there are even electronic versions you can download for your phone or tablet.

Make it a habit to use Flashcards

Spreading out studying for the PMP Exam is a great way to ensure you learn, not just memorize the PMP related concepts, but as with many things in life, you need to find the right balance between too little and too many flashcards in one day. For example, PMP Flashcards provides you with a ready-made set of 1500 flashcards. If you plan to take the PMP Exam in 90 days you might feel you can review 17 flashcards a day (1500/90 = 17) but you should review at least 40 a day to allow you to review each card at least once and to review again any flashcards that you could not answer correctly. There is no need to review all 40 in one sitting, break it up into two, three, or even four sessions. Remember you can review flashcards just about anywhere since they are portable. Setting a goal of reviewing 40 flashcards a day allows you to take a break in between flashcards to allow for the concepts to “sink in” and to avoid “cramming”.

Making a habit of using flashcards as part of your study process can help ensure your success with passing the PMP Exam. A habit is defined by macmillandictionary.com as “something that you often do without intending to or without realizing that you are doing it”. The first step in creating a 40 flashcard a day habit is to create a study planner. The study planner will help you distribute your learning of the PMP concepts and avoid cramming. Before you know it, picking up a flashcard to review when you have a few free moments to spare will be something you do without thinking about it. It will become a habit.

Flashcards help you pass your PMP Exam

Aiming for 40 flashcards per day is simply a guideline. You may want to review more flashcards early in your PMP Exam process, so you can gauge how much you know at that point, then figure out how quickly you want to pace yourself prior to your exam date. You may find that 30 or 50 a day fits your schedule and life a little better. Many students keep a separate pile of those flashcards which they found difficult to answer or answered incorrectly. You may want to schedule a day or two a week to go into greater depth and research topics from this pile of cards. Also, don’t forget to schedule a day every once in a while to take some time off for unrelated activities to allow for the concepts to “sink” in. The key is to set a daily goal (to develop a habit), track your progress, and determine if you should aim to review more, or maybe even fewer, flashcards a day depending on how you are doing.

Using flashcards is an example of distributed practice where learning is spread out over time in order to truly learn PMP concepts as opposed to simply memorizing words. You can use flashcards to review or self-test. Developing a 40 flashcard a day habit is an excellent way spread out learning of the PMP concepts. It is also an excellent way for you identify what topics you need to spend more time on. And once those concepts are truly sinking in, then don’t forget to immediately begin applying them on your own projects at work. There is no better way to learn than to apply what you studied. So you can see that flashcards can not only help you stay on track in order to pass the PMP Exam but also help improve your project management skills.

Posted on: July 11, 2017 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Episode 393: How to Pass the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam

(Click to download MP3...)

Stas Podoxin, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM

Are you currently studying or thinking about studying for your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam? Wonderful. That’s what we are going to be talking about.

In this interview you are going to meet Stas Podoxin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/staspodoxin). Stas is not only one of my students but also one of my coworkers. And one of the interesting differences in how he prepared for the PMI-ACP exam is the fact that he took an Agile course at a university that helped him get a better understanding of the Agile mindset. And so by the time he got around to using our own online training course he was already quite far ahead on the curve.

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Stas's overall experience, how he did his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Stas Podoxin and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCastand The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: July 03, 2017 10:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Episode 392: Face it. Your Project Requirements are Poorly Written!

Categories: Project Management

(Click to download MP3...)

Jordan Kyriakidis, CEO of QRA Corp

My goal of having these show notes on the website is to give a quick and concise introduction of the podcast topic and to tell you what you can expect to learn from it. Sometimes I am right on point and sometimes I’m a little more vague.

And tomorrow, when you are back at the office working on your project requirements your goal will be to correctly and succinctly describe the requirements for that project your company is going to launch. The big difference here is that your descriptions have to be 100% on point. You cannot afford to be vague, because requirements that can be misinterpreted is a sure-fire way to doom your project. So what can you do to improve your requirements?

The problem of poorly written, ambiguous, and inconsistent requirements is something that Jordan Kyriakidis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordankyriakidis/) has thought about a lot. And his answer to this problem is not only a list of “21 Top Tips for Writing an Exceptionally Clear Requirements Document” (https://qracorp.com/write-clear-requirements-document/) but also to use computing power. Yes, there is actually a software that will scan your requirements document and tell you what's wrong with it.

But we’re not going to talk about the software much, because that would be pretty boring here on an audio podcast. Instead, Jordan and I look at the root causes of poorly written requirements and then we introduce you to the most important 6 out his 21 tips. In that way you can start using your brain power to write better requirements.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: June 18, 2017 11:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Episode 391: My Agile Exam Application Got Audited

Categories: AGILE, Agile

(Click to download MP3...)

Jonathan Hebert, PMP, PMI-ACP

Are you by any chance thinking of getting your certification as a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®? Great. Because that certification is our topic.

Today you are going to meet Jonathan Hebert (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-hebert-pmp-csm-pmi-acp-0712471) who not only passed his PMI-ACP® Exam, but he also got audited in the process. So he has a story to tell!

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Jonathan's overall experience, how he got his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Jonathan Hebert and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: June 05, 2017 05:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

How To Get CAPM® Certification Using Four Study Techniques

Categories: CAPM, Project Management

How To Get CAPM® Certification Using Four Study TechniquesIf you’ve arrived here it’s because you are probably looking for the best study techniques for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam. You’re in luck! We support thousands of students to successfully pass their Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams, and we know exactly what techniques work.

