By Drax Patel, PMP

It was about six months before I took the test, I decided to become a PMP (I wrote a project SOW and justified the business case). After doing some research (initiating), I discovered PMI NE FL study group was about to start . After I joined the group (Signed off Project Charter), I realized there were lots of gaps in my knowledge to be filled in as far as test was concerned (I got my scope statement polished). The study group (thanks to all stakeholders) helped me in achieving my goals. After a few months, towards the end of the study group meetings (after executing, monitoring & controlling phases), I decided to take the exam (ready to close the project).
The test was as expected. I was very nervous for the first few questions. I used a two pass strategy, passed all math questions in the first pass questions. I feel like all test questions were revolving around the following;
* Quality management
* Risk management
* Procurement management
* What PM does next?
* Acquire, develop, and manage team
* Math Qs
* Tuckmann Ladder

It took me 3 hours 49 minutes to finish the test. But I was glad at the end of the day mission was accomplished.

By Gina Lynch, PMP

Getting my PMP certification has been on my to-do list for a few years. However, like everyone else, work and life gets in the way of studying.

I have to admit that it took two tries to pass the exam. I am not embarrassed by that. In fact, I learned quite a bit because of the first attempt.

The first time, I thought that I was prepared. I self-studied with two guide books on and off for a couple of months. I would say that the exam questions where nowhere near what I expected.

The exam questions are so broad. Any 2 answers can be correct. The hardest part was figuring out – which one is best in the eyes of the PMI.  I sincerely thought that with my real-world experience as a PM that I could figure it out. Well, the PMP exam will humble even the BEST project managers.

So, I decided that I wasn’t going to quit. I kept studying on my own and then decided I would take a 3-day intensive boot camp offered by the Northeast Chapter put on by Ten-Step.  I attended the boot camp on a Thu, Fri and Sat and scheduled the exam on Sunday. Folks in the class thought I was crazy. However, after getting the concepts drilled into my head for 3 days, I was able to pass!

My recommendations for future PMP hopefuls is to take it very seriously. It is not something that you can “wing” just by real world experience alone. And you cannot read the book as if it were a fiction novel. The PMP has some questions that only one answer will do – and it may not make sense to you in a real world setting. But the PMI expects a certain answer.

I suggest self-studying the entire PMBOK to get an idea of the structure and layout. Then study the concepts. Share the studying with someone else if you can. It helps to talk through the concepts.

The first time around, I got so caught up in the formulas and math part that I neglected the conceptual parts. And that’s where I failed. Also, while studying, begin to understand that the PMI wants you to know the patterns and processes (what comes first, what do you do next? Etc.)  Then attend an intensive boot camp where you can get practice and have someone there to help with techniques to remember the material.

The PMP exam is HARD. Even if you are very bright and capable. I know I can say that for sure.

Hope this helps and if I can assist with future chapter events, please let me know.