After 200 MC questions, 4 hours exam, I got the PMP credential.
Seeing how my department is run compare to the other department downstairs, I definitely support the value of project management. Everyone can tells the difference between a smooth sailing project apart from a badly ran project. But many people choose to ignore the up front planning and on going monitoring work due to their focus on short term gain. The most common excuse I heard is we don’t have time. Project management is not a waste of time, it’s provide a framework to save time in a long run, although you may have to invest in the extra work up front.
Most of the concepts and knowledge in the PMP exam are just common sense repackaged in fancy language. Passing the PMP exam won’t make you instantly a good project manager, but at least you can speak like one. The exam is more difficult than I expected. The definition and calculation questions are easy, you just have to study and know the exam materials. The long answer questions are tricky. Each question has four answers, two are totally non-sense but the other two are vague. I can only make a 50-50 guess and hope I got the right answer.
I got good marks on all sections except social responsibility and ethics, which I thought should be the easiest section. It is not that I am not ethical, rather I would blame my poor performance on the exam questions. The questions are have no black or white answers and the most intuitive answer that you would normally choose in real life is probably the wrong answer. You have to guess which of other dumb answers meet PMP’s retarded ethical standard. As a philosophy student major in ethics and moral theory, I am pretty sure I always have the most ethical answer, since I cannot be wrong in moral sense. The only conclusion is whoever set the PMP exam questions are not ethical, so he is blinded to picked the immorally answer as the required answer.
My study plan works well. I would say a month of time is more than enough to prepare the PMP exam. I finished reading all materials in first three weeks, didn’t do any study on the forth week and worked on 3 full length practice exams over the last weekend. I pretty much run out of stuff to study on the night before exam so I only flip through chapter 3 quickly as my final revision. My PREP book “The PMP Exam, How to Pass on Your First Try” by Andy Crowe is really good, highly recommended. The structure and layout of the book is easy to follow and the practice questions are relevant. On the other hand, the official PMBOK is totally useless, it is a complete waste of money.