In this article I’ll cover four common study techniques, tell you whether they are effective and explain how to get the most out of them so your study time is focused and useful.

Technique 1 – Reading, Highlighting and Underlining the Guide

Many of us will be used to this study technique: go through a text, read it (sometimes aloud) and highlight or underline the portions that we want to draw special attention to for later.

Is It Effective?

Not really. Research published by the Association for Psychological Science shows that although people use this technique, highlighting and underlining isn’t an effective way to learn. In fact, it might stop you learning effectively because it focuses your mind to specific facts and not the bigger picture concepts.

However, reading by itself is a good technique to get started so do take the time to read through the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

How To Make This CAPM® Study Technique More Effective

Don’t simply read. Try to read actively, asking yourself questions as you go through sections of the PMBOK® Guide. How does this relate to your work? Why is it relevant to the job of a project manager? What notes can you take that will help you remember this concept?

Read alternative books as well. There are lots of study guides that will help you for your CAPM Exam prep and make the concepts ‘real’.

Technique 2 – Listen to The PM PrepCast™ (for CAPM)

The PM PrepCast™ (for CAPM) is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam prep video workshop. You can watch the lessons wherever you are, whenever is convenient using your tablet or smart phone.

Once you’ve been through the 140 lessons you’ll have covered all the material required to get you through the exam.

Is It Effective?

Yes! The research also shows that spreading out your study sessions is far more effective than cramming. The PM Prepcast (for CAPM) is a great way to plan your exam prep over time, spacing out your learning sessions. When your study tools are already broken down into digestible, flexible chunks it’s far easier to master the concepts and build on what you have already learned.

The PM Prepcast (for CAPM) also includes real-world examples, which students say are crucial to being able to understand the concepts. The more you can grasp how the ideas are used in the workplace, the easier it is to recall that information in the exam.

Technique 3 – Taking Notes on the Guide

Writing your own notes is another common study technique that you probably learned at school. You can create your own flashcards

Taking notes is the act of write down important information while reading the material to be learned. This is another technique many of us learned while in school.

Is It Effective?

Yes, if you do it effectively. Simply copying out the PMBOK® Guide isn’t going to add any value to your understanding of the key concepts.

Taking notes can be time-consuming so use your time wisely. Concentrate on areas where you know you need to review the principles and take notes in your own words, or make a mind-map, instead of copying.

How To Make This CAPM® Study Technique More Effective

Here are two ways to make taking notes more effective as a study technique for CAPM®.

#1: Create Your Own Flashcards

Take your notes in a way that allows you to hide key terms and definitions by either folding the page over or covering it with another sheet. Then you can test yourself and your ability to recall important concepts and what they mean.

It’s easy to do this if you structure your notes in two columns. In one column, write the name of the term or concept. In the other, write the definition or the key piece of information you want to remember.

This technique works best when you use loose leaf paper which you can organize into a binder. Notebooks are good for keeping all your notes together, and they are highly portable if you study on the go, but they don’t lend themselves as well for making flashcards like this.

#2: Use a Brain Dump

A brain dump is where you write down everything you know about a topic. Once you’ve read a section of the PMBOK® Guide, start a fresh piece of paper or a new page in your notebook and write down everything you can remember about that concept. You can do this as a list, a mind-map or whatever format helps you remember most clearly.

Then check back to make sure that you included everything important. The more often you do this kind of note taking, the easier you will find it to recall information during the exam.

This technique makes note taking far more effective because you are filtering information and recalling it in a way that works with your own learning preferences.

Technique 4 – Taking a CAPM Practice Exam

There are a lot of ways to use practice test questions in your preparation for the CAPM® Exam. You can work through questions that relate to the topic you have just studied, or as a way to identify where you might want to focus again when you come back to review a topic. Or you could take a full length three hour, one hundred and fifty question CAPM practice exam.

Practicing exam taking techniques is just as important as ensuring you have a full grasp on the concepts and ideas behind project management. It’s probably been some time since you sat in an exam room and worked solidly on something in stressful conditions for three hours. As well as giving you confidence that you know your material, practice exams also give you confidence that you can pace yourself, get through the questions and are well prepared for what the actual exam situation is going to be like.

If you are looking for a CAPM Exam practice test that is close to the CAPM Exam, look into using the CAPM Exam Simulator.

Is It Effective?

Yes! Testing yourself as you go through the material, through using flashcards or the questions at the end of a chapter in a prep book are a good way to improve your skills. You’re learning how the questions are phrased and what sort of answers you are likely to see.

However, the best way to make this a really effective study technique is to take a full-length practice CAPM Exam under timed conditions, so you get used to the pressure of the clock counting down!

Conclusion: CAPM Study Techniques

You’re a busy person so you want to spend time on study techniques that are proven to be effective. While some of your choices are going to be down to your personal best ways of working (like whether you take notes as a mind-map or a list) there are definitely some study techniques that outperform others.

Focus on taking effective notes, using CAPM study tools to support your learning and spreading your study sessions out over time. Use the PMBOK® Guide and practice answering test questions to prepare yourself for the real thing. Finally, take advantage of the knowledge others have gained from their study experience by visiting online forums.

Posted on: May 16, 2017 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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