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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Episode 414: How To Make Better Choices For Your Projects

Episode 413: When the Organization thinks they don't need Project Management

Episode 412: How to Integrate Risk Management into Agile Projects

How to Upgrade Yourself to The PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

Episode 411: The Future of Project Management

How to Upgrade Yourself to The PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

Categories: PMBOK Guide, PMP Exam

How to Upgrade Yourself to The PMBOK Guide 6th EditionAs of March 26th, 2018 the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam will be based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Sixth Edition. The Project Management Institute (PMI)® will grant no exceptions. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you had been studying the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition with the plans for taking the PMP® exam prior to March 26th, and you realize that this is just not going to happen, then you are probably wondering what to do now.

In a nutshell: You now have to study the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition because that is what you will be tested on.

You Cannot Study Only What Has Changed

You can start learning the new knowledge by reading the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition, which was released in September 2017. However, due to the extensive changes between the Fifth and Sixth Edition, you cannot simply learn the changes. Yes, there are a great number of articles available that talk about the changes. But unfortunately, you cannot simply study those sections that have changed alone. There are too many interactions between concepts, processes, and ITTOs to make this feasible. Instead, you need to take a holistic approach to learning the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition. Here we will review some of what has changed in this most recent edition, as well as some tips on how to prepare yourself to now take the "new" PMP exam based on the most current edition.

Conceptual Changes To The Sixth Edition

The changes start with a realignment of information in the first three sections. Information formerly discussed in these sections is now covered in the first two sections. Section one, "Introduction", now includes high-level information on the selection of development approach (predictive, iterative, adaptive, and incremental) based on the nature of the project. Section two covers "The Environment in Which Projects Operate". Information on enterprise environmental factors and organizational process assets are covered as before; however, also included now is information covering different organizational systems to include governance, management, and types.

Section three is now completely dedicated to "The Role of the Project Manager". This section includes information on the project manager’s sphere of influence and competencies. Here you will also learn about the PMI Talent Triangle®, which focuses on the technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management skills required for project managers. Understanding the PMI Talent Triangle® will be invaluable to you once you become PMP® certified and you need to keep your skills up to date and need to report your professional development units (PDUs) to maintain your certification.

One of the most notable changes between the Fifth and Sixth Edition is the inclusion of agile and adaptive methodologies. Starting with section four, going through section 13, you will now see several new subsections to include: trends and emerging practices, tailoring considerations, key concepts, and considerations for adaptive environments. You will also see some information on using agile specific tools and techniques such as iteration planning and sprints.

In fact, if you purchase or download your copy of the PMBOK® Guide then a copy of The Agile Practice Guide is included to show the growing importance of agile in project management.

Knowledge Areas an Processes

There have also been numerous changes made in both the Knowledge Areas and Processes. Two Knowledge Areas have been updated to better reflect how work is actually accomplished. What was the Project Human Resource Management Knowledge Area is now the Project Resource Management Knowledge Area. This has changed because a project manager doesn’t just manage human resources on a project, they manage all of the project resources. The Project Time Management Knowledge Area has been changed to Project Schedule Management Knowledge Area because a project manager actually manages work as defined in the project schedule, they do not manage time.

Some processes have been renamed to improve consistency and clarity, as well as to be more in alignment with what project managers actually do such as managing, monitoring, and facilitating versus controlling. Those that have changed are:

  • 8.2 Manage Quality – was Perform Quality Assurance
  • 9.1 Plan Resource Management – was Plan Human Resource Management
  • 9.2 Acquire Resources – was Acquire Project Team
  • 9.3 Develop Team – was Develop Project Team
  • 9.4 Manage Team – was Manage Project Team
  • 10.3 Monitor Communications – was Control Communications
  • 11.6 Monitor Risks – was Control Risks
  • 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement – was Plan Stakeholder Management
  • 13.4 Monitor Stakeholder Engagement – was Control Stakeholder Engagement

And these are just some highlights of what has changed. If you dig into the details you will find that there are dozens and dozens of small, medium and large changes in every chapter, paragraph, and sentence.

Project Management Hasn't Changed

However, it must also be said that just because the PMBOK® Guide has changed, project management itself hasn't changed. The fundamental way in which projects are managed is still the same. Only the publication that describes the activities & techniques that are commonly accepted to be good practices on most projects most of the time has changed. And just because it updated some tools and techniques for Project Cost Management, that doesn't mean that Earned Value systems need to be changed as well.

