Welcome to secret order of PMP (you can always spot us because we spell "PMP" backwards)
I've already written a LL file, but in portuguese ... This time I'll write a LL file but in english, so that everyone can use it. I'll try not to repeat myself for those of you who do speak and read portuguese ... On this new approach I'll also try to go deeper.
1 - There is no such thing as a right Method in terms of studying for the PMP- My moto : suit yourself, know yourself.
2 - First minutes in the room : I prayed to all known Gods for about 10 minutes and then entered the hall. I was calm, cool and collected. After the GTBC experience, I was like, in a "C'mon, PMI, stop me if you can" kind of attitude, and before 15 minutes, had come down crashing to earth :). The first few questions were smashing hard, and I thought "HUBRIS!"
3 - I quickly realised that I could not spend too much time with each question so I quickly ignored the questions I couldn't answer in less than 30 sec.'s. This helped as there were quite a few easy questions later, and before 2 hours, I had finished browsing through the 200 questions once, and about 70 of them were marked. I went through one more round and now I wasn't sure only about 30 questions. Then I went through a third round - and this time I had answered all questions.
By then, about 3 hours had elapsed. I still had 1 hour. So, took a break, came back and revised once, twice, thrice all the 200 questions. Finally, 10 minutes before the clock was due to stop, I collected my wits and pressed the "End" button. 30 seconds of suspense later, much to my relief, there was the "Congratulations" message. All's well that ends well.
4 - There are a lot of questions that are " Unbelievably " situational, you can just select 2 or three " best " answers and might have many arguments supporting your answers based on experience, knowledge.
5 - Well...200 questions are a big task..so, staying focused was probably the main challenge.
6 - Also, in all questions that you are not sure of, the approach to go with should be POE (Process of Elimination). This seems to simplify things in many cases.
7 - I actually completed the exam in 3 hours but that's just me. If I stare a question for too long, my teeny-weeny brain goes for a roller coaster ride and all choices start looking fine to me. So, I had decided to pretty much (in most of the questions) go with the first option that looks and feels right to me. This approach seems to have worked ok for me.
8 - It is important to know why a particular answer is right and why the others are wrong and moreover you should be able to visualize that if a particular option/word is mentioned/omitted the right answer could change.
9 - PMP exam requires considerable project management experience, a thorough understanding of PMBOK, grasp of project management processes and knowledge areas.
10 - Key to understanding of PMBOK is to relate your project management experience with PMBOK processes & knowledge area ( THIS IS EVERY IMPORTANT ! ).
11 - Questions are from real world scenarios. Definitions, processes & knowledge areas, require thorough understanding of question and their context. If you are not able to answer any question, skip and answer them at the end. Expect questions on certain aspects not covered in PMBOK. Properly time your exam so that you have time for review of marked or unanswered questions.
12 - Understand each process in terms of inputs, T&T and outputs clearly - as in - some processes use alternate T&T even in real-life situations (ie) If PMBOK mentions 5 T&T for a particular process, in real-life, you'll probably use one or 2 of them in a particular project in real-life.
T&T for Activity Sequencing:
PDM or ADM - highly unlikely that you will use both for the same project ( I never did ! On Y2K project I almost used two ...).
Some others are like meant to be used sequentially in the same project :
(e.g) T&T for Quantitative Risk Analysis -
1) Data Gathering and Representation techniques and 2) Modelling Techniques.
If you are doing Quantitative Risk Analysis in a project, you are most likely to use the first T&T to get the data representation probabilities distributions AND THEN follow it up by using the second T&T to generate Monte Carlo simulations or Decision Trees using the output got by applying the first T&T.
This sort of understanding puts you in good stead during the exam.
13 - ITTO - I did not try to memorize them up since it was not my cup of tea. I tried to logically remember what happens in each process, focusing on Scope, Time, Cost, Quality and Risk. I wouldn't bother memorizing ITTO's for every process but yet understanding the logic behind them. If you do that you'll be able to figure out when asked. Besides it's a pain in the neck !
14 - Application of the PMBOK knowledge and process interactions are thoroughly tested in the exam. So embrace for scenarios that can totally cloud your decision making if you are shaky.
15 - To give you a couple of example scenarios think about this, "you're a PM and your client is not accepting the deliverables and repeated meetings with the client have not yielded a resolution to this and is affecting other areas of the project, what should the PM do next ?" (Choices: modify acceptance criteria, present with a scope change, inform customer it is affecting other areas of the project so unless this is resolved the team can't move further, review the quality plan)
"you're the sponsor and the PM has escalated an unresolved minor conflict to you, what conflict resolution method will you primarily use?" (so understanding the conflict resolution methods alone is not gonna help. You need to understand how /when /where these should be used and what takes precedence over what, basically the same protocol applies to all the areas in PMBOK)
This type of understanding/learning is sure to get you across the bridge.
16 - It really felt great, believe me. It was a tough challenge, and though I went in with ultra-confidence, I was brought down to earth by PMI's well-thought out challenging questions, which really need you to have experienced situations as a Project Manager. It is a worthwhile certification to have on that count alone. If you have cracked it, then you surely have done well as a Project Manager in the past and learnt a lot as a Manager. Mere cramming won't do. It was my experience which saved me rather than all the cramming.
Final note : I recommend all of you to read Wolfgang’s comment on the post „Preparação para a Certificação PMP“ ( Preparation for the PMP Certification = Vorbereitung für die ZMP-Zertifizierung ). Unfortunately he failed for the second time.
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