I took a boot camp class that was 5 Saturdays in a row. This was good for me because it gave me a chance to study the materials between classes. I passed the PMP on the first try after this. The only negative thing was the people in the class who had no previous project management education or experience. These people came to the class expecting to learn project management and then take the PMP in order to get a better paying job. These people had a very hard time in class and as far as I know the few you actually took the test failed. I think the boot camps are great for those who have prior experience and some project management formal training/education to prepare for the PMP test. I do not think the boot camps are good for those trying to break into project management for the first time.
Boot camps are great for exam prep, but if you want to drive more value into your professional development then you really need the foundational knowledge before you step into that arena.I used a 2 day exam prep course, along with cd based exam simulator and I spanked that exam!”
I have taken an online course, prior to taking the PMP exam, with positve results. The ability to review material, and retake exams over and over, was quite helpful. Also, having the ability to go through course content at my own pace, was also helpful.
They can be very useful, but I assume some are probably better than others. I attended a 5-day camp in the Poconos that was very good at teaching the PMBOK view of the world. However, I was disappointed at the way the exercises were conducted. The course author seemed to think that ‘buying a house’ was an appropriate theme on which to base exercises illustrating project management principles – I think they could have done much better than that and used a better model. "Constructing a building" may be the most overused scenario in explaining project management, but it would have served us better in this case.
Nevertheless, I did gain a good understanding of how to apply PMBOK principles (and what to expect in the exam). I also read as many books as I could get my hands on and used a couple of computer-based practice tests. Finally, I took a week off before the exam to settle down and clear my mind, and passed it on my first try.
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