But in order to pass your PMP exam, you will need to be aware of everything in the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition. Studying them takes effort, dedication and time. There is no shortcut.

PMP "Upgrade" Guide To The Sixth Edition

Since you've already studied the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition, here is our recommendation on how to approach the Sixth Edition:

1) Begin by studying Appendix X1. This appendix provides an overview of the changes made in the Sixth Edition. This will give you a good understanding of the conceptual changes that were applied.

2) Skip Appendix X2. You don't need to know this information for the exam.

3) Study Appendix X3 on the topic of agile, iterative and adaptive project environments. You may even want to open up The Agile Practice Guide that you received for free with your copy of the PMBOK® Guide and glance at it while reviewing this appendix.

4) Study Appendix X4 for an understanding of the key concepts in each Knowledge Area. You will notice obvious and subtle differences to what you know from the Fifth Edition.

5) Study Appendix X5 and learn that "tailoring" has a much bigger role than it previously did. In the Fifth Edition, the term was mentioned only twice in the whole guide. In the new Sixth Edition tailoring has a dedicated section in each Knowledge Area.

6) Study Appendix X6 to be introduced to yet another fundamental change because the Sixth Edition presents tools and techniques differently than previous editions. In short: tools and techniques are now grouped by purpose.

7) Study the Glossary from beginning to end. Maybe not all at once, though. Instead, review a couple of pages a day as part of your studies.

8) Study Table 1-4 on page 25. This will give you a good overview of the Process Groups, Knowledge Areas, as well as the processes and how they are mapped. This is, in fact, the only information from the PMBOK® Guide that I recommend you know by heart. You should be able to draw this table from memory onto a blank sheet of paper.

9) And finally (and unfortunately): Study the complete PMBOK® Guide twice.

When studying the new PMBOK® Guide, familiarize yourself with the new inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs of all the processes. A good approach is to study the Data Flow Diagram for each process. These diagrams illustrate the flow of the inputs and outputs and will strengthen your understanding of how they move between the many processes. It will also help you understand the integrated nature of all the processes in the guide.

Summary

As you might have guessed by now, "upgrading" your knowledge to this new version of the PMBOK® Guide is not something that you can do in just a day. The changes in the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition are extensive and cannot be learned and understood on their own.

While your PM experience is the main focus of the PMP Exam, it will also be necessary for you to have an in-depth understanding of the PMBOK® Guide to be able to correctly answer many of the questions on the test. This is because the PMP exam uses the PMBOK® Guide as its primary reference for identifying the correct answer to a question.

I therefore recommend that you plan a minimum of two weeks of intense study.

Posted on: April 23, 2018 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

How to Prepare for the PMP® Exam in 30 days?

How to Prepare for the PMP Exam in 30 Days

You are asking yourself right now, “Where do I start to guarantee I pass the PMP® exam in 30 days”? Be patient, stay calm, and continue to read this quick article to understand the steps of this process – how each step leads to the next. So remember – finish one step before starting the next to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Preparing for the PMP exam will take daily dedication to studying and understanding the material.

Preparing for the PMP exam takes time and while I do NOT advocate a fast approach, sometimes there are “legitimate” reasons that require you to sit for the exam within 30 days (or sooner). Perhaps your employer has established this deadline for contractual reasons, perhaps you have found a highly desirable open position you would like to apply to but need the PMP for highest qualification, or perhaps you signed up to take the exam nearly a year ago but then you procrastinated and now you only have 30 days left before your eligibility runs out.

What follows are key steps, processes, and resources that, along with your dedication, will allow you to prepare for and pass the PMP exam in 30 days (or less). Let me begin with some general thoughts on how to get started:

How to Get a PMP Certification Fast?

So you have decided (or been told) that you will get your PMP done in a very short period.

First, read my article, 10 Steps to Becoming a PMP to establish your eligibility, lay a foundation and start a preliminary plan. A key statement to remember during this process is that attaining the PMP certification shows your commitment to the project management profession and demonstrates credibility allowing for higher salaries as well as raising your resume above non-PMP certification holders. So don’t get discouraged during this process.

Now that you have verified your eligibility to sit for the exam, Don’t Panic! Relax, take a deep breath, and begin to focus… the first important fact is to not become overwhelmed as there is A LOT of information to understand and many types of training opportunities.

As part of your initial planning – start clearing your calendar to allow for sufficient daily study time, and understand this will not be an easy path to success. In addition to studying A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), you will also benefit by reading through lessons learned from others who have prepared (and passed) on a “fast track” method.

