Passes PMP on 22nd July with 5 Ps (First attempt)
I wanted to share my joy with you all to you know that I appeared for PMP exam today. I passed the test successfully with Proficiency in every level. Woohoo!
When I started 3 weeks to go, I was puzzled to read all the Lessons Learned here. People give a lot of effort into this. So I thought that there is no point to study anymore! Because, in order to achieve what they were doing, I need at least 3-6 months based on my work-personal life balance.
I completed my 35 PDUs with Education Edge in Toronto (www.educationedge.ca). The instructor, Hemant Dhariyal, told me once during class: “Don’t memorize, and try to get the concept”. As an obedient student, that’s what I followed.
My Lesson’s learned:
This is what I did:
1. Attended Hemant Dhariyal’s Education Edge Classes in Toronto. Paid attention to each and everything he said and took proper notes.
2. I didn’t NOT study by Knowledge area! I studied by Project Phase. In first class, Hemant told us, “PMBoK teaches you top-down but they test you right to left!” I remembered that and that’s the way I studied. For example: This week I am going to study Execution; so I read all processes in Execution phase.
3. PMBoK is very dry to read! So I skimmed through the book while I listened/viewed all the videos from PM PrepCast™ by Conrnelius Fichtner. This was particularly helpful to go over the book. I didn’t have to read it all but I was able to follow all sections and listened the details provided by the presenter.
4. I practiced the sample questions provided by Education Edge in class. This was very similar to exam questions. These were very similar questions/concept with a different story by PMI.
5. I did the practice test provided by Education Edge. They guaranteed that if I pass the test, they will guarantee my success. Else they pay for next seating. But I didn’t have to go through the pain!
NO I DIDN’T NOT Memorize the ITTOs. Rather, went through them all and tried to follow a logical sequence. Asked myself the questions,
“Where is this input coming from?
“Why is this a ‘T&T’ for this process?”
“Why is this an output for this process?”
“ Where will this output go next?”
This way, I was able to make a mind map of all ITTOs for the 42 process groups. If you follow the logical relationships in all chapters combined, you will find a lot of patterns to remember. Our human brain is really good in remembering patterns. So, abuse it! J For example: ‘work performance information’ is a common input to all M&C processes. Print all the ITTO figures from each chapter, put them on a aboard and try to link with arrows. You will see what you discover! I will leave that to you. J
Whenever you study an area, try to question yourself: How do I use it at my work. It was very easy for me because it is part of my day-to-day job with some differences in process. My work didn’t embrace PMI-ism yet. But it’s similar. The terms are named difference but I was able to relate.
This was my way of doing it. It may or may not work for some people. But it worked for me. I studied at an average 2 hours a day during weekday and 5 hours during weekends. My focus was on understanding the material.
First 15 minutes, I wrote down 42 processes and relevant arrows to guide myself which process after what. As you know that the processes don’t flow have top-down (like shown in page 43). I also wrote down some formula from Cost Control section.
Questions: I cannot count which section had how many questions. But I thought I got tested in every process group. They were very similar to sample questions provided by Education Edge. Most of my cost calculation involved me to use 3 different BAC and EAC formula. IRR, NPV, BCR. Name it, every single formula was tested; except for Schedule Variance. There were a lot of network diagram questions involving critical path analysis. (Very easy!). They do provide extraneous stories in the questions to consume your time. But a lot were just irrelevant.
I don’t know how it would add value by reading PMBoK 100 times and RITA 500 times and solving 1.2 million simulation questions. If the concept isn’t clear, you might be able to get your PMP license by doing that effort, but will you truly be able to apply the knowledge in your everyday life? Ask that questions to yourself! I wanted to get something out of this course and not just another designation after my last name on Linkedin and business card. Please don’t memorize because after 3-5 years, you will probably forget. We tend to forget if you don’t get the concept unless you have an eidetic memory. And most of us don’t!
Allot your time to read the PMBoK once. But when you read it, relate the information to your work life. And that’s the best way to get the concept. If you have done a major project with one or more contact within it, you should be able to pass the exam with flying colours. If you haven’t, then ask yourself, how you would do it when you actually implement it at your work life. This will help you to grasp the knowledge.
Hope this information helps and Good luck studying!