My PMP Certification Experience (and e-book)

Last week, I finally released my PMP study notes as an e-book. In the Books page, there are links to all the stores I usually publish.

The PMP exam is one of the toughest exams I ever sit, mainly because of two things:

  • The exam covers a lot of material
  • Most exam questions are about scenarios, practical applications and what it’s the best thing to do in a certain situation (according to the PMBOK, the Project Management Book of Knowledge, way of doing things).

My preparation included the following books:

The most helpful book was Rita Mulcahy’s. It gives you a lot of tips for the exam, it goes deeply into the topics, it has a lot of exercises, and in my opinion, its practice questions are the ones closest to the real exam. PMBOK is a required reading, but it doesn’t go deep into many concepts, it’s more like a reference. The Head First book lacks deep in many concepts and the practice questions are “easy”. I’d only recommend it after reading another book (Rita Mulcahy’s is a great choice) and/or to better understand some topic.

As with any certification, you need to practice a lot. This page is an excellent resource:
Focus on the tests marked with H.

The second resource I can recommend is PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers, & Explanations by Christopher Scordo.

Both help me a lot to get used to the situational kind of questions, however, I couldn’t say that either one of them is more like the real exam or has the same difficulty level.

So in the exam, I got many questions about:

  • Conflict resolution techniques
  • Risk response strategies
  • Tuckman ladder
  • Types of contracts
  • How to apply change management
  • Quality, like knowing the purpose of the quality processes, and when and how to apply their tools and techniques (for example, Pareto and control diagrams)
  • Questions of the type “You’re in X process, here’s what’s going on, what do you do next?”

About formulas:

  • Channels of communications
  • CV and SV
  • CPI and SPI
  • PERT
  • EAC

Though they were easy, they didn’t always give you all the elements to apply them directly.

I didn’t get any ethical-related questions. They were a few about communication, critical paths, projectized vs. functional organizations, and project charter/initiation.

I took me like three months for preparing this exam, about two hours each day. But at the end, I pass with four Ps (Proficient) and one MP (Moderately Proficient)!

Now, I’m working to get the 60 PDUs required to renew the certification. Luckily, the PMI’s membership (which I totally recommend you get) includes access to, which gives you thousands of webinars that you can watch to easily earn PDUs. Great, don’t you think?

Got any questions or comments? Drop me a message on Twitter (@eh3rrera).