Here are my key tips and resources to allow you to start on the fast path to get the PMP certification and attaining the coveted PMP certification.

How to Pass the PMP in 30 days?

As I said, while I do not recommend trying to study and pass the PMP in 30 days, sometimes there are legitimate reasons that you may find yourself in this situation. First and foremost, start with my article, Creating Your PMP Study Plan – The Complete Guide. This provides a very clear process to effectively create your own customized study plan. Don’t stress – this article also provides PMP Study Plan templates to help you get started.

There are many study plans – it’s important you design the one that best fits your learning style and continue to modify it as you take practice tests and establish the areas you need to focus your attention.

One method you could establish as a framework for your study time is to divide your available study window (in this case 30 days) by the percentage for each of the five Domains on the test. This table demonstrates this method:
 

Domain
 
Percentage on Test
 
Study time
 
Initiation
 
13%
 
3.9 days
 
Planning
 
24%
 
6.2 days
 
Executing
 
31%
 
9.3 days
 
Monitoring and Controlling
 
25%
 
7.5 days
 
Closing
 
7%
 
2.1 days
 


If you total these days up – it actually equals 29 days – which allows you one optional day that you can spend on review.

Within this 30-day window, you will also need to take practice tests – perhaps at the 15-day, 21 day and 29-day marks or more often. To learn more about the exam content, visit the PMP Examination Content Outline on the PMI® website.

How to Pass the PMP in 10 days?

But what if you have been told you have to pass the PMP in a 10-day window – what do you do now?

About the only real approach if you have less than two weeks to prepare and pass the PMP is to attend a PMP Boot Camp. There are two major disadvantages with a boot camp:

·         The expense associated with the Boot Camp (usually in the range of $1,500-$2,500), and

·         How well you absorb the material (memorization versus true absorption).

The PMP Boot Camps do offer the advantage of time – most boot camps are three to five days long and the PMP test is available on the last day of the boot camp. However, the boot camps do require significant “self-study” prior to and during attendance, which can be confusing to plan and organize yourself in a short period.

Need your PMP Fast? Think again!

If you have the option to study for more than 30 days – take it! Slow down, take your time, and ABSORB. The best way to pass the PMP exam is through methodical study, review, and application.

This additional time will allow you to learn the material in a manner that allows you to understand and implement the standards and theories – instead of just memorization to pass the test. The discovery of information for better understanding allows you to understand how the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs interrelate. Taking a slower approach will allow you the opportunity to effectively absorb the information and learn how to apply the knowledge to any of your projects.

After nearly a decade as a PMP exam trainer, I advocate this slower approach, which allows your brain enough time to absorb and retain the information for easier recall in the future. The key is to allow yourself a lot of hands-on practice and review time to become comfortable with the information.

So, what is the Best Way to Pass the PMP Exam?

What is your learning style? Are you a visual, auditory, or tactile learner? Do you learn best in groups or individually? Knowing your learning style is important to understanding how to approach your studies for the PMP exam.

To learn more about your learning style, see question six in my article 7 Questions Every Student SHOULD Ask Their PMP Coach When Preparing for the PMP Exam. This understanding over memorization, slower over rushed methods allows for less anxiety, becoming a better project manager, and learning new techniques with the intent of using them on your projects.

No matter how or when you decide to sit for the PMP, The PM PrepCast will be an immense resource to guide you through your studies. At a minimum read the Lessons Learned Forum with experiences from others who have passed the PMP exam.

Now that you understand the value of allowing yourself time to study, spend an hour and review our free series of 8 videos on YouTube that walks you through the detailed and “time consuming” step-by-step PMP Exam preparation process: www.pm-prepcast.com/8videos

About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 35,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/pmprepcast and The PMP Exam Simulator at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/simulator.

This article originally appeared on The PM PrepCast and is reprinted by permission of the author.

Posted on: October 01, 2015 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

The PMP Exam Changes After 11 January 2016. Here’s What This Means For You.

Every five to seven years, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® performs a “Role Delineation Study (RDS)”. This is basically a big survey among project managers like you and me from around the world with the goal to identify what it is that we do on our projects. As a result of the most recent RDS, PMI now has a pretty accurate picture of the tasks that we project managers perform, as well as the knowledge and skills required for our job.

PMI has used this information to update the PMP Examination Content Outline. This document is the basis for the PMP Exam. And because this document changed, the PMP exam also has to be updated.

