PMP Exam Planning

PMHUB is a non profit making body of professionals and their website has some very useful tips, tricks and related material for aspiring PMPs to help them get through the prestigious PMP examination which many PMs find extremely hard to crack at the first attempt itself. PMHUB has a registered membership of 43,000; and I reproduce below a feedback given by Admin – PMHUB on one of my contributions to the PMP community: 

“This is an LL with one of the most detailed discussions that gives all aspirants a very good insight of what happens at PMP exams and how to cope with it. This LL (lessons learnt) is written by Nagesh who is an active contributor, a PMHUB moderator and an active donator to PMHUB funds. PMHUB has collected in its archives thousands of Lessons Learned, since 2001. I have selected here 6 Lessons Learned that were all written after 2005 on exams based on PMBOK 3rd edition. I consider these LLs as the best of the best in their depth and uniqueness in covering each aspect of the PMP learning process and the PMP exam itself. I strongly suggest that you carefully read each LL and then take advantage of the treasure of information, tips and tricks and the kinds of questions that will appear on the exam. I really regret that I took my exam before these LLs were written.”

The PMP is indeed a very hard examination to crack and it is not by any means a mere cakewalk. You have to be persistently at it and put in a lot of hard work if you are to pass this exam. All concerned should be very grateful to PMHUB for their efforts in hosting a great website in the caliber of www.pmhub.net. It is like a bible for many PMPs. I also have been a very grateful, though silent observer myself for sometime, but I believe the time has now come for me too to give something back in return. So I have started contributing regularly to their forum. On the whole, I hold mixed feelings about the exam. It is definitely not the easiest of exams to crack; but nevertheless, I am glad to tell you all that hard work you put in really pays at the end. I believe that I got through with a good percentage due the hard work I put in.

My preparation for the exam spanned a total period of around 3 weeks of which the last 2 were at a more intensive level. By then I was already holding a MBA and with valuable experience as a Project Manager. Looking back, I know that the above learning and experience gave me an edge at the preparation stage though not necessarily at the actual exam. The extents of advantages gained through your past qualifications and experience could of course vary from one individual to another. 

The questions reproduced below from PMHUB are meant to serve as a sample to set your thinking process in motion; and the tips and tricks from PMHUB reproduced at the end of this write up should provide you direction in getting organized on your preparations for the exam. Honestly, in my opinion, it was the recap of important aspects from the notes handwritten by me that really came mostly to my aid at the exam. 

As for my handwritten notes, they came from 3 books by McGraw Hill, Andy Crowe and Newell respectively. I found Self-test Software/Transcender of immense help for my Tests. Most of the questions asked at the exam comprised of 1 or 2 lines, and were very much similar in format to the questions I got for my practice tests from the Self-test/Transcender. 

There are two very important lessons that I learnt by doing these tests: they are, if you just confine your studies to what is obvious on the surface without trying to collate the information, then you are sure to get stuck in the questions. This is of special significance to your preparation for the exam; for it gives you a timely warning and a pre-taste of what to expect at the exam. 

Just to cite an example, in the chapter on Time, I studied Precedence and Arrow diagrams without delving into the aspects of trying to compare and contrast between the two; and similarly with regard to Bar and Gnatt Charts too.

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