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TOPIC: PMP Exam Study Tips?

PMP Exam Study Tips? 2 months 2 weeks ago #22864

  • Jia Bin Tang
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Hi all,
First of all I'd like to apologize for any negativity in this post, but somehow, I just couldn't seem to pass anything beyond 67%. I have all the simulator exams (for the first attempt) but I couldn't seem to get above even 70%.
Since this is a world-wide exam, I'm aware that different methods work for different folks. I have even seen one post mentioning that he did not memorize the ITTO which I found it difficult because some "terminologies" can be pretty confusing and for me, I'd definitely be not sure what is the difference between e.g. project calendar and resource calendar until I have memorized both terms as well as understood the meaning stated.

Even so, what are some of the study tips that work for you?
Maybe I should list down what didn't work/ what has or have been my weak points:
  • In all the exams, I completed within anytime approx 3 hours +. Did you guys utilized all the 4 hours? Talking about this, my mind seem to wonder by the 2nd hour onwards.
  • In the non-timed questions though (I have tried 50 max so far), I could get as high as 70%. But when it comes to the full exam, it got the results below. What's worse, I can't see the pattern because I could be above target for initiating process for the first exam, but flunk badly on the second (that's for the full exam)
  • "Mind-mapping" studying the "key terms" works a lot for me, but the issue with this is understanding the EEF as some items can be process specific (e.g. I didn't know stakeholder risk threshold is part of EEF for plan communications management), and some of these questions can pop out in the simulator

I have been studying for about 2 months now and didn't dare to book my exam as I'm still not confident based on these results.

Appreciate much for your response!

PMP Exam 1 Fail (61%)
PMP Exam 2 Fail (62%)
PMP Exam 3 Fail (67%)
PMP Exam 4 Fail (57%)
PMP Exam 5 Fail (64%)
PMP Exam 6 Fail (49%)
PMP Exam 7 Fail (62%)

PMP Exam Study Tips? 2 months 2 weeks ago #22874

  • Gabriella Dellino, PMP
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Hi,

I understand it could be frustrating not to see any significant improvements in your simulation results.
When reading your post, a few questions came to my mind, which may help me better understand what you are struggling with:
  • You mention that you typically complete the full exam sim in about 3h. Do you also use this time to go back to any marked questions?
  • When you review the questions you answered incorrectly, is there anything you noticed? E.g., did you overlook some keywords? Or was it just something you had no idea about, when you first answered the question?
  • Did you try to practice at different times during the day? I used to take the exam simulations in the afternoon, and I was completely exhausted by the end of the exam. When I moved it to late morning, my performance dramatically improved - simply because I felt fresher and was able to concentrate more. And I don't mean to suggest to do that in the morning; we are all different, so it may well be that you perform better in the evening or even at night. Just try to test, and find what suits you best.
  • Since you are not under time pressure, because you end up with almost 1h left, have you ever tried to take a break after 90 questions, to reproduce the built-in break you will have on the real exam? It may help you get back to the exam refreshed and with more focus
Gabriella
Gabriella Dellino, PhD, PMP
PMPrepCast Community Moderator

PMP Exam Study Tips? 2 months 2 weeks ago #22880

  • Jia Bin Tang
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Hi Gabriella,
Thanks for following up my post! :)
You can find my answers to your queries in purple below:

Gabriella Dellino, PMP wrote: Hi,

  • You mention that you typically complete the full exam sim in about 3h. Do you also use this time to go back to any marked questions?
No, For all the exams, it's an 'answer once, and move on till the last question' tactic I used for me cos already from my ' first attempt to the trickier questions, I was already second-guessing some answers (especially for those that I was not confident in). For a few exams though, I tried to mark on a notepad for the questions that I had second-guessed or those that are not confident. Apparently it comes out with more than 20 questions (which somehow indicated that I wont be getting 85%).
  • When you review the questions you answered incorrectly, is there anything you noticed? E.g., did you overlook some keywords? Or was it just something you had no idea about, when you first answered the question?
  • All to the above, I guess. There was a particular question asking "What would be the first project document that you would add the community's observed holidays as non-working holidays?" (Question ID: 613624) - This was the question that I answered resource calendar instead of Project calendar as I didn't know there was a clear distinguished meaning to these 2 terms until I re-read the PMBOK. There were many terms that I have missed out when I was studying the PMBOK (example, Performance measurement baseline, which was part of additional component in project plan which I did not notice the first round I was studying)
  • Did you try to practice at different times during the day? I used to take the exam simulations in the afternoon, and I was completely exhausted by the end of the exam. When I moved it to late morning, my performance dramatically improved - simply because I felt fresher and was able to concentrate more. And I don't mean to suggest to do that in the morning; we are all different, so it may well be that you perform better in the evening or even at night. Just try to test, and find what suits you best.
  • To be honest, I have been taking all the exams in the afternoons as I was not too 'distracted' by any snack time (which I did in the mornings lol), hence did not try n other parts of the day.
  • Since you are not under time pressure, because you end up with almost 1h left, have you ever tried to take a break after 90 questions, to reproduce the built-in break you will have on the real exam? It may help you get back to the exam refreshed and with more focus
  • [/ul] Hmm, actually I had taken a few toilet breaks in-between the 3+ hours sessions. Let me try the 10 miniute break ad see if it works when doing the second attempt.
    Gabriella

    Last edit: by Jia Bin Tang.

    PMP Exam Study Tips? 2 months 1 week ago #22946

    • Gabriella Dellino, PMP
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    Thank you for answering my questions.

    I found it helpful to go back to some 'marked' questions and possibly review my answer. As you mentioned you marked some questions on a notepad, are you familiar with the corresponding option available in the PMPrepCast Simulator? That is also available on the online exam as well. Even if you decide not to go back to them and review your answer, it would still be useful when you review all the questions, because you can focus more on those you marked throughout the exam.

    My next question on possibly overlooking some keywords came from my experience, as sometimes I noticed that I did overlook some keywords; e.g., I thought the questions was asking me what option was correct, and I missed the EXCEPT keywords, so I would have gotten it all wrong. Typically, in that case I was struggling between at least two options (as, in fact, three out of four were correct!), so I marked it and went back to it later. While reviewing it, I finally noticed the EXCEPT word in the question, and so I could answer the question more confidently and correctly. If I hadn't reviewed it, I would have got it wrong for sure.

    Hope this helps,

    Gabriella
    Gabriella Dellino, PhD, PMP
    PMPrepCast Community Moderator

    PMP Exam Study Tips? 2 months 1 week ago #22961

    • Luke H
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    I've found it particularly useful to not just review the questions where I selected the wrong answer choice, but also to review the questions I ended choosing correctly. I have often guessed at the right answer and totally forgotten about it by the end of the exam practice, so running through each of the questions really helps to solidify your knowledge and understand why that answer was correct.

    There's also some additional information you can gain by reading the details of the "incorrect answer choices" (especially on the questions you chose correctly), to further understand why those choices would have been incorrect.

    I have compiled my own Exam Practice Lessons Learned Register where I've recorded my mistakes and I go through the list before taking the next practice exam so that the last lessons are fresh in my mind. There are some concepts that begin to clarify themselves from this process which I've found to be extremely beneficial. If there's anything that still confuses me, I then refer directly to the PMBOK for guidance which is a breeze since the reference information is provided on each question. You've already been doing this to some degree as you've learned about things such as the PMB, but you need to apply it by deliberately writing and compiling that knowledge.

    Additionally, are you using any other source materials? Like social media for example? I've found that some groups are good and some groups are pretty awful and you can really end up confusing yourself with bogus questions/answers being shared around. I've removed myself from all groups except the ones I know have knowledgeable and trusted members within them (i.e. qualified PMP's who strictly monitor activities within the group to keep things genuine).

    I've found these things have been a big help and I've gone from 68% up to 90% in some of the practice exams and I hope this can help you too! Just keep going at it and ask as many questions as you can!
    Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaCynthia Lim Louis, PMPTracy Shagnea, PMPGabriella Dellino, PMPPatrick Floris PhD PMPJoe PangJohn Paul BugarinAmy MartinezEmily Rivera, PMPLisa Sweeney PMPHarry ElstonMani SelvanDenver MartinEric Wanyutu Kahiga, PMPSarah FucciThiago França, PMP®Felix Kamanga, PMPChan RampersaudElena MekhanoshinaKyle Kilbride, PMP

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