The update to the PMP exam is scheduled for 11 January 2016.

Let’s first look at why this change is happening and then we will examine what this means for you. You’ll be surprised at how little is actually changing.

Why is The PMP Exam Changing?

PMI wants to ensure that the PMP Exam is an accurate reflection of the tasks, knowledge and skills project management professionals actually perform and need on a daily basis. If PMI didn’t regularly add new methods and remove outdated ones, then PMP aspirants like yourself would still be tested on obsolete tools and techniques that were used 30 years ago when the PMP exam first came into being.

The PMBOK® Guide Isn’t Changing

This is important: The PMP Exam is based on the PMP Examination Content Outline and NOT on the PMBOK® Guide. Yes, there are many overlaps, but they are not 100% the same and the exam content outline even has some unique sections not covered by the PMBOK® Guide. The PMBOK® Guide itself, however, is not changing.

The PMP Exam Structure Isn’t Changing

The PMP Exam is a computer-based exam. You have to answer 200 multiple-choice questions in four hours. There is no change in this aspect of the PMP Exam.

The Domains and Score Report Aren’t Changing (Much)

When taking the PMP Exam, you will be tested in the five domains of Initiating (13%), Planning (24%), Executing (31%), Monitoring & Controlling (25%) as well as Closing (7%). At the end of the exam you will receive a score report that tells you how you did in each domain and whether you passed or failed the exam.

There is just one minor change here: Executing went up from 30% to 31%, while Closing went down from 8% to 7%. This is negligible and should not affect how you prepare for the PMP exam.

The PMP Exam Eligibility Requirements Aren’t Changing

The PMP Exam eligibility requirements remain the same. You still need to show the same amount of education and experience as before. You can find the details on page six of the PMP Credential Handbook. No change.

The Exam Changes on 11 January 2016. No Ifs, Ands or Buts About It.

The change was originally scheduled to take place on 1 November 2015. This was not enough time for everyone involved to get ready, so PMI changed the date to 11 January 2016.

The current exam will remain active until 11 January 2016. After 11 January 2016, only the new version of the PMP exam will be administered. In other words:

•    If you are taking the exam on or before 11 January 2016 you will take the current exam.
•    If you are taking the exam after 11 January 2016 you will take the new exam.

Your Study Materials Will Change

The new PMP Exam Content outline, includes some modifications to existing tasks, removal of a few tasks and the addition of eight new tasks. Some of the main drivers for the exam changes include:

•    Emphasis on business strategy and benefits realization
•    Values of lessons learned
•    Project charter responsibility
•    Enhancing stakeholder relationship.

PMI states that about 25% content change is based on new topics from the 8 new tasks, which were previously not tested. Note that in addition there are other changes to overall exam questions, which will be updated that are not tied to these 8 new tasks.

One of the reasons why PMI has moved the exam changeover date to 11 January 2016 is to give Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) more time to include all the new concepts into their training materials. It is their responsibility to ensure that their training materials are up to date. And so, as a student, this should not concern you too much. You should simply be able to expect that your provider ensures that your training materials are current. That’s what you are paying for.

My Recommendations For PMP Students

1.) Take Your PMP Exam before 11 January 2016
Plan your PMP exam studies in such a way that you can take the exam before 11 December 2015, which is one full month before the changeover. In this way, you avoid the last minute rush in January when everyone wants to take the old exam before it changes. This timeframe also gives you an extra four weeks to recover and retake the exam, if worst comes to worst and you don’t pass on your first try.

2.) Study the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
You must study the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition no matter if you are planning to take your exam before, on or after 11 January 2016. It is still the primary source to learn about exam concepts.

3.) Use Study Materials From PMI Registered Education Providers
We and other PMI R.E.Ps are working fast to update our study materials to cover the new concepts that are being introduced. And because of this, you and all other PMP students don’t have to worry about the changes at all. Instead, before you buy study materials from a PMI R.E.P., ask them to confirm that the materials are current first.

4.) Read The PMI FAQ:
Read the PMI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page if you want to delve into all the details.

Conclusion

My final recommendation to you as a PMP student is this: Don’t worry about the coming change too much!

We have done an extensive comparison between the old and new examination content outline and I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing “big” coming. Yes, there are a number of exciting concepts like lean principles, regulatory impact, or emotional intelligence listed in the new outline. But most likely you have already heard of these new tasks, knowledge and skills, or you may even be practicing them at present.

