Unfortunately yesterday I've failed my first PMP exam. I must admit I'm very disappointed in myself and I wonder what went wrong. I've studied intensely about 3 months, I've purchased the practice exam and I had 3 full exam sessions. By two of them I reached 65% and by one of them, the IITO I reached 81%. On yesterday's exam there were just to many situational questions, which in my believe it is also my weak point.
My questions are:
- are there any studying, reading materials you would recommend me or any other useful advise ? I'm planning a second exam for July or August
- what If I fail 3 times in a row. Can I have a fourth one too ? I know this is a skeptical question, but I need to know.
Last Edit: by Sebesi Mihaly. Reason: make the post more clear
My apologies for not responding sooner - for some reason our system did not alert me of your message until yesterday (very strange!).
First of all I am terribly sorry to hear that you did not pass the exam. But don't despair because there are many people have to try for a 2nd time. This doesn't mean that you are not a good project manager - it just means that you were unlucky.
It's also important for you to analyze what might have been the problem. "Ask yourself: Did I not know the material or did I have problems with the exam format?" We find that in many cases, students feel that they understand the material but they feel that the real problem was the exam itself. There is the pressure of the exam. The questions are sometimes difficult to understand. They were too nervous.
However, you also say that you have taken 2 of our simulator exams and that you had only 65% correct - that is low. My recommendation to you is therefore the following:
- Watch at least 2-3 PM PrepCast lessons every day.
- Take at least 1 complete simulator exam every week
In this way you study & practice regularly and should be able to increase your simulator score by about 10%. You will also see many more situational questions in the simulator and get used to them.
At this point I do not recommend that you buy another book to read. PrepCast & Simulator should be enough (But if you WANT to buy one, then buy
And if you are unlucky and cannot pass the exam after 3 tries then you have to a) wait for 1 year and b) then apply again.
Remember that every day dozens of people pass the PMP Exam and some don't. So focus on the ones that pass and make sure that next time you pass, too by targeting your preparation.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
You highlighted a very good point, I've also felt like I understood the material and I was very confident during the exam too.
My only concern at this point is the fact that after 31 July the exam will be based on PM Book 5. I know this does not mean that I have to start the study all over again, but I'm not able to assess how much information will I have to forget and learn because of the PM BOOK fifth addition.
Are there already any study materials based on PM Book fifth ?
The earliest that we expect our "updated" products for PMBOK 5 to be available is June 30, 2013. Please read this short information page here about it:
(Note... this page will be removed after July 31, 2013 - so if you click after this date you will see an error message).
I am sorry to hear that you didn't pass the exam. I agree with what Cornelius said: It can be either knowwing the material well enough, sifting through the 'trick' questions or a combination of both.
The only other advice I would offer is to relate your studies to the projects that you've worked on in the past, or are currently working on. It helped me tremendously. For example, I put together an actual WBS for a project I was familar with so that I could drill into my mind not only the terms & vocabulary, but also how it relates to the overall approach the PMBOK takes.
If that didn't help, or I still didn't understand the given topic, I would use a very simple project like baking chocolate chip cookies. It seemed the more complicated the given PMBOK topic was, it became much easier for me to understand when using a very, very simple project.
Richard - I was in the same boat as you and struggled quite a bit with my practice exams until I came up with the following 'rules' when taking the test.
1. Slow down and read.
A. Read every question twice
B. Read every question twice - YES! Its that important.
C. Read every answer once
I can't tell you how many times I missed a question because I misread the question, or didn't readl ALL the answers.
2. Unless the question states otherwise, remember you are the 'Master of the Universe' Project Manager!
A. You don't defer judement or delay a decision.
B. Be proactive! You don't wait for the phone to ring...you get out there and find out what is going on with the project.
C. Do all the work. Never skip a process as outlined in the PMBOK.
3. Remember 'the Big Picture'
Drill into your brain Table 3-1 (in the 4th Edition of the PMBOK its on page 43). This helped me step back and ask myself what is the exam REALLY asking with a given question. It may appear to be in regards, say, the Scope of a project, but in reality it is something entirely different. By stepping back for a moment, reading the question closely, and then combining this point with point number 2 I was able to narrow down my answers.
4. Breathe & relax
I had to close my eyes several times & take a few deep breaths of air. It kept me sharp.
I started my studies in Jan 13 with lessoning/watching the PM PrepCast Podcast and when I finished all the episodes and I got an understanding of the PMP exam, I started (with a 4 weeks of holidays break) reading the PMBOK and Rita at the same time i.e. first read a chapter in the PMBOK and then rita (use to jump onto the exercises' answers e.g. rita games etc). At the end of each chapter of the rita book I did the exercises and got around 65-75% (apart from 2 chapters where I got around just 56%).
When I was finished with PMBOK + Rita book, I skimmed through the key topics in each chapter and then tried two full 4 hrs exam simulator (PM FASTrack v7 - Rita). Got 70% in the first exam and 75% in the second one.
1) Does anybody knows what % for Proficient, Moderate Proficient and Below Proficient please?
2) I know I didn't study enough but can an expert eye put some light on the way I studied (for my self and as a lesson learn for others please)
3) Should I put together all my energies and re-appear before 31 July 2013 - I can only find around 3-4 hrs of max study time per day, is that enough based on the my results of the exam?
4) Please advise on a study plan?
Many thanks and sorry for asking to many questions in one go.
Don't give up! Keep in mind that the exam will be based on the 5th edition of the PMBOK starting in August. I would take the exam again prior to the exam changing to reflect the new edition of the PMBOK.
I just took the exam and passed. I will say that I found it more difficult than the practice exams that I took as part of my preparation. I found Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep book very helpful and much easier to read than the PMBOK.
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