I passed my PMP exam on my first attempt last sunday with Proficient level in all 4 process groups except Closing (MP in closing). I would like to share my study plan in this forum so that it would be useful for others who plan to take up the journey.
Mine was a lengthy study plan took almost 4-5 months of preparation, since being the working mother of a kid, I had other commitments as well. So I did not want to study in a hurry but decided to complete passing the exam on my first attempt without any deviations.
I completed my PMP-35 hours training through an online Registered Education Provider(REP) and my prepartion was completely based on the materials available online. So I hope, this method will help for someone who may prefer to study on their own.
My Sources for preparation were PMBOK and Rita's PMP Exam Prep. I started going through every chapter in PMBOK. After completing each chapter in PMBOK, I completed the corresponding chapter in Rita's PMP exam prep to gain in-depth knowledge. Then completed the exercises in that knowledge area and took every online resource that I can get to attend questions based on that Knowledge area.
After completely finished reading all Knowledge area, I started reading the 47 processes in the order they are aligned within 5 process groups. Eg: Started with "Develop Project Charter", then moved to "Identify Stakeholders", then moved on to Planning process group. This time, I was skimming through the details that I have highlighted and noted down instead of completely reading it again.After completing every process group, tried solving questions based on that specific process group. By this time, I was able to find out my areas of weakness and started reading them once again. Also, I created few mind maps as how the processes interact and tried to undersatnd the ITTO instead of memorising- that's most important. I will collate these into digital format and share it in future asap.
I downloaded Safari Queue app and read PMBOK on the go. Also downloaded "Hyper PMP" app from google play store- this turned out to be my boon to understand how the ITTO relates across each Process groups.
After this tried out full mock tests- similar to final exam. Before my exam I completed taking almost 15 mock exams and my scores range between 70-80 in all my mocks. I analyzed all the questions that went wrong and was able to identify where I went wrong. The reason for going wrong in most of the questions will be not understanding the question properly. Re-reading and analyzing helped me to understand how my perception varied from the correct one.
For example, in one of my practice sessions, I selected that I will implement the workaround when a previously unidentified risk is identified during execution. But that's wrong. Only when a previously unidentified risk occurs, work around has to be implemented. If not we have to document in risk register and perform analysis and plan risk response- as Identify Risks is an iterative process. Now I hope you understand how a single word-"Occured" or "identified" changed the meaning of entire question and its answer. The more mock questions you take you can identify these minor challenges.
I will provide the free resources link in my next post where you can take up these tests online.
During the exam:
The 4 hour exam session is an ample time for anyone to complete attending all your questions. I was able to complete all my 200 questions with in 3 hr and 15 mins. (I did not take any breaks during the exam.) Post which I reviewed all the 47 questions that I marked to review later. Still I had more than 15 mins to review almost 50-60 questions. Hence do not be in a hurry to complete your exam. Review the words in the question, Identify which KA and PG it falls in and answer accordingly. If you are not sure of the answer, mark it for review but do not leave your answer blank- Select the answer which you feel as most appropriate- since there are no negative marking. After completing answering 200 questions you can still go ahead and review them and answer correctly.
I did not used any brain dump for my exam, and its your personal choice to create one-if you feel to make note of important points before you start answering.
2 best features that assist you during exam:
1. You can highlight part of the question by selecting the text.
2. You can strike out the options which you are very sure as incorrect answer by right clicking on it.
These 2 features are explained in the demo tutorial-15 mins before your exam. Its upto you to make best use of it. On your first time when you go through you can very well strike off the option that you feel incorrect. This help you to review your marked questions easily.
Hope my experience helped you gain some idea. Will be happy to provide support and guidance for taking up the exam. Saving Changes...
Congratulations!. It is a quite interesting story to set up the 4 to 5 month length study plan. I want to hear your story to revise your original plan and go with your iterative revised plans. Saving Changes...
Congratulations on earning your PMP! Very impressive performance as well. Sharing your journey should prove very helpful to many pursuing their PMP. Thank you. I hope others will share their journey's with other exams in the future. Saving Changes...