Also remember that PMI is continuously updating the PMP exam. For example, some time back questions about “delegation” started appearing on the exam. PMI didn’t officially announce this and so nobody made a fuss about it. But now that PMI is officially announcing an update everyone gets anxious.

So instead of agonizing about this change, a more positive approach for you as a PMP candidate is to simply purchase and use the right study materials that cover all the concepts you need for your exam. Focus your energy on your studies and don’t worry about the update.

About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 35,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/pmprepcast and The PMP Exam Simulator at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/simulator.

This article originally appeared on The PM PrepCast and is reprinted by permission of the author.

Posted on: October 01, 2015 01:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

PMP Exam Myths - True or False?

Categories: PMBOK Guide, PMP Exam Tip

You have read the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) publication, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), from cover to cover; studied other Project Management-related texts; and you feel you are preparing well to take and pass the Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. There are, however, a number of myths related to the exam process and the exam itself that you are not sure are valid.  In this article, we are going to take a look at six myths related to the PMP® Exam process and bust them so you can quit worrying about what is true and continue with studying for and taking the exam.

PMP Exam Myth

 

Myth1: You need to score a 61% to pass the PMP® Exam

No, while this was true at one time, it is no longer the case. Passing the PMP® Exam is no longer determined by the percentage of questions you answer correctly. It is calculated using a sound psychometric analysis. In essence this means that the harder questions are worth more than the easier questions. So you get a higher score if you answer more of the harder questions correctly and a lower score if you answer more of the easier questions correctly. The minimum score needed to pass is determined by the overall difficultly of your individual exam.

Myth 2: Only PMI Registered Education Providers are authorized to give PMP® Exam Prep Courses

No, there is no authorized or unauthorized training material for the PMP® Exam.  Several types of training companies can provide training for the PMP® Exam, which may include courses or programs offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (REP); training companies or consultants; PMI component organizations; employer- or company-sponsored programs, distance-learning companies, which need to include an end-of-course assessment; or even university or college academic or continuing-education programs. Essentially anyone can provide training for the PMP® Exam. The advantage of ensuring your training comes from a PMI REP is you have the assurance that the provider has been reviewed by PMI for standardization and quality.

Myth 3: Obtaining the PMP® Certification will lead to a higher salary

That depends. The potential to see an increase in salary depends on several factors including your country of employment, years of experience, and the average size of projects you manage. Every year PMI conducts and publishes information related to their salary survey. In the 2012 report, it was found that even with a sluggish economy, the average salary for a PMP® credential holder had risen. However, there is no guarantee that passing the PMP® Exam will lead to a higher salary.

Myth 4: The exam application audit process uses applicant profiling

No, the exam application-audit process is completely random. When completing your PMP® Exam application, keep in mind that you may be audited, so be prepared just in case you are selected. Make sure you are 100% truthful; have documentation to back up anything you claim on your application such as training certificates; and mention to current and former employers or colleagues that you are applying to take the PMP® Exam in case they are contacted by PMI to verify any assertions on your application. Think of this application as a job application; there is a chance that your references will be checked.

Myth 5: You must know the Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs (ITTOs) by heart

No, you do not need to spend time memorizing the around 500 ITTOs described in the PMBOK® Guide; instead you need to understand the concepts behind them. It is possible you will have questions on the PMP® Exam such as “Which of the following is not an input to the Create WBS process?” where memorizing the ITTOs may help. However, it is more likely you will have questions that relate to how or why a specific ITTO is used in a process and memorization will be of no use to you when answering those types of questions. So, your goal needs to be to fully understand the concepts of each process in the PMBOK® Guide, not the memorization of the ITTOs.

Myth 6: You need 35 PDUs before you can take the PMP® Exam

Almost. You need are 35 contact hours before you take the PMP® Exam -- not 35 Professional Developmental Units (PDUs). So you are required to have at least 35 contact hours to be eligible to take the PMP® Exam. You do not need to worry about PDUs until you have obtained your PMP® Certification, then you must follow PMIs Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) and earn 60 PDUs every three years to maintain your PMP® Credential. Remember, you need contact hours before taking the PMP® Exam and PDUs after.

There are many PMP® Exam myths, and it is often difficult to distinguish what is the truth and what is myth. Myths can be difficult to eradicate so remember, anytime you come across something that makes you scratch your head or say “hmmmmm”, you can verify what you have heard or read by checking the PMP® Handbook or writing to PMI Customer Care; they are happy to help dispel myths.

