PMP has by far been the hardest certification I’ve ever taken, and I wanted to do a post one day before I take the exam so that my thoughts about my preparation aren’t ‘tainted’ by my result tomorrow.
The most difficult part of the preparation has been coming to terms with the fact that PMP mainly tests your ability to cram the PMBOK, and you can’t pass this test if you don’t memorize the PMBOK.
Once I accepted that I started looking for ways to minimize errors in the test, and look for areas where you can score good if you memorize something.
If someone were to start the preparation today, I would recommend you memorize these things for the test, and do the following things which have helped me thus far.
Quality Theorists: This is the easiest part of the exam because you need to learn about a dozen or so names, and then the questions which appear in the exam related to this subject is a sure shot scoring area.
All Formulas: This is another easy area where you just need to learn a few formulas which are probably the equivalent of six standard Math and it guarantees that you score all numerical questions right, which can be quite a few.
All 47 Processes: I started off thinking how the hell can anyone learn this to a point now where I think it is not too hard to memorize this. I have felt a distinct improvement in my results once I memorized this list, and wrote it down just before writing the test. Referring to this list helps in a few questions but more than that I think it is just the fact that you refresh this in your mind a few minutes before the test that really helps you.
ITTO of 4 processes in the Initiating and Closing process group: As I wrote earlier these four processes have a disproportionate number of questions attached to them so I decided to give them a little extra effort and memorize everything about them. It is simply not possible for me to cram the ITTO of all 47 processes now, but if you can do it then I’m sure it will greatly help.
Apart from cramming this stuff I also paid a lot of attention to the Ethics area last week, something which I never did before. It follows the same reasoning that it is a very easy area to score and I want to think like the ‘book’, and if the book says a certain type of transaction is not a bribe but something you can check with your managers then I want to be aware of that.
Lastly, one mistake that I’ve made at least three or four times in a lot of questions is to mis-read the question by reading, “what should you do?”, instead of “what should you not do?” for instance.
This is just really really terrible as these type of unforced errors can cause me the certification, and I’ll really kick myself if I got questions wrong like this. I’m going to try to read the last line of every question first before I read the whole question to stop making this kind of mistake. It’s a little unusual to do, but I think it really helps in priming your brain to the right question before all the wordiness creates a haze. I’m hopeful this will work.
I’m optimistic about my chances tomorrow, and I’ll write a follow up post on the results for sure. It has been an interesting few months trying to battle this beast, and I hope to come out on top tomorrow!