Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Risk Management Exam Prep - The beginning

Last week, I successfully passed my PMP Risk Management Professional Exam.  I started studying back in November, by reading the PMBoK Guide chapter on Risk Management and then read a few blog articles on the experience people had and the lessons learned from taking the exam.

Over the Christmas period, I had a break from study to enjoy the time with my family, so my mini-plan failed to go according to plan.  At the beginning of January, I started to plan for the exam, which included understanding the exam structure and discovering the cheaper options for exam preparation material. 

The exam consists of 170 questions and has a time allowance of 3 hours 30 minutes, which works out at 74 seconds per question.  My exam plan was to take 100 questions, take a break for 5 minutes and then take the last 70 questions.  If time permitted, I would take a further break of 5 minutes before "retaking" the entire exam, checking my answers.  The exam was taken in a familiar test center  so this would ease my nerves.  In fact, I was lucky enough to sit in exactly the same seat that I had for my PMP Exam.

I had heard that people who had previous taken exam had started their preparation by reading the PMBoK guide chapters on Risk Management and  Communications.  I would also advise to read the Human Resources chapter and skim through the Procurement chapter, to refresh yourself on the risk of the different types of contracts and who owns the risks for each.

The second source of materials was the book by Abdulla.  I purchased this book from Amazon and read it thoroughly.  I did not take the exam at the end of the book at this point.

As I was reading both of the books, I was taking short notes.  These notes became my prep sheets.  I had a single sheet for each of the phases of the Risk Management Processes and a single sheet for the common terms and formulas.  Each time I came across a topic that I felt I needed more explanation or examples, I would search the internet for further guidance and study material.

In the coming weeks I will post my study notes and the formula that I used for the exam preparation.

I had read that the RMP Exam was a little easier than the PMP exam, but I am not sure it was by much.  I studied long and hard for my PMP exam, but only studied for approximately 6 weeks for the Risk Management exam.  I would say that I should have spent more time re-reading the Communications and the Human Resources sections of the PMBoK, as many of the questions related to these topics.  I recommend knowing the Risk Responses inside-out and back-to-front for both Positive and Negative Risks, as there were many questions in relation to these.

In the end, I found that it took 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the entire 170 questions.  I was on a roll when I reached the 100th question, so I continued.  At the time, I was not tired and was in a strong rhythm with answering the questions, hence I continued.  Once I completed the 170 questions, I took an 8 minute break (I know, as I had to sign out and then back in again) and proceeded to check my answers.  I was quite poor at checking, as by the time I had completed the first 100 questions, I was brain tired, so I pressed the all important "Mark" button to finish the exam.  I would however, advise everyone to check as many answers as they have time.

As mentioned earlier, I will write up my notes in a series of articles and ensure all my Lessons Learned are shared with you.

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