Posted on: September 04, 2014 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

PMP® Exam Lessons Learned From Someone Who Has Recently Passed

Is studying for and obtaining your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification one of your personal or career goals? Are you wondering about things such as where is a good place to start, what materials might be the most helpful in studying, or how many practice tests are just right or too many? Are you interested in the experiences and insights of those who have been there, were once also wondering many of the same things, and who have recently passed the PMP® Exam?

If any of these questions sound familiar to you then there is a forum you need to explore on The PM PrepCast website. Every post is from those who have recently obtained their Project Management Professional Certification and are willing to provide tips and information concerning their study methods and experiences taking the PMP Exam. These individuals most likely were where you are today, full of questions and concerns, and looking for a place with information and answers.

Let’s take a look at one example from this forum. It was written by Scott Coonrod, PMP, not too long after he obtained his PMP certification. In his PM PrepCast Forum post he discusses how he studied for and prepared for both the PMP Exam and the exam day itself along with his experiences at the test site.

Lessons learned and other tips related to preparing for the PMP Exam:

  • Find others who are also studying to obtain their PMPCertification and review key items in the PMBOK® Guide together. Studying with others is a great support system during the exam preparation process.
  • Go through The PM PrepCast lessons and take notes on the material being presented. Even if you do not go back and refer to the notes at a later date they will serve as a good method for retaining the material. Taking notes can help you ‘learn’ the material, not just ‘memorize’ it.
  • Take the quizzes after each PM PrepCast Lesson. If you feel as if you missed too many answers, you can always go back and listen to the presentation again or review the notes you had taken.
  • Answer many, many, many practice questions. The study guide mentioned below comes with a CD with two 200 question sample exams and an option to obtain a third sample exam.
  • Download free PMP Exam question apps. The great thing about these apps is that many have 25-50 questions each that you can answer whenever you have a free moment.
  • As you are nearing your PMP Exam date create a data dump sheet with key formulas, definitions, and other items you want to make sure you remember for exam day. Practice recreating it; because that is what you are going to need to do on your exam day.

Lessons learned and other tips related to PMP Exam study materials:

  • Read the most current version of The PMBOK® Guide together with others who are also looking to pass the PMP Exam if possible.
  • Additional suggested study material includes “Project Management Professional Study Guide (Fourth Edition)” by Joseph Phillips. This study guide provides you an interactive quiz that indicates not only ‘if’ you answered correctly or incorrectly, but also ‘why’ the answer was correct or incorrect, as you answer each question. These quizzes were a great introduction to how questions may be framed on the actual PMP Exam. Some questions may be worded in ways that may seem misleading. For example, some questions may provide much more information than what is needed to answer a question, and some other questions may require you to choose the MOST correct answer from a list that may have what seems like several correct answers.

Lessons learned and other tips related to taking the PMP Exam:

  • Know where your exam site is. If you live far away from the exam site and can’t drive by, make sure you have reliable directions and know if there is construction on the route to the Prometric Test Center. Allow for plenty of time to get to the site without causing yourself unnecessary additional stress.
  • Remember to have your two forms of identification because you will need to prove who you are in order to take the exam.
  • Do not bring too much stuff with you. You will have to lock everything up because you can’t take anything into the exam room with you.
  • If you are nervous about taking a computer based exam, don’t worry because there is an optional 15 minute tutorial at the beginning of the exam that does not count toward your PMP Exam time. If you are comfortable taking a computer based exam, use this time to recreate your data dump.
  • If you start to feel nervous or overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, tell yourself “you’ve got this”, and keep going.
  • Answer all of the questions you know and mark those you don’t for follow up. Some questions/answers later in the exam may help you answer those you had marked.

These are just a few examples of the PMP Exam related lessons learned and other tips offered by someone who has recently been in your shoes and has shared his experiences. You can access these lessons learned and other tips and many more in The PM PrepCast Forum at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/ll.

About the authors: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted PMP Exam Prep expert. He has helped over 26,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast and offers what is possibly the best PMP Exam Simulator on the market.

Scott Coonrod, PMP recently obtained his PMP certification (April 2014) and has 17 years of experience in the electric motors industry; mostly leading or championing projects.  He currently is developing and leading the Project Management Office (PMO) for the manufacturing operations of a multi-billion dollar global manufacturer of motors, generators, switch gear, and mechanical gearing aimed at converting power into motion to help the world run more efficiently.

Posted on: June 30, 2014 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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