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LL - Passed PMP in first Attempt (16th July 2012) with 4P/1MP
With God's grace and support of my family, I passed PMP Exam today in first attempt with 4P's and 1 MP.
Initiation - P
Planning - P
Executing - P
Monitor & Control - P
Closing - MP
I have been a frequent visitor to websites like PMZilla/DeepFriedBrainProject and truth be told it has helped me immensely to prepare for the exam. So it is fitting I share my LL here.
My special thanks to Saket Sir, Admin,Pawarjee, KK, Anmol Sinha (PMPForSure) , Harvinder (Deepfriedbrain) for guidance. I have always learnt from their discussions on several forums and it has helped me prepare better.
Story so far -
Preparation Time: 3 months
Preparation Start Date: 16th April 2012
Exam Date: 16th July 2012
Weekdays - 2 hours after office
Weekends - 6 hours
I didnot take a classroom coaching for PMP but used my company Project management related trainings for 35PDU's.Received letter from company's training department signed by my HR on company letter head as a proof.
I really freaked out when my application was picked for random audit but then sanity prevailed and I was able to clear the Audit within 4 working days.Took signatures from my supervisor along with proof of training letter and xerox of educational certificates for my bachelors degree Once the courier reached PMI office, audit was cleared within 3 hours ( duration difference between email from PMI - your courier recieved till your audit cleared email)
Key Sources of study :
a. PMBOK v4 - bible
b. Rita Mulcahy v6 - gives big picture view of how things actually are in a large organisation. PMI'isms give an insight on real life project management.
c. PMZilla Discussions -interesting & inspirational- gives one a glimmer of hope that with constant and focussed approach exam can be passed.
d. www.deepfriedbrain.com - Good website with several key concepts often confused (WPI vs WPM etc) section which was very helpful
e. BrainBOK Subscription - I took this on KK's recommendation. Good Glossary, ITTO and Data flow quizzes to revise again. Online webbased ITTO consolidated together helped me study while travelling on my iPad.
Preparations Tools & Techniques:
I studied PMBOK and Rita Mulcahy in parallel. First read from Rita then read the same chapter from PMBOK- slowly but steadily covered the entire book.
This was followed by chapter wise tests from PMFastrack.This took around 5 weeks.
I also tried to complicate things by starting to read Kim Heldsman after this but I stopped right after few chapters. Thanks to Saket Sir's advise on one of the forums - reading multiple books was confusing me.
I also started giving mock tests very early and overall had done more than 3500 sample questions (list below). Each sample test had something unique in it - taught me things which never occurred to me or whether questions can also be framed that way.
ITTO's - I tried memorising them but could not do so. So just revised them till regularly.
However a key turning point was PMPForSure test. I got to know about these set of exams from one of Saket Sir's discussion. When I gave the free 50 question test I flunked with 72% marks and BP in Initiation and Closing. This was a rude awakening - on retrospective I decided to hone my these 2 areas specifically. I bought the entire PMPForSure package and it really helped
me improve my consistency and knowledge. (Thanks Anmol)
Sample Exams -
Oliver Lehmann 75 72% first sample exam - difficult than actual exam.
Rita Fastrack PMP - 85% - Good situational questions makes you think about real life scenarios
Rita Fasttrack SuperPMP - 82%
Farndale 265 questions - 86% interesting question which test concept rather than direct quotes of PMBOK
PMZilla 200 questions 73% Complex but when I scored 73% on it - I realised that things are going in the right direction.
Oliver Lehmann 175 - 82% Good detailed version - complex than actual exam - good practise for concepts at a higher level
PMPForSure 10 tests - average of 84% - close to real exam
PMStudy1 - 81% - close to real exam
PMStudy2 - 84% - close to real exam
PMStudy3 - 83% - close to real exam
PMStudy4 - 86% - close to real exam
BrainBOK Maths Quiz Tough 50 questions- Really tough - 1st Attempt 66% 2nd Attempt - 84% - this gave a lot of confidence on handling maths related questions.
Exam Day -
Reached Prometric Center early and was checked in after extensive checks.
Brain dumped because everyone said we should brain dump 42 processes - didnot even refer once to the sheet.
80% of the exam was from Procurement Management, Communication Management, Quality Management areas
Maths approx questions on Earned Value, Expected Monetary Value, Graphs of S Curve to interpret
large situational questions related to change control/ procurement/quality audits/ team communicationscontract breach
critcal path related questions.
On complex questions 2 answers could be easily ruled out and that made the task easier.
I also felt in between that they are taking a test of my English than actual Project Management as questions were twisted in english while the actual PMBOK concept behind it was straightforward.
few questions were really complex which I could not understand at all after - so I just made an intelligent guess on them and moved on.
Took me overall 3hours10 minutes to finish the exam (in mock test environment I used to finish well within 2.5 hours). I took one quick rest room break after 200 questions
Marked 30 questions for review and checked them quickly. Submitted the exam by 3hour 30min mark and received the Congratulations message !
Thanks once again to everyone for their help. It was a really enriching and learning experience. I will now look forward to implementing my learnings on my projects.