Repetition is the Mother of All Learning

First of all, Congratulations to Vevel Roy from Hyderabad, India, who just passed the PMP exam yesterday. He had used the PMCHAMP coaching program for his exam preparations, and it proved beneficial to him in passing the PMP exam. We are really proud of his achievement. He managed to go through the PMCHAMP videos in the accelerated track of 3 weeks in record time, and followed the tips and advise given in the videos, which he says helped him in passing the PMP exam. Well done Vevel!

Will Reading Multiple Books Help?

Many PMP aspirants contact me to get some advice on which exam preparation book to read, which online program to take, and are often lost between reading the PMBOK Guide, Rita Mulchahy’s PMP Exam Prep book, the Head First book on PMP, or the Kim Heldman’s PMP book. Some of them have all the books, and are not sure which one to read first, or what approach to take.

Most of the time, I suggest that it is not the number of books you read that makes the difference. Really, you can stick to just the PMBOK guide, and one other PMP exam book – whichever seems an easier read to you.

Some people prefer the crazy book  – another name for the Head First PMP book by Jennifer Greene, because of the graphical way this book is written. It makes it fun and easy to read and encourages left brain learning. Others prefer the bold and brash style of Rita Mulchahy’s exam prep book, which is considered the Bible for the PMP exam. You can check them out on the  Amazon PMP Book Store, read a few pages and see which one you prefer.

Find out Your Blind Spots

Once you begin reading a book, do the questions at the end of each chapter or Knowledge Area. Take a closer look at the questions you got wrong. Most people review the answer, and find out why they got the question wrong. They generally agree with the answer and understand the reasoning, but then, because the answer is different from the way they think, it is not locked into their memory for recall at a later date.

Thus, if the same question is given to them a couple weeks later, most people would choose their earlier choice again, making the same mistake. This is a fatal problem, and you  can’t pass the PMP exam if you suffer from this syndrome.

If you find yourself making the same mistake again and again, then it clearly means that this is your BLIND SPOT. Remember when you were learning to drive – the driving instructor would have shown you a particular car besides you that the whole world can see – except for you – it is not even visible in the rear view mirror. Unless  you turn your head and look for it before changing lanes. That’s why it is called your blind spot.

As a PMP Coach, I am easily able to spot such blind spots in my students. But if you are studying alone, or without a coach, then you need to be good at spotting your own blind spots. And then be alert about them – not to make the same mistake again and again.

Repetition is the Key to Success

Remember, it is OK to make mistakes. But not OK to make the same mistake again and again. If you are doing this, then you are not really learning from your mistakes.

So how do you overcome your Blind Spot?

By practicing a lot, regularly, diligently. Do as many questions as you can. Make notes about the key points that you seem to miss always. Train your mind to think in the PMI way.

I have written several posts on how to answer PMP questions – how to answer situational PMP questions, Answering PMP Questions – Part 1 & Part 2, Cost questions for PMP exam, and many more.

Of course, there will come a time when the questions will begin to look familiar, and you will begin to get them correct anyway. That’s the time to move on to other good quality PMP question banks, PMP exam simulators, and other PMP Resources (Listed below).

Create a Study Plan

You have to take PMP Exam preparation as a project. Plan for it, execute it, and monitor your progress until the exam date, and until you pass the PMP exam. If you do not have a good plan, and are just reading once in a while, in bits and pieces, you will have a hard time and will get frustrated soon by the lack of real progress.

You should carve out a small section of time – say 1 hour in the beginning, and work out a plan on reading a small section from the PMP exam preparation book of your choice for 30-40 minutes, and then do some questions. You can refer to the recommended PMP Study Plan here.

PMP Exam Resources

PMP Exam Tips

PMP Exam Simulators

PMP Online Coaching

PMP Classroom Training

PMP Forum

We have setup a forum where PMP aspirants can ask any questions they have. Currently this is open to PMCHAMP online exam prep students only.

Non members can post their questions in the Comments section below.

Your Future is in Your Hands

No one has the spare time to study. You really have to decide among your priorities and choose what you want.

How far you will go to succeed?

How committed are you?

Do you have what it takes to do the hard work now, for easier, more rewarding and more paying career in the long run?

It all depends on how much  time and energy are you willing to spend. If you are committed, have the will to succeed and persevere in the face of all odds, then you are going to succeed.Period.

Find the time, create a study plan, stick to it, and commit to success. Become a PMP certified Project Manager this year!

Vinai Prakash
Your PMP success coach.

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