Last year, exc.io an IBM company, became a corporate member of APM. As someone who has passionately steered projects for over 12 years, the stars aligned, and my long-overdue New Year's resolution finally became a reality: I was to set my mind on passing the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) by the end of the year, with little more than a month to go!
Starting the APM journey and getting the PFQ under my belt became a personal goal of mine as I felt it represents the last 12 years in my career. I’m a project manager, after all, and I wanted a recognised qualification to showcase that — for both me and my clients.
The prospect of the PFQ exam initially loomed large, with the daunting tasks of revisiting school-era study habits and facing the sheer fear of the examination day.
However, my end goal was more important and with that in mind, my journey of self-studying began.
Top tip: get yourself the APM PFQ Study Guide. This little gem will be your saviour and is packed full of everything you need to know for the exam while also being a great handbook to go back to in the future. I began my self-study with the practice exam, this was to understand the areas I did know and identify those requiring further attention. With a finite amount of time, I used the handbook to focus on those specific areas of study I needed. The guide comes with multiple short quizzes for each section also, I took this under timed conditions all in one go after my studying, then reviewed the % score. I was ready for the big exam day.
Facing any exam, particularly one conducted online, proctored, and under timed conditions, tends to be an intimidating experience for me, so I went through all the normal worries and concerns that morning.
However, and I’m being honest here, the exam was rather fun! There’s something about applying the knowledge you already have, with new things you’ve learnt, that gives you that personal satisfaction feeling. And you get your initial results immediately, so there’s no agonising wait for that dreaded results email.
I had passed! The lingering New Year’s resolution of 2023 had been achieved and all my studying felt worth it. In fact, it’s made me more excited to move on to the next one, the Project Management Qualification (let’s call that a 2024 resolution).
For those thinking about taking that first plunge into the PFQ… Go for it! The qualification is worthwhile and gives you a great foundation to go further with APM. So, if there is one New Year resolution you commit to in 2024, make it your personal and professional development and get the Project Fundamentals Qualification under your belt.