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Cleared PMP at first attempt on 27th April 2012 !
It's my pleasure to share my lessons leaned in this forum. Thanks to Deep Fried Brain by Harwinder and PMZilla.
I have cleared my PMP on 27th April with Proficient at Initiating, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Moderately Proficient at Planning and Closing.
It was never easy for me being away so many years from study and I have huge workload at office as well as family commitment. Thanks to my wife and my daughters for their great support !
I have been silent onlooker at PMZilla and Deep Fried Brain forum from past 6 months. I started my preparation from Sept’ 11, but started very slowly. I could not progress well with PMBOK as it is difficult to concentrate. Then I bought Rita & Andy Crowe. But after reading few initial paragraphs from Rita I felt bit tough. As I said I was away from studies for long years. Then I started with Headfirst and then my real PMP journey started! For those who have problem starting with PMBOK, it is highly recommended to start with Headfirst. I hadn't realize when it took me into studies. Even my 8 years daughter felt interesting and started few pages of it.
But my journey was not smooth. I was very inconsistent about my study hours. I have huge workload at office, so after coming back at home it was difficult to concentrate. I tried to read in the morning while commuting to office. Then I registered myself to one of REP in Singapore, but it got cancelled due to some problem. Then I came to know about PMPrep Cast by Cornelius Fichtner and I bought their online course. But again, after few lessons I was loosing concentration. Initially I planned to appear for exam at end of Nov’11 but I had to go India for vacation, so my preparation got lost. Then I started again on January, but unfortunately my work load at office increased a lot. It was really difficult for me to keep focus on studies and I was struggling. Then at March I decided to fix a date for exam and take a challenge to put more focus and motivate myself. But my workload at office kept on increasing, I was not able to concentrate fully at my office work also. It was almost killing me. Then I decided to prepone the exam on 27th April (originally it was on May 18) since my project was affecting at office and it was import for me as well as for my office. As I preponed the exam I had to fast track some of my preparation work and it increased risk as well as errors. I could not complete some of my planned activities (could not finish Rita’s all chapter test, PMBOk Glossary, Brainbok flash cards etc). Anyway, finally I appeared for the test yesterday and completed the Project PMP ! I must say thanks to PMZilla and Harwinder from DeepFriedBrain.
My Exam was bit tough as compared to mock tests. After completing 100 questions, I was not sure whether I will pass or not. Then from last 100 it was mixed blend of easy to moderate questions. But I found hardly any Professional & Ethics questions…may be one or two. Mostly from Quality, Risk, Earned Value, Schedule etc.
Lessons Learned (main topic :
For those who are away from studies for long time and can’t concentrate on PMBOK easily, may start with Headfirst. It will take you into the subject easily. Then you can start PMBOK or Rita
Try mock test as much as you can with real exam mode. After mock test you can realize your gaps. It will keep you charged. It may not be easy for sitting 4 hours at initially. So as with me. I tried : Headfirst, Andy Crowe, Tech Faq, Exam Central, Simpli Learn, PM Study, BrainBOK. Could not find time to have PMZilla test and not tried Oliver. After PM Study, I realized the importance of reading PMBok. Point to note that the topics which I read earlier from PMBOK, I actually got into deep & real meaning after mock test like PM Study / BrainBok as most of their questions directly quote from PMBOk.
I did one unique thing, I am not sure if anybody has done the same at this forum. I copied all the good lessons leaned into one file from last 6 months (though I missed some) and I tried to read whenever I feed dull or bore to boost myself as well as to get good feedback.
I did not try to memorize all ITTOs. I tried to understand first. Then important ones I tried to memorize by mnemonics. I prepared one page short note of mnemonics, one page of formula. Last few days I kept on revising those with PMBOK Page 43.
Not recommended to start with too many books at a time. I did so and loosing track. You may start one book at a time. Anyway, I followed – HeadFirst, Rita beside PMBOK. Even though I bought Andy, I could not start it, only tried the test.
Great help from Rajesh Nair’s note from PMZilla. It gave me bird’s eye view each Knowledge area.
Sleep well at previous night of exam day. I was very unfortunate and I couldn’t do so due to some stress. But my exam was at late afternoon, so somehow managed.
Read and understand PMBOK well. I know it’s easy to say but very very difficult to do. So, as I said, start with some easy book like Headfirst and they try to read PMBOK each chapter. And then try PMStudy or Brainbok exam and they you can under the real meaning of PMBOK.
During the exam, if you find wordy mathematical Q’s, better to mark and come back again after completing one pass.
Try to prepare & appear for the exam at one go. Too long planning may not be possible if you have heavy workload at office and other commitment.
Again, thanks to PMZilla, Deepfried Brain for great knowledge sharing and thanks to my wife & daughters for their ultimate support.
Thanks & regards,