Cleared PMP on 3rd Jun 2008. Here is an attempt on lessons learned:
- PMBOK 3rd edition
- Rita Mulcahy 5th edition
- Vijay Verma's chapter on Delegation (3-4 questions come on delegation)
- PMI Code of Ethics
- Some research on PTA on google
I started off in Feb 08. Read PMBOK first and got an idea of complete framework. After that I started off with Rita and read each chapter in parallel with PMBOK. Completed three cycles of both Rita and PMBOK like this. Rita brings life in preparation, PMBOK is just too dry whereas Rita talks to you.
Used Whizlabs sample questions. Rita's questions after each chapter are excellent, even though you won't get any question in actual exam with detailed scenarios like Rita has, but it fine tunes your thought process which is much needed for the actual exam.
Make sure you check out Oliver Lehmann's 75 and 175 questions.
Regarding ITTO's there are many questions but none that tests you from memorization point of view, if you understand them you will certainly get them right. Most questions are not very long worded. There was only question where I had no idea about the answer.
During the exam, I created the download sheet depiciting Page 70 of PMBOK and key formulas during the 15 min tutorial. Answered all questions in 3 Hrs 5 minutes with around 70 marked for review. After review I was unsure of at the most 15 questions. So if you are well prepared you won't find paper too tough but certainly testing. I got 'Proficient' level in all 6 areas.
One key point is not to get tired. After 2 hours in the exam I noticably slowed down in grasping questions and answers, immediately took a 7-8 minutes break, and started fresh again after coming back, and it made a lot of difference. Took another break after completing all questions and before reviewing the marked ones.
Another point is that you don't get time to review all questions, so don't leave things for next round, do them right in first go and mark all the doubted ones.
Apart from this don't spend money for 35 Hrs certificate on these 5 days courses. There are many online course and considerably very cheap. I used the one from PMPrepcast.com. Later I realised that you get this with Whizlabs package as well. The PMPrepcast has audio lessons and gets you going if you drive a lot. Use any MP3 player and you get going.
Regarding scheduling I scheduled my exam only 5 days in advance. Purposely did so as the job has its own demands on your time, so once I got some time to push the studies I decided to go for it.
The Prometric center (Gurgaon in this case) was excellent, staff was very active, no noise, even though they had Head Sets as well, just in case! You have to leave everything in the locker including your handkerchief. Only thing you can carry in is your one ID proof.
Personally I discovered huge gaps in my knowledge while preparing for the exam; thats the best part, its not just another certification, its great learning.
Will update if recollect any thing else.