PM Certification: PMP Exam Lessons Learned

Worthey is originally from San Antonio, Texas. We have been exchanging emails for some time while he was studying for his PMP certification. I asked him to share some of the lessons he learned and he replied by email.
Josh: Congratulations on your PMP certification! Do you have any advice or tips for readers of that you would like to share? If so, I’d love to take your email and incorporate it into a blog post or newsletter edition. It’s always a good idea to hear from people who have had real experiences.
Lessons from Worthey
Josh, these are not in any particular order. I’m sure they weren’t the first time that they were mentioned.
1. You must take test preparation seriously. Respect is required for this test. It is not an easy task. I spent 20 hours alone after I had completed the 36 hours-long 4 days of classes.
DaveBleasdale via Flickr
2. It is important to understand the ITTOs. They are essential for knowing where you are in this process.
3. PMI values ethics and doing the right things. Know what they believe is the right thing to say? It’s not always what you would choose.
4. There are many good study materials available. Find the one that suits your learning style. (Find your poison. Rita’s test guide is too “in the weeds” for some. It is also rather dry. Others have the exact opposite opinion. Some people find the story book too boring. style and graphics in ‘PMP Head First? Others felt that their approach was too elementary. As the saying goes, “To each his own”.
5. I took a 4-day course in teaching and found that interaction with other students was a great learning experience.
6. Do not delay taking the test. There is so much information (I have heard that PMI has over 7,000 questions in its database) that it is difficult to remember or memorize all of it. Go through the PMBOK, study hard, and then take the test. My company has several people who have taken the 4-day instructional and still have not taken the test. Do not hesitate to strike while the iron is still hot.
7. Before making a decision, force yourself to read all the answers. Many of the questions are asking for the best answer. The first?right answer? is not always the best. The?best? answer you see might not always be the best. answer. I read the answers in reverse (i.e. D,C.B.A, A). This helped me to read them all.
8. Also, re-read and re-read all questions. Many of them are very layered. ? Pay particular attention to grammatical articles such as?a? Pay particular attention to grammatical articles such as?a?? They can have a significant impact on which answer is the ‘best? answer.
The PMP Certification Exam CoachingApplication, and study tips/resources to the PMP exam. The only thing that made the test more stressful than the other sample tests I’d taken was the fact that it counted. I did not feel rushed and took the test for almost all of the 4 hours. I had never spent more than 3 hours on the 200-question practice tests that I found online. My brain and rear, 57 years old! I did get tired. I decided to approach the test in a deliberate manner the first time. Answering questions I was 100% certain of. Answering/marking questions that I was not sure of or which required me to read through the question multiple times. I also took a 10-minute rest at the 100-question mark. I was able to focus my attention on the questions that required me to take a deeper break down, so I finished my first exam run with 30 minutes left. (FYI-I had 40 such questions.) Surprisingly, I only changed my answers on three of the questions. The remaining 37 questions were left as they were when I first marked them.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and making it worth our while.