Part III - Style and Substance
I stumbled across an online PMP resource, which stated, “PMP exam answers lie, in framing the question in one of the cells on the matrix chart of pg 43. of the PMBOK”.
I filed that concept away, in the back of my mind, and made a tactical switch in working through the simulated exams on-line. In answering these tests, I was working to beat the clock more, than, really reading the question and understanding it thoroughly. I began to search out book based simulation exams. I needed to free myself from the constraint of time and instead focus more on the style and substance of the question; what was the question really asking ? what was it not asking ? reading the question from the end first, learning to eliminate the fluff. I slowly began to get good at zeroing in on a question’s main idea.
I realized, long and wordy questions were meant to confuse and throw you off. I learned to spot one or two key words in a question that gave it all away. I began to analyze answers and realized in many cases the shortest answer was usually the correct one.
I took my time in reading the question, could I frame it into the matrix chart ? Reading the ITTO thoroughly, I began to match key ideas together: if a question had something on verify scope, an answer with customer devlierables, was most surely the right one.
By knowing for sure, what the answer was not, by method of elimination, I rang the bell on the right answer. My battle with the PMP fire-breathing dragon, was slowly but surely turning into a rout. The tide was turning, I was ready to storm the lava filled moat castle again, in full battle regalia. Fiona would be rescued this time !
My 2nd attempt at the PMP certification was in June of 2012. By the 50th question, I was certain I was going to pass. With my intense preparation and focus, I moved through the questions faster. I was more familiar with the question wording, the nuances, subtleties and other distractions meant to throw you off.
I was able to quickly and easily, scythe through the fluff and zero in on the essence of what was being asked. I finished in 3 hours.
The feeling of victory was well deserved. I have learned so much from the study material and consider the experience life-changing in many ways. I understand now, I need to have a plan for everything I do. Communicating my project plan to others on the team, and getting acceptance is PMP 101. Nothing proceeds smoothly without this first step, in fact you are doomed to failure if you don’t.
Risk Management is probably the most important concept, which applies to a wide variety of situations.
Understanding Risk, developing a fallback plan and putting in contingencies is crucial, in ensuring project success.
This completes the series from Gerry, we thank him for sharing his experiences through our blog and hope you have enjoyed reading them.