AT A GLANCE
The author of this lessons learned sat for and passed the project management professional (PMP®) exam on first shot. He read a lot of lessons learned and advices from others. However, he considered many of the advices were not applicable or even flawed. Below he listed what helped him to achieve the PMP® Certification:
- Do not memorize the ITTOs. ITTO’s (inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs) are a important element for the PMP® exam. But who can remember all the 650+ ITTO’s perfectly? I just ignored the advice to recite all of them.
- Exposure instead of memorization. One just need to recognize what the ITTO’s are and associate them to processes. The key to achieving this is to get repeated exposure from multiple perspectives (e.g. multiple exam prep books, multiple articles, and multiple mediums). It helps you to remember many of the ITTO’s after much exposure.
- Don’t buy Rita Mulcahy’s PMP® Exam Prep Book just because everyone use it. It does everything well and nothing great. You will have to work really hard with this book in order to pass the PMP® exam as everything is so difficult. There are alternatives.
- Andy Crowe’s How to Pass the PMP® Exam on your First Try is a great exam prep book. This exam prep book is great as it is exam-oriented. It is recognized that Andy Crowe is the king of context, priority, and focus. Every page keeps telling you “How important is this on the exam? When is it used?”. I saved you a lot of time by reading this for the PMP® exam. However, the explanations for difficult concepts are not particularly good.
- Head First PMP® helps you to understand difficult concepts easily. Though the format of this book is a bit “crazy” (in its own term ‘according to the latest findings in cognitive research’), it gives clear and concise explanations which really help you to understand. These guys could teach a little child the concept of earned value management. Crowe orientates you to the PMP® exam through laser-focus vision while Head First helps you understand everything you don’t know.
- Create a braindump. A “braindump” contains key knowledge and formulas which you can write from your memory onto a piece of paper. You are highly advised to do this just before the PMP® exam begins. A braindump is unbelievably critical to the real PMP® exam because the questions on the exam would give complex situations and descriptions whereas only simple formulas will solve it. The braindump helps you put things into perspective so that you will know which formula to use.
- Little habits. The following habits
- Eat right. Have a balanced diet including brain foods which can improve memory and recall, e.g. protein (e.g. eggs) and omega-3 (e.g. deep sea fishes).
- Exercise every day. Exercise can improve blood circulation and increases your alertness and concentration.
- Have great sleep. Don’t study late. Staying up late is the least productive. Have good rest to refresh your b rain.
- Take days off from work. Should circumstances allow, take days off for relaxation or concentrated study.
- Bring a snack to the exam venue. Put some caffeine, water, and snacks in your locker outside the exam room. You might feel hungry during the exam.
- Use the Project Management PrepCast for PMP® exam preparation. Cornelius Fitchner’s PM PrepCast™ digests the PMBOK® Guide for you so that you can understand and reinforce the knowledge learnt. You can also utilized your hearing and visual sense to better remember the contents. Best of all, you can listen to it and prepare for the PMP® exam during your travel time.
- Fix a date for the PMP® exam. Once you get approved to take the exam, fix a date and schedule the exam. This will help you keep focussing on your preparation which helps you pass the exam.
~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Anonymous