Jamil Hassan, PMPPMP study plan and lessons learned Jamil HassanPMP Study (Preparation) PlanOn Wednesday, 6th, June, 2011 after several months of study, I successfully passed my PMP certificationon the first try. I would like to summarize my lessons learned from my preparation beginning mypreparation and finishing with the exam.My PMP Journey started at Al-Manahel Training Center in Amman with the PMP instructor Mr. Abdel-Rahman in December, 2009 when I and several colleagues from PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC attendedthe PMP course.Few weeks later, I decided to apply for the PMP. Unfortunately, My Mother had passed away “ may Allahbless her”, that very sad event left me unfocused. At the beginning of 2011, I recovered myself anddecided to take this challenge seriously. I officially applied for the exam in April, 2011, successfully went through the PMI audit and I started myPMP Preparation Plan. I put a 2-month plan depends on studying two hours daily and take advantage ofthe weekend vocations to finalize chapters and to answer the related exams.Because time is always limited, I did not want to read every available book on the market. All books arevery similar so if you use just one or two along with the PMBOK Guide, it is enough for you. I decided forfollowing combination:1. Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK Guide version 4 – it is simply the base and you must have it.
2. Al-Manahel studying material along with the Excel simulation exams.3. Rita Mulcahy – PMP Exam Prep, 6th Edition 2009 + PM Fast Track ver 6.0 software4. Head First PMP, 2nd edition, 2009 by Jennifer Greene, PMP and Andrew Stellman, PMP.My study plan was set in following order: 1) Study Al-Manahel studying material and Exams, it was a nice material to start with. 2) Explore the PMBOK Guide once. 3) Carefully study Rita’s PMP Exam Prep twice taking into account solving the exercises and the exams. 4) Study the Head First PMP twice, it is very interesting reference. 5) Test yourself, test yourself, test yourself as many times as you can focusing on the latest version of PMP only because some old tests are odd and out of date.My advice: do not start with or focusing on the PMBOK Guide ; it is too complicated for thebeginners.Shortly before Exam, I was confident to sufficiently prepared for the exam. I used following resources fortesting. I had not less than 80% average result from these tests. 1. PM Fastrack 6.0 2. Al-Manahel Excel Tests simulation. 3. Practice PMP exam, Head First PMP, Chapter 15.On the day of the exam – 6th, 7, 2011.On the exam night, I went to sleep early to get more power for tomorrow challenge.On the day of exam, I came to the Prometric testing center that is part of the AMEDEAST in Sweifieh,Amman, Jordan – about 30 minutes before planned start. The test is fully realized on computer and thereare maximum 10 people in the room. It is luck that the center is situated on a quiet place so there is notraffic noise from the street.I had 4 hours to answer 200 questions. It sounds easy task to accomplish! do not underestimate it. It isreally not easy to concentrate the whole time. Before my test started, I had 15 minutes for softwareintroduction. Thanks to knowledge of PM Fast Track, I was familiar with this version in a few minutes –so my exam could start. I used the scratch paper they introduced to me to write down all the formulasand what I can remember.At the beginning, I did several breathing exercises to put myself in the exam’s environment. When Inoticed that I am ahead of the scheduled, I decided to make a short break( 5-10 minutes) after 100thquestion. Frankly, I was in need to have the break in order to take a little snack and washing my face torefresh myself again, especially I answered the whole 200 questions in around 3 hours & 15 minutes.It was fantastic to have a plenty of time (around 40 minutes) to review the 35-40 marked questions Ichecked before. I changed the answers to 3 marked questions only.I need to fill also short questionnaire about testing center and about 5 minutes later I saw results of myexam. I was very happy when I saw the word “Congratulations”. I had Examination result: PASS
Lessons Learned and my Recommendation Develop your PMP study plan and try to apply it 100%. Go to bed early on the exams’ night to be fully ready to answer questions with no stress. Do not underestimate the exam. Comparing with available tests on internet or comparing with PM Fastrack it is NOT too more difficult. If your successfulness from tests mentioned is less than 70%, you will have a problem in real exam. Stay motivated! Subordinate to passing the exam everything Test yourself many times after each chapter and before the exam – try to put yourself in the exam environment by taking multiple 4-hour full exams.