7 + 7 tips for passing PMP exam

It is raining tips on my blog…

What is the reason for so many posts with tips? Students who took training under me are passing the exam and they are sharing the tips with wanna be PMPs.

Recently Amit Arora, who took the training few weeks ago, passed the exam and attained the coveted certification. He shared his findings on a Yahoo group for PMP aspirants (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pmi-pmp-prep/) and with me.

I have cleared the PMP exam today. Thanks to Praveen Sir & this group for their guidance. I attended the classes in March this year in Gurgaon.

Overall Process Lessons learned :

  1. I targeted May to give the exam but my application was selected for Audit. Important point for everyone to note in case you don’t know- PMI selects audit applications while you pay the exam fee & not when you submit the application for review, I did not know this earlier. I had submitted the application & waited for a few days to pay the exam fee.
  2. While filling your application, make sure that the supervisors you mention are still in touch and reachable. 1 of my earlier supervisor was in USA when my application was selected for audit, it took time to get the verification form from him.
  3. Exam preparation strategy was simple- Read PMBOK a lot of times. Solved all RM questions, went through Risk/procurement knowledge areas from this book as well. Head First PMP was comparatively more interesting to read and I solved all its exercises including the mid chapter exercises.
  4. Solved each & every Scordo question & went through all its explanations thoroughly. Also solved Oliver Lehmann questions though I did not find its level to be good. Most of the questions resembled to the Scordo test list.
  5. A suggestion to the pursuing team members- While going through the explanations of questions you attempted wrong, always write the conclusions in a notebook. Create your own database of lessons learned. This helped me a lot in revisions at the last moment.
  6. While solving any exercise, I marked the questions which were being attempted with doubt. Since we usually don’t go through the explanation of all the right answers, this technique helped me in finding out if I thought in the correct direction related to the question
  7. Try to go through Glossary as mentioned in PMBOK. 1 stop place for all definitions in case you have any last minute doubts.

About the Exam :

  1. Lot of Numericals on Cost management which are actually very easy to attempt. Practice a lot of questions. There is a PMP Mathematics sheet provided by Knowledge woods with all the formulas and sample questions. This will help in last time preparations.
  2. A lot of questions related to Project Charter.
  3. 3. A lot of tricky questions. Look for key words- ALWAYS, NOT, EXCEPT, MUST etc.
  4. Followed Praveen Sir’s advice- DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING & READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY.
  5. Be calm and patient during the exam- 1 question which I specifically remember. There was a very big network diagram of at least 25 activities and the question asked float on critical path. The answer is obvious if we dont jump to calculate it.
  6. The exam is not at all difficult if you clear your concepts.
  7. The Scordo and other sample test papers follow a lot of questions on Ethics, the exam had no such question but there is no harm in reading those 5-10 pages. I read it in Head first.

The Result :

Proficient in all process groups and Moderately Proficient in Closing Process group.

Hope I added some value to the group. If you need any other information, please do let me know.

Lucky 7. Er…A man makes his own luck…

January 2014 Update: We have discontinued the Yahoo Group. You can join PMP discussion forum on Linkedin and post your questions.

February 2016 Update: PMI used to have a eReads section on their website. It had wealth of knowledge material. eReads had about 1000 free sample exam questions from Christopher Scordo. These questions were considered to be the Gold Standard for the Exam. Unfortunately PMI has taken off this section after January 2016. But, if you want, you can click here to buy Christopher Scordo’s PMP Practice Exams directly from his website. Before you buy, you can also look at my article that compares 6 popular PMP exam simulators to read more about Christopher Scordo’s simulator.

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

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