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Passed PMP Exam with 5 P's on 1st attempt
I am glad to share that I had cleared the PMP examination on 6th September with all 5 P’s. I am thankful to members, admins and contributors of PMZilla and PMHangout. Most important Harwinder (of DeepFriedBrain & BrainBOK, Pawar ji, Rajesh Nair/Choudhary and few other people who created those beautiful notes.
Frankly, I was not expecting the 5P’s. I just wanted to clear it but after getting 5 P’s, now I think I was underestimating myself.
The exam was not much wordy only 5-10 questions are slighter longer, couple of questions was very tricky and others were moderated. But still I took 3 hours 45 mins to complete 1 round. I could not review all the 50-60 questions which were marked by me. But happy I got less time as I got 5 Ps. I mights have changed few questions.
My heart fell once when one uncle sitting next to me is going faster than me and even completed 30 mins before me. We started the test together but when I had a glance that he failed in exam, my confidence was down for 10 mins but then again I focused for last 15 mins to complete as failure is not the end J. “Jo hoga dekha Jayega”
Do not waste time on complex questions or n/w diagrams, you can always come back and solve it. Try to complete all questions in 3.5 hours and then rest 30 mins for quick review.
Many questions were related to CPI, SPI, CV, SV etc. Few direct ITTO also came but not much. I think the Rita Fast track and few other simulator exams are more complex than the exam. I was demotivated to see my performance on simulated exams and free questions during last days of exams. Almost scored between 58-68% in 3-4 exams and earlier in few exams I scored between 70-80%. But after reading few of the LLs from others, I focussed on a plan for last 6-7 days. When I got 62% marks on brainbok I did not go for answers. I studied for 4 days and then again gave the exam and performance was slightly improved to 68%. I did same with formula questions.
My journey started in Feb, March when I was gearing up to setup PMO office in my company. My managers motivated me to go for certification. But real prep was started in April/May with a break of couple of weeks in June/July. After that I started again with full flow until exam days w/o any weekend break.
I took PM PrepCast online 35 PDUs worth 130 USD approx which was good decision and cheap also as compared to class room training prices in Singapore. I though even I failed once with self-study, it will be still cheaper to give exam 1 more time. The podcast is nice, clear explanation and handy which can be played on any smartphones, video player and tablets. It also comes with daily questions and email course.
Frankly, I did not do much planning but read books once each and then read chapters parallel from Rita and PMBOK. I do not have formula of gaining 5 Ps but can share what I did to give exam.
I read PMBOK two days, 2 days few chapters from Rita for 2 days, few questions and 2 simulations spread out on 3-4 days and brainbok. Last day, I read Rajesh Nair Notes, quiz and ITTOs from Brainbok and my own notes which I made earlier. These notes are good and helpful.
I actually too many hours on study and practice but 5 Ps were worth for it J
My advice is Go for PMBOK 2-3 times, 2 times Rita and practice the questions on every chapter and see the results explanation. I also studied headfirst few chapters but then I focused myself on 2 books only. Rita is wordy but challenges you and warns you to study and focus. I liked the approach.
I think so many free simulators and exams questions are available so you might not have to buy simulated exams. BrainBOK comes with good package and is worth 49USD for full access and even you can choose what you want. I will really recommend it if you want to spend money.
Participate in fourms like PMZilla, PMHangout and others.
Believe in yourself.
Become PMI member atleast 3 months in advance
You must practice at least 1000 questions either paid or free.
Questions and helpful sites: I took only 1 paid full access of brainbok for last two weeks which has 75 formula questions and 1 full exam simulator along with quiz, flashcard and ITTO for 49 USD. It was really worth but I spent only two weeks on it and was not able to utilize all quiz and flashcards.
Head first 200 Free
https://www.brainbok.com –paid plus free. Buy it 1 month in advance if you want.
www.deepfriedbrainproject.com – Best explanation, blogs and links. Must read. I did mistake of reading in last 2-3 weeks. Should have read along the way.
http://pmzilla.com Good forum and resources
http://www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/75-free-questions.htm and also 200 questions
http://free.pm-exam-simulator.com/PM-prepcast free limited simulation exam- Good questions
Heldman edition 5 review questions free for PMI members,
Sample questions for PMI members (Quite good and good in numbers)
There are also groups on google and yahoo which have good resources. I do not remmeber the names but its there in some other members LLs.
Finally, thanks to my wife, mother, kids for adjusting for my study for 2 months and even friends who did not disturb me.
Go for it. Study hard and understand the concepts for exam.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Best of luck
Sumit Kakkar, PMP