TWELVE LESSONS LEARNED FROM
MY PMP CERTIFICATION.
Latyr Jean-Luc FAYE, PMP ®
01. TREAT IT AS A PROJECT
Make sure you know why you are envisioning to enrolled to PMP certification.
Manage your stakeholders.
Stay focus: do not over-estimate activities nor stretch the schedule over a long
period of time.
Register with Project Management Institute (PMI).
Study & Take the exam.
Monitor & Control
Self-evaluate progress made using resources available and mock exams.
Whatever your performance, assess and gather lessons learned.
Once successful, move to operations or a new project to maintain your credentials.
02. PEOPLE MANAGEMENT
In every Project, THE Project Manager makes the
Be motivated, be focused, be pro-active.
PMP is a professional certification that requires a lot of
Make sure you have identified all stakeholders and
make them participate to the joint-venture.
need full support from spouse and kids. This is critical.
need also, to a broader extend, the support from friends
«The P in PM is as much about 'people management' as it is about
'project management'.» – Cornelius Fichtner
03. PMBOK, YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
Get an up-to-date copy of the Project Management
Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).
It provides the mindset underlying PMI's concepts
of Project Management.
The PMBOK must be read thoroughly:
by Knowledge Areas
in a sequence that processes may be applied from
initiating to closing.
Refer to Appendix F (summary) and Glossary
(definitions) for better understanding.
Read and adhere to the PMI Code of Ethics.
The PMI Lexicon provides additional definitions.
04. BROADEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Other relevant reference materials is also required
to broaden the scope of the concepts presented in
The actual use of the formulas
Fixed Price Incentive Fees contract sharing ratios
I have used:
PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition by Rita Mulcahy
TSI Ultimate PMP Exam Prep Guide by Wes Balakian
and Timothy Bergmann
05. GO ONLINE & MOBILE
Use online materials (YouTube, podcasts, forums,
LinkedIn) to increase your understanding of the
Use your smartphone and apps so you can study &
practice anywhere at any time.
I have been very pleased with Examojo for iOS.
Go mobile is a Must.
06. BRAIN DUMP MAGIC
Numerous new concepts, formulas and knowledge
to acquire and remember for the exam.
Create your own brain dump with all the formulas
and topics you have trouble with.
Practise creating it from memory.
07. UNDERSTANDING, NOT MEMORISATION!
Know all the processes.
Be able to relate them to their knowledge areas &
Understand the basic concepts and interactions
among the processes.
By reading a question you must be able to know
where you are in the project (process, process
group, Knowledge Area).
Don't memorise all the ITTO’s for all processes. You
need to know the important ones.
08. PRACTISE – PRACTISE – PRACTISE
Get an exam simulator (Examojo ), it provides an
array of exams to practise.
Practise Exam Questions over and over.
Use wrong answers to focus and build your brain
Take advantage of the free exams on Internet to be
well prepared for the exam.
Know all the formulas and how to apply them.
09. THE D DAY: THE EXAM
Ensure you carry appropriate identification
documents and the appointment schedule
The exam is difficult. You can pass it if well
prepared. This is the fact.
Sitting for a 4 hour-long written exam is tiresome.
Make sure you get there fresh and relax.
Arrive on time (preferably 30 minutes in advance).
Use the 15 mns tutorial to do your brain dump.
Plan your breaks. It takes time to sign in and sign
10. DEFINE AND FOLLOW A TEST STRATEGY
Remember all questions have the same notation.
Do not spent more than one minute on a question.
In doubt, mark it and move forward.
Mark any questions with formulas and network
Do not let any questions unanswered (or blank).
You have 25% chance to pick the correct answer.
Stay focus even if you feel that you are going to fail.
11. TIPS DURING THE EXAM
Always answer questions from PMI perspective.
Always select the best answer when more than one
Review all your answers/marked questions.
Remember, don’t leave any unanswered questions.
Restraint from changing too many answers (I
reviewed 150 questions and changed only one
Relax and breathe deeply for one minute on a
regular basis (every x questions or y minutes).
12. AFTER THE EXAM
Do your lessons learned (pass or fail)
If still not the case, become a member of PMI.
If fail, this is not the end of the world:
Apply corrective actions and plan for the next test.
Update your Curriculum Vitae.
Celebrate (with your stakeholders if possible).
Start planning earning PDUs to keep your status.
Indeed, it is not an easy exam although not difficult.
Indeed, it requires a fair amount of preparation, yet
it does not require to study fulltime.
Indeed, it worth the effort as you will gain a lot:
Personal Development (Procurement, HR, etc.)
Professional Recognition (PMP)
Increase self esteem (achievement)
Language is a barrier that should also not be under-
estimated for the non native English speaking
Getting certified is the beginning of a process, if you
want to maintain your status.
PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition (valid edition
at the time of my exam)
PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition by Rita
TSI Ultimate PMP Exam Prep Guide by
Wes Balakian and Timothy Bergmann
Head First PMP, 2nd Edition by Jennifer
Greene, Andrew Stellman
The PMP Exam : How to Pass on Your First
Try by Andy Crowe
PMP Project Management Professional
Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman
PMP Certification All-In-One Desk
Reference For Dummies by Cynthia
Local PMI Chapters
Examojo LTS Suite
Cornelius Fichtner (www.cornelius-
Rita Mulcahy PMP Fast Track
PMZilla forum (http://pmzilla.com)
Exam Central (www.examcentral.net)
PMI eReads section : Practice Makes
Perfect by John Estrella.
Various LinkedIn Groups
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION