pmi certified project manager
In March of 2017, after eight months into the year dedicated to writing and speaking, I began to gear up to return my career as a project manager. Earning the PMP certification was a goal I planned to pursue at some point, but it wasn't on my list of immediate goals. The initial plan was to return to work in July of 2017, but I found myself still without a job or any strong leads in November. I decided that I had to do something differently in order to give myself more of an edge in my job search. Earning the PMP certification is the what I chose to pursue to make me more attractive to potential employers. Once again I chose to take an organized project management approach to the process of getting the certification. I began the discovery phase by researching the Project Management Institute (PMI), requirements to take the exam and costs to prepare for it. Once I realized the considerable cost of the certification, including the exam fee, PMI membership, and prep course cost, I had to carefully assess the potential benefits of putting PMP behind my name. My wife and I ultimately decided that the certification would be worth it and I got to work. After finding an affordable online course with great reviews, I set a study schedule and confirmed my test date of January 31, 2018. Initially I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I had to absorb on a daily basis in order to meet my deadline. As I got deeper in the study materials, the dots began to connect. Prior to this course everything I knew about project management was learned on the job, so it was an adjustment to go back and adapt to more formalized standard practices. The course contains almost 100 hours of video lecture and commentary from experienced project managers which I finished in early January. The remaining time I had to study was focused on practice exams and quizzes. I completed almost every one of the 1,800 questions included in the course's practice question bank.
On exam day I felt well prepared, but still nervous because of the uncertainty of what the actual exam would consist of. I persevered with focus through the four hour epic exam and hesitantly clicked end exam button as I finished. Congratulations appeared on the screen and I exhaled all of the anxiety and anticipation that built up to that moment!
The online prep course that I used thoroughly prepared me for the exam, however I was surprised by the format of the questions. Most of the exam questions were abstract in nature requiring interpretation of situational context. I was expecting more questions involving formulas and straightforward multiple choice answers. Looking back, I should have talked to more people who had recently taken the exam and had the ability to give more insight into the question format.