So I passed my Certified Application Associate in Project System for SAP ERP (C_TPLM22_64) exam. Just in time for the November announcement on S/4, but I guess that’s how it goes with IT certifications. Project System is hardly the sexiest product in the SAP landscape at the moment, hence while studying I had a reasonably difficult time uncovering details regarding what I might expect from the exam itself, how others had prepared, what resources proved most useful, etc… so I thought, if I were to pass, I’d throw a quick post together outlining my experience.
First off, you’ll find the basic curriculum and practice questions provided by SAP. This pretty well represents the entirety of information you’ll find regarding the exam. Based on the curriculum, I stuck mostly to the PLM series course material. I focused on PLM200, PLM210, PLM220, and PLM230. Due to the sub-8% weighting of the Reporting category, I skipped PLM240 altogether, assuming applied experience would get me by. This was a mistake, and I would definitely suggest reviewing PLM240. I also read Kieron Dowling’s SAP Project System Handbook.
I was quite new to PS when I sat for the exam, so my prep time will likely differ from yours. I knew I wanted to take the exam about 6 months prior to taking it, but I’d say I only got serious about studying 2 months prior, really ramping up with 1 month to go.
Don’t waste your time looking for practice questions. You’ll find a bunch of shady sites offering so-called “brain dumps” of recent exams (which is completely against SAP’s policies), and will waste precious, constructive study time. I did sign up for an account at sapexam.com, which provides legitimate practice questions based on the PLM course materials. The exam questions were much more consulting oriented than those proved by sapexam.com, but I’d say this was still useful if for nothing more than to throw some variety into your study sessions. Just be careful not to fall into the rote memorization trap, where a false sense of confidence is achieved via answer memorization as opposed to actual understanding of the topics. In order to avoid this I kept my practice exams to a minimum, and was careful to review both correct and incorrect answers. From this perspective, sapexam did help guide my studies.
I first read through the PLM course materials quickly without making any annotations. I then went back through each with greater care, highlighting areas of greater importance. I went back through one last time and compiled notes on each course based off of the highlighted areas. Every few days I would do a mini (40 question) practice exam, and identify problem areas. I also used SCN and SAP Help for various topics, such as account assignment. I spent a great deal of time on PLM230 (Project Accounting) as this was my weakest point. From my summarized versions of each course, I made flashcards which were easy to review before bed, with my morning coffee, etc…
The flashcards were only somewhat useful. I wasted time memorizing transaction codes and definitions, when the exam itself focused much more on consulting type questions. There were no “when would you use transaction xxxx” type questions (at least in the exam I took).
I cleared my schedule for 2 days prior to the exam, which I had scheduled on a Friday at 10AM. I did very little studying in these 2 days, but did review problem areas and completed a full practice exam both days. Aside from that, I just relaxed. I made it to the testing centre a bit early on the day of, and was pretty well checked right in to write the exam.
The exam itself was split into categories in accordance with the curriculum provided by SAP. All questions were one of the following types:
- Multiple choice, single correct answer
- Multiple choice, multiple correct answers
Of course for those with multiple correct answers, you need to get them all in order to get it right. As I mentioned previously, the questions themselves were frequently consulting oriented, from the point of view of a client requiring particular functionality. Some were definition based. I was lucky that PLM240 had a very low weighting in the exam, because I naively believed that experience alone would suffice. Don’t make this mistake, and while you likely won’t pay as much attention to PLM240 as PLM230, you should still make sure to give it a review.
I made it through the exam quite quickly, not nearly using up the 3 hours allocated. The exam allows you to flag questions for review, and I used this function extensively. Upon completion, you can then go back through your flagged questions prior to submitting.
Head over to the exam invigilator’s desk and collect your printout. Hopefully you’ll see “PASS” and feel a bit of relief. This was my first certification, and a serious morale booster to succeed.
- Don’t waste time on shady “brain dump” sites. If you want to take some practice exams, sapexam.com is a decent source. Actually, for this exam they’re likely the only legitimate source. For the record, I have no affiliation with them.
- Don’t fall into the rote memorization trap. Memorizing answers from either the PLM chapter reviews or from sapexam can give you a false sense of readiness. Make sure to focus on consulting scenarios.
- 2 months of focused prep should be adequate, based on the strategy described above. This is also in line with comments I’ve come across on SCN. That said, significant consulting experience would cut this down.