My exam is right around the corner and I basically have no confidence in myself to pass the test. Much of it has to do with the sheer fact that I really have no idea what the questions will actually be like. This process for me, from the beginning, has been shrouded in intense mystery. I was told by most, if not all, of the people I interviewed, all of whom have taken the test and passed, that PMI intends to make the test extremely difficult so that casual studiers shall not pass. I have since interpretted this to mean that all of the questions will be of such complexity and difficulty, that no matter how hard I study or what I do, their intent is for me to fail, because the exclusivity of the club shall not be breached.
I've been studying for some time now and as mentioned, have little confidence in myself to pass the test. I've also been an overachiever and high performer, