Do you want to climb higher in the career ladder by becoming a PMP certified professional? As you may already know, PMP certification is the golden standard for project management professionals. So the exam is the last step for you to get the PMP Certification. While studying for the PMP exam, you may sometimes feel lost, but don’t worry, with the tips from previous PMP aspirants who took and cracked the PMP Exam, you will be back on the track easily.
But remember, these tips are most helpful when they are quite recent. So this is why we compiled Amber Jian Zhao‘s tips for your PMP exam journey. Amber, who worked for Lucent, Siemens, Motorola and Ericsson as a project manager, will guide you through this PMP journey of yours with her tips. Amber passed the PMP exam successfully with the PMP training from Master of Project Academy.
We asked PMP exam tips to Amber and she answered our questions in this interview. Read on to get awesome PMP exam tips from her!
After helping over 500,000 professionals in more than 180 countries with a 99.6% first attempt pass rate, we have prepared a seven-step PMP study plan. Read this PMP study plan and create your own best PMP exam prep plan accordingly.
1- ) How long did you study for the PMP exam?
I started studying around 10 weeks before my PMP exam date. I spent around 1-2 hours a day during the first 4 weeks, around 3 hours a day in the 2nd 4 weeks (making full use of segment time). During the last two weeks, I spent 5~6 hours a day, mostly on sample exams and reviews.
2- ) What was the biggest struggle when preparing for the PMP exam?
Well, the biggest struggle part is the memorization of the knowledge detail in PMBOK, like the list of “input” & “output” and “tools & techniques”. Most of them are apparent and doesn’t need to “memorize”, but some of them looks weird at first glance and needs more investigation.
3- ) How was the quality of PMP training materials?
I felt the PMP course materials of Master of Project Academy was excellent. It helped me to have an outline/framework to the full content of PMBOK, which has tons of information you need to know. I went through the training materials for several times before I took my exam. PMP training from Master of Project Academy is the foundation of my PMP pass success. I always got the prompt response with regarding my questions posted, which makes you feel that you are not alone.
4- ) How much similar were the questions in the real PMP exam when you considered?
They are similar, but not identical. After taking the sample questions, I kind of obtained the ability to figure out what the question is really testing for. As we know, the question part is long, we need to read or even re-read the question part, and think about to find out what it wants to test you.
5- ) How many sample PMP exam questions did you practice before the exam?
Besides the 125 PMP sample questions and 200 PMP sample questions as part of the course (actually, I went through this part for several times to make sure I understood all of them), I took four other sample exams. I should have done all of the 7 sample tests but just had no time to do that before the exam. The additional PMP Sample Exams from Master of Project Academy helped me to find the feeling of the real exam.
6- ) How was the support you received throughout the PMP training?
I went through all the comments to find out why I did right and wrong. And for any questions I posted, I could receive prompt response from either the instructor Resit or the administrator Emily, they are so sweet and supportive. I want to say sincere thanks to both of them.
7- ) Do you have any recommendations for future PMP candidates?
- Use the PMP training course as a major assistant for you to read through PMBOK. It will make your life easier with the content breaking down and outlined.
- Use sample questions as an inspection, to figure out your weak area and go back to the specific related area at PMBOK or training material.
8- ) Do you have any tips for the PMP exam day?
- Arrive early, give yourself time to be familiar with the environment at the testing center.
- Mark any question you are not sure of for review and come back to it later.
- Utilize the four hours you are allotted for the test to double check your answers (Unfortunately, I only completed the double check of half of the questions, but never mind )
9- ) If you would give 3 tips to your close friend about PMP certification, what would you recommend as part of your PMP Exam Tips?
- Take the PMP training course together with reading through the PMBOK. And once is not enough, to save time, make marks on the PMBOK for you to read through it the 2nd or 3rd times
- Memorization is important, but understanding is critical. If you can’t understand some of the content, try your best to investigate and understand. Then it becomes your knowledge and you don’t need to memorize it.
- Take lots of practice exams and most importantly, learn from your mistakes, go back to the PMBOK or training material which related to your mistakes.
10- ) Finally, how likely is it that you would recommend Master of Project Academy to a friend or colleague?
Definitely YES. Especially for those who don’t have a big block of time studying, like me as a busy mom. You can study at any segment time you have. I would wholeheartedly recommend the PMP course of Master of Project Academy to anyone seeking to pass the PMP certification exam.
About Amber Jian Zhao
Amber Jian Zhao used to be a senior program/project manager, and later on a department manager at Lucent, Siemens, Motorola, and Ericsson. She used to teach Project Management to the postgraduate student at the School of SW and Microelectronics, Peking University. Amber is highly accountable and an effective leader at leading/managing large scale, complex projects/programs. She has a passion for sharing and promoting PMP to more professionals around the world.
P.S – She first got her PMP certificate at 2003 but as she didn’t report the PDUs as required, her certificate expired at 2010 although she had been working in this area all the time.