I would not have had the discipline to study for the exam without the combination of the PMISFBAC bootcamp + forming a study habit, of one hour per day in the weekday mornings.
PMP Study Timeline
January-July: Master of Project materials used during 3-4 months. Took the quizzes at end of each section. Online videos were somewhat laborious to get through, and I'd say this was not the most impactful study over the course of 2017. I kept my subscription for 5-6 months.
September: 4-day PMIBAC PMP bootcamp and accompanying Andy Crowe Pass on Your First Try book materials
- ditched the Master of Project materials from the bootcamp onward,
- focused the first 2-3 weeks straight after bootcamp to complete the short Andy Crowe exams at end of each chapter, and reading the book. Right after the bootcamp is when to form a strict study habit!
- Focused on my weaker quiz results which I logged in a tracking spreadsheet
- Conversations audio on the processes, with approximately one knowledge area to study per week.
- Velociteach flashcards for one knowledge area to the café near my house - Nomad Café, highly recommend it! Used this time to remember key ITTOs and processes.
October: Having reached my exam eligibility, I scheduled my exam for December, a Monday at 1pm, when I figured I'd be most refreshed.
- I used my early mornings 630-730 to go through flashcards or the Crowe book
- Took the timed test in the Crowe book, reviewing questions I got wrong and the explanations
- on my BART commutes I would drill by answering practice questions on my phone using the PMP Practice Test 2017 Edition Android app. I set a timer so I made sure I wasn't taking too long per question. Careful craning your neck though while studying this way! Over the course of two months I had answered probably over 50% of the question in the app. You can get a ton of practice this way on the go.
- At the suggestion of a fellow bootcamp student I also installed the PMP ITTO Android app, whose questions and centralization of the knowledge came in handy for my commute study sessions.
- Re-tested on only the questions I got wrong in the Crowe book practice test, again reviewing the rationale from the answer key
November: I took most timed practice tests in this month
- Got onto Velociteach website and entered Crowe test code, took some mini-tests and a longer test, trying to improve on my results..
- By end of November I had read through Crowe book, and started reading the book's glossary.
- Started reading the PMBOK glossary also, and reviewed some sections of interest and diagrams to get a bigger picture view of the process flow.
December: purchased Practice Test B through Velociteach
- Reviewed the common ITTOs (inputs, tools/techniques, outputs), For OPA, PM plan and EEF, it is helpful to note when they are or are not used, depending how common they are.
- I started practicing mini-brain dumps with mnemonic devices taught in the Velociteach materials, i.e. binder received from bootcamp. I recommend reviewing your notes in the binder, and regurgitating the key ITTOs on paper, one process at a time, perhaps focus on one per day
- Reviewed questions I got wrong and the explanations - perhaps I was tired and the late afternoon was not a good time to test. This was not the score I hoped to get and I became a bit stressed the week leading up to the test
- I focused on the areas that needed work by taking my notepad and writing the flow of inputs, tools and techniques and outputs through the process, sometimes writing the same process over again to solidify memory.
- Practice the brain dump a few times before entering the exam, even if it's a slim list of things to remember
- Remember how you plan to budget your time. If it helps, when moving to each question, try to hold yourself to 30-45 seconds per question, using two 5-10 breaks during the exam. This is not possible for all questions, like those that require diagramming or calculation.
ON THE REAL EXAM
- Took the Prometric tutorial at the beginning before exam started.
- Over course of exam, marked a staggering 40-50 questions, which I wrapped up at the end of the exam, only leaving 2 minutes to spare. On some of the questions, I ended up selecting answers I had struck out with the right click mouse button, so careful with that strike-out function!
- My "Previous" button stopped working after like question 50. Later in the exam, I went to "Review", returned to my place, and the "Previous" button was back. I reported this to Prometric.
- My results said I earned "Above Target" in all process areas except "Close", which was at "Target".
What's next? I want to learn and grow more, and make a better working world. am also keen to finish a few more episodes of Westworld and getting back to practicing guitar and learning music.