How I Passed the PMP Exam

I just wanted to give the details on what helped me pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification exam. Here are the things I did:

  1. At first I was going to take the CAPM exam because my job title is not Project Manager. I am a teacher. Two Project Managent training professionals told me to reconsider because even though my title is not Project Manager, I have done projects in my position as a teacher. They encouraged me to think hard about the projects that I had managed and also to use the online registration form.
  2. I joined the PMI and started reading the PMBOK Guide, which you receive when you join PMI. I didn’t quite totally understand what it was talking about. So I stopped at chapter 5, but also read chapter 12.
  3. I purchased the PMPrepcast. Things got clearer, but I still needed help.
  4. I took the Learning Tree course called Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam  Preparation. The PMBOK got way clearer, but still I needed a little more coaching.
  5. I took a sample 200 question exam that Learning Tree gave at the end of the course. While studying, I focused on questions I missed.
  6. At the completion of the class, I registered for the exam. After my approval, I scheduled my test date for the first available day that included a 2 week lag.
  7. I read the PMBOK Guide 1.5 more times.
  8. I took the sample Learning Tree exam again.
  9. I continued to listen to the PMPrecast and things got a WHOLE lot clearer. I started to understand that I was definitely managing projects and that there is a language associated with the steps that I was taking to complete the project.
  10. I also read sections of Kathy Schwalbe’s Information Technology Project Management and Introduction to Project Managment books. I used these books to learn more about schedules, earned value formulas, and real world project management.
  11. During the week before the exam I took a short sample exam on the Internet. I really didn’t like the way they asked the questions and I didn’t like the fact that there were 5 answer choices for each question. I stopped investigating the sample exams on the Internet and stuck with understanding any questions I got wrong on the Learning Tree exam and understanding the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. 
  12. Although I didn’t have all of the inputs memorized, I still knew in general what type of input would be needed. I think understanding the materials were the most important for me. I did memorize the project management process groups and the knowledge areas. I basically memorized page 70 of the PMBOK Guide.
  13. I took the exam on July 10, 2008 and passed.

I would like to give a lot of credit to the Applied Concepts episodes of the PMPrepcast. These were the MOST valuable. The rest of the episodes were also necessary, but the Applied Concepts covered topics that were not covered in detail in the PMBOK Guide but are part of the Project Management Body of Knoweldge such as Virtual Teams, Motivation, Leadership, Earned Value, Risk Attitudes, Authority, and Team Development.

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