Preparation tips for PMP
Among several certifications out there in the market, PMP (Project Management Professional) certainly stands out unique, as it is being embraced several types of industry/business sectors. And if you possess this certification, you add a great value not only for yourself but also to the firm or company you are part of. And here in this article, I am going to share some great preparation tips for PMP exam.
Book(s) to read –
So where do we start our preparation? The sixth edition of PMBOK ( Project Management Book Of Knowledge) is one of the must-read guides in order to pass the exam. Of course, there are other books out there in the market, but I still recommend to at least keep the PMBOK guide for a quick revision, although you decide to have either Rita Mulchay’s PMP® Exam Prep or Head first PMP books as your primary reference material. But in my case, I have just used the PMBOK guide alone for my PMP exam preparation and passed the exam in the first attempt successfully. Also if time permits, I would recommend reading the guide more than once before you attempt the exam. The PMBOK guide also features very nice diagrams for the ITTO concepts in each chapter. One who has a good command over the ITTO concepts for all the 10 knowledge areas in project management, will be able to perform better in the final exam.
How to handle ITTO?
Those who are already preparing for the PMP exam, know how important and crucial is the concepts of ITTO (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, Outputs). Some of them recommend to memorize the ITTO concepts and some don’t. In general, although it is hard to memorize all the ITTO concepts, I would still recommend having as much as you can memorize them. Lot of us have our own ways to memorize things. And if you need some easy ways, I would recommend, downloading the ITTO concepts flashcards from this link which makes it easy for learning/memorizing ITTO concepts.
This is the most important step in your preparation. Although you read all the material and memorize the ITTO concepts, you will only get a chance to analyze your strengths and weakness once you start attempting practice exams. There are a lot of free resources available on the internet for practicing the PMP exam. I have listed few of the links below.
The Final Real Exam
The real exam is 4 hrs long and has 200 questions to answer. The sheer number of questions and duration itself is a big challenge to overcome. Keep your preparation to a minimum on the final day of the exam. Remember, you would have already spent a lot of time practicing various exams and memorizing a lot of stuff. Get a good night sleep and try to keep yourself calm. Logically divide the time into 1 hr segments and target to complete 50 questions each hour. If you completed more than 50 questions in 1 hour, consider them as a bonus. Don’t rush through the exam, as some of the questions will be lengthy. Spend time and eliminate the wrong choices. In my case, the first 40 questions or so of the exam looked so tough. I felt every question had more than 1 choice as the correct answer and one hour of the exam was already passed. Although it caused some nervousness, I quickly took a break and calmed myself to bring back the focus. Coincidentally it helped and the next 100 questions or so was so quick, that I answered them in about an hour. It gave me huge confidence, that I was certain I will pass the exam. When I realized there is a lot of time left for the last 60 questions, I was much relaxed and completed the exam successfully in less than 3 hours 15 minutes. So my 2 cents of advice to all those folks out there going for the exam, to keep yourself calm, stay focused and think as a project manager for every question recollecting the fundamentals of the concepts you have read to answer the questions. You will certainly win and pass the exam with flying colors.