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TOPIC: Lessons Learned - Passed on Second Attempt

Lessons Learned - Passed on Second Attempt 3 weeks 1 day ago #28606

  • Hassan Kassem
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Hi all,

I studied using only the PrepCast/Exam Simulator (without additional materials) and took the online proctored version of the exam. I passed the PMI-ACP on my second attempt three weeks after failing miserably, earning 4 ATs, 2 Ts, and 1 NI. While I'm not completely thrilled about my performance with the NI (Needs Improvement), I believe the following 'Lessons Learned' will enable others to top my marks:

- Be Book-Smart, but also Street-Smart. You gain knowledge via the PrepCast and the Exam Simulator, but you will only understand the application of that knowledge upon utilizing the Learning Quizzes. To really take advantage of the Exam Simulator, read everything fully (questions/answers/explanations), whether you responded correctly/incorrectly.
- Practice Makes Perfect. I really cannot stress enough how helpful the Learned Quizzes were. I barely utilized the Exam Simulator before my first attempt and only understood its importance upon my failure. The PrepCast merely provides simple examples, while the Exam Sim drives home the application of that knowledge. Scored above a 90% on Timed/Learned Quiz? Great - now rinse and repeat.
- "Know your Enemy" - Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Your enemy if you take the online proctored exam is hydration. While I do not condone partaking in any unsafe practices, the online proctored exam forced my hand on the second attempt (I did not drink enough water and wound up with a migraine). Roughly 45 minutes into the first attempt, I found myself in agony - the cup of coffee and the water level indicators on the Nalgene bottle of water on my desk taunted me. Once you see your video being recorded during the check-in process, you are unable to leave the camera view. Although I had gone to the restroom before the check-in, I asked the proctor if I could go before actually starting the exam and was denied. I'm sure they likely provide accommodations for individuals with medical issues (overactive bladder), but I do not advise testing the limits of your bladder control - the exam is 3 hours long without breaks. If this is unnerving to you, consider the in-person exam, which at least provides a break halfway through.
- "Know your Enemy" - Sun Tzu's The Art of War Part II. DropBox...it's the devil. During the first attempt, my exam was interrupted on three separate occasions by a "running application" prompt, as DropBox (an application I do not use) was attempting to update, and ending the task through the Task Manager did not stop it from occurring again. I ended up deleting the application, as well as all of the program files related to it, prior to taking the exam the second time. Additionally, close any apps not required for your computer to run properly that show up as icons on the task bar (Windows-based) in the bottom right-hand corner. Lastly, make sure you add the list of 'Trusted Sites' featured on Page 4 of the hyperlinked " Technical Requirements " document by PearsonVue. Despite not having any issues on the first go with the System Test, it gave me some strange 'video streaming' error before the second attempt, which the addition of the 'Trusted Sites' solved*.
- Keep your head up and feet moving. I did not notice many threads in this forum about failures (the lack there of bummed me out even further), but it happens. If it does, learn and adapt from your mistakes and keep chugging along. I ended up taking a few days off between the attempts and only did a light review the day prior to maintain some semblance of sanity. Additionally, if you do happen to fail, OSP International generously offers an extension of your subscription (thank you again!) if you provide verification of the failure and are in need of the extension.

I hope sharing my experiences helps future PMI-ACP aspirants - good luck to you all!

-Hassan Kassem

Side Note:
* On the list of 'Trusted Sites', it recommended "*.*." be added starting at "twilio" - this was not accepted, so I just put one "*." before them.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rahul Sehgal, Adebanke Ademiluyi

Lessons Learned - Passed on Second Attempt 2 weeks 1 day ago #28633

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Congratulations, Hassan!

Thank you for sharing your Lessons Learned. They are very helpful - especially the Dropbox points! I love Dropbox and I use it daily, but I had not considered that it would interfere with the test software... you learn something new every day!

When you are ready to start earning PDU’s for PMP recertification, check out the PM PrepCast’s offerings, The PM Podcast and the The PDU Podcast which will help you keep up with PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR’s) and maintain your new certification.
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