How I cracked CAPM PMI® in one month

26th May 2014 it is, and I am an PMI Certified Associate in Project Management.
A month long effort culminated in success. For those of you preparing for the same,  here's how I made it.

Being a working professional, I was afraid I could not dedicate much of my time for the studies. I started preparing in April mid, but wasn't able to pace up. So I decided to register myself, that way, I was sure that I would get serious. Coz' a awful lot is at stake once you get registered ($300). So here's my study plan.

I started serious preparation from April last week. On weekdays, after a tiring day at work, I studied for up to 2-3 hours daily. I mainly referred PMBOK® in my first pass. Yeah, I like to study in passes. I completed the first pass in around 2 weeks. This was very high level skimming. I didn't get much into the details. Just took in what I understood. Being completely alien to project management, many of the terms were completely new. So I took down rough notes in parallel.

For lack of a better book that has been specifically written for CAPM, I read Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep. I had read positive reviews about the book. The book really gets you going. I specially liked the MCQ's at the end of each chapter. The book is written keeping in mind the PMP exam pattern, so don't get lost if you don't find many correct answers while you solve the questions. If you get 60 to 70% of the questions right, you are the good to go for CAPM. I completed this in another 2 weeks.

Thereafter, I came back to PMBOK®. Believe me, concepts made a lot of sense as I read the book for the second time. I made rigorous notes this time.

Day before the exam:
I only read the notes I prepared while reading both PMBOK® and Rita's Exam prep, went back to PMBOK whenever I felt lost. That was it, end of my preparation.

The night before I watched Quentin Tarantino's flick 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.
I realized that not only my thought process is as nonlinear as Tarantino's script, also every other word starts with 'F'. #HappyRealization.

The exam day.
The exam was scheduled at 1 in the afternoon. Here are some of the point that I would like to highlight.
1. Believe me, the exam is not as easy as it has earned the fame to be. I was really tensed the first few minutes.
2. There were around 10 questions that involved calculation, not difficult though.
3. I completed the first pass in around an hour and half. Also marked some questions for review to come back to them later.
4. Although I did not change much of the options that I had marked as correct previously, but this time, I was a lot confident about my answers. Also I had justification for almost all the options that I chose. May be I was a little too nervous in my first pass. I completed this in another hour.

I was very confident in my second pass that I would definitely make it through.
Click End Exam - Eureka!!!

Congratulations on completing CAPM PMI®.
Vishal Lambe | CAPM PMI ccertificate

So that's about it. I am an PMI Certified Associate in Project Management. (At least for the next five years!)