After passing the PMP exam, we ask participants to provide us feedback that we can pass along to future participants of the course. Below is a compilation of what some of them had to say.
“What aspects of the supplementary materials (on-line portion, book, audio cds, flash cards, etc…) did you find most useful?”
“I did the entire Insight course and found it very helpful. The book was also quite useful.”
“If I had to pick one, then the online portion, because it reinforced the in-class portion and the textbook content. I think what was most valuable is the whole package – the course started the study process, the textbook gave “depth”, the online content repeated and added to what I knew and provided opportunity to test my knowledge and refine my studying, and the flashcards helped me with memorization. When I first started listening to the audio CDs, I thought they would be the least useful, but in the end they made my commute useful and got me thinking about each of the knowledge areas.”
“Online was very well put together and I went through each lesson. I should have spent more time with online tests but ran out of time. Text book is excellent for in depth information. Audio cds were also useful for further context and supplementary information, but for me not as useful as the other material.”
“I took the PMP Prep course which you taught in October at U of T, Continuing Studies and am happy to report that I passed the PMP exam on my first try just before Christmas. My preparation consisted of going through all the online topics on InSite, including all the quizzes and simulated test. I also read the text book and took all the exams as well as the final exam in the text book (I did this twice and on 2nd try I got 199/200 on the final exam).”
“In preparation for the PMP test I memorized and practiced writing down the following:
- All the formulas on the formula sheet I found on InSite
- PM Plan pyramid
- Process matrix”
“I used InSite quite a lot and found it quite useful. I made my own cheat sheets (just the way I learn), then used the laminated quick reference guide on the day prior to the exam. I didn’t use the textbook, as I felt the material was being well covered between Insite and the workbook, which I found a solid learning tool that I was comfortable using as a reference over the textbook (especially the laminated back cover showing all 42 process groups). In retrospect, I would have been better prepared for the exam if I had spent more time on the textbook as many of the questions on the exam were finely detailed beyond the workbook/InSite. I did not use the CDs. I should note that if I wasn’t in such a hurry to write the exam (only 2 weeks after the course), I would likely have used the other supplementary materials more, particularly the CDs.”
“I used everything. The most useful materials for me were the book which I read cover to cover, the laminated summary sheet (it is awesome!) and the Insite modules and test lab. I did listen to the audio cds in the car and worked the flash cards as well.”
Do you have any advice we can pass along to future participants when preparing for the exam?
“Memorize the formulas – but understand what you’re doing with each one (and they’ll be easier to remember.) Use the “taking the exam” instructions in the text book – they help a lot, especially writing down everything you can remember once you’ve looked at the tutorial and having an exam writing “schedule” or plan that includes making yourself take breaks for water and food (and to just stop for a few minutes.) Read the textbook – it helps you understand what each piece of the PMBOK® is about – but also make sure you read the PMBOK®. Finally, the instructor is right – the PMI way may not be the “real world” way … you have to understand the PMI way of doing things (it helps you on the exam if you understand how your “real world” way of doing things is like or unlike what the PMI advocates.”
“The exam really did cover all aspects of the PMBOK®;
- Cost management is very important. Memorize the formulas, I left out a couple but there were questions on the exam on buy vs build, present value, opportunity costs (I did get this one right but didn’t review prior to the exam). Cost management was a fairly big part of the exam.
- Memorize the knowledge area / process group chart
- A few input / output questions, (I did not spend enough time memorizing and likely got these wrong)
- Really understand time management (luckily I spent a lot of time on this), these questions can take a lot of time.
- Quality was also a big part but I was prepared for this, they love the charts. (don’t forget who Goldratt is)
- Lots of motivational / HR questions (I wasn’t adequately prepared for this, online testing would have help here as well)
- Lots of situational questions (I should have spent more time with online testing)
- Enough ethics questions to be important, but this was covered well in the prep course.
- Quite a few questions that fall between initiation and planning. (I didn’t spend enough time on initiation)
- The exam did take me the full four hours, only had 5 minutes to review “marked” questions, took 2-3 minute breaks every hour. I think it could have gone much better if I spent more time on items above, particularly the online exams. I only did two tests, one of 20 questions and one of 100 question.”
“I found the real PMP exam quite difficult. On my first pass I skipped all the questions that I knew would take longer to answer (even those I knew how to do).
There were some very convoluted questions where I felt that nothing I studied during my preparation would help me answer those .. I took my best guess on those.”
“Suggestions to others taking the course: Follow WCP’s exam-taking tips – particularly finding the location early and how to use time during the exam (great tips). The exam questions are significantly trickier than the practice questions – you will be able to answer exam questions with a decent knowledge of the material, but you need a detailed knowledge of the material to answer the questions on-time.”
“Know the process names, know the CPI/SPI value meanings (I got mine backwards, which cost me unfortunately). Practice taking the test exams with moderate distractions. The actual testing environment is not entirely free of distractions (other people taking tests and fidgeting, clearing throats, etc) “
“Personally, the audio CD’s helped me the most after the course material. I would listen to one Knowledge Group discussion on the CD, then switch over to the INSITE online test for that Knowledge Group to see how much I retained, and once all the CD’s were listened to and the Knowledge Group tests were done, I did a full SIMULATION test. Based on those results, I would refocus on those areas that were deficient on comprehensive, and re-listen to the CD, and then retest. I then saved the night before for only a simulation test. Given the short timeline between the course work, the application completion, the application audit, and the short booking time for the test (3 weeks start to finish), I think “moderately proficient” in all areas is a reasonable expectation. The test of course, was tricky in some questions.”
“Have your timing strategy ready. Be early. Get a good sleep the night before. Determine whether a.m. or p.m. is better timing for yourself. READ THE QUESTIONS VERY CAREFULLY! “