5 Questions For Those Who Passed the PMP Exam

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TonyD
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For those who passed the PMP exam, wondering if you could share your experience by answering the following 5 questions:

1) What year did you take and pass the exam?
2) Did you pass on your first try and if not how many tries did it take?
3) How many hours of studying did you invest?
4) Which courses, books and/or materials did you use for your studying?
5) If there is only one tip you can give for those about to take the exam, what would that be?

I will be taking the exam some time this July 2015 (haven't yet booked it) as I have a week long exam prep course that is scheduled for the 1st week of June. Super nervous as the company is paying for it so all eyes will be on me. Part of me thinks it would have been better to pay for it myself just so that I don't feel the weight of the world on my shoulder to pass this exam. But I'm too cheap to pass up on the offer...lol
"When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
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dhaughey
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Hi TonyD,

I passed the PMP exam first time in February 2008, and like you, my company funded the course and exam. My formal training was with QA-IQ, their PMP Crammer (21 hours) and four virtual classrooms (4 hours each). This training covered my 35 hours of project management education.

Having tried to wade through the rather dry PMBOK Guide, I bought Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep, which is a much easier read. It's well laid out and filled with helpful exercises and exam tips. I read the book cover-to-cover and after spent time dipping into areas with which I was least confident. I spent about a year studying and preparing for the exam while working full-time.

I used Rita's PM Fast Track Simulation Software to simulate exam conditions on the day. I took two mock exams at home, and as it turned out, they were very close to my experience on the exam day. I'd recommend this approach, particularly as it highlights your weakest areas on which you need to concentrate.

My number one tip for anyone about to take the PMP exam is this:

Learn the Earned Value formulas and how to calculate schedule variance, cost variance, schedule performance index, etc. Easy marks are available for knowing simple mathematical formulas.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on and your experience of taking the exam.

Duncan
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TonyD
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Thx for the tip Dhaughey.

I just finished a 5 day boot camp prep exam course from Global Knowledge and now well schooled in all the Earned Value formulas that you mentioned in your posting. They are easy to do and hard to get a wrong answer since its mathematical (not subjective) so I hope I get a lot of those questions!
At this point I am just awaiting PMI to process my submitted application and then will book an exam for the end of this month.
So far on the practice exams I'm averaging in the high 70's but the prof suggested that we should be avg around mid 80's.
"When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
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TonyD
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So as promised an update on my exam results and with great joy & relief (since the whole dept knew that I was taking the test) I am now a certified PMP! I will answer my own 5 questions as well.

1) What year did you take and pass the exam?
A) 2015

2) Did you pass on your first try and if not how many tries did it take?
A) 1st try (lucky me!)

3) How many hours of studying did you invest?
A) Over a span of 2 months everyday and probably i would estimate about 100 hrs

4) Which courses, books and/or materials did you use for your studying?
A) I took the Global Knowledge exam prep boot camp, read Rita Mulcalhy Exam Prep 8th edition and Andy Crowe (How to pass on your 1st try)

5) If there is only one tip you can give for those about to take the exam, what would that be?
A) There's so many advice but if I had to give one tip is that on your exam, read the question carefully. There are a lot of tricky words put in there to confuse and trick you and so you really need to understand clearly what the question is asking.

Final thoughts:

A friend of mines warned me that the exam is harder than the mock practice exams and he was right. All I can really advise anyone who is aspiring to take the exam is study your ass off. The exam really tests your knowledge of the details of the PMI'ism . Another good advice the course professor gave us is that you better be scoring over 85% on your practice exams before you attempt the exam and he was right. Anyhow now that this is done, just got to make sure I keep up my pdu's to renew as I never want to go through that again!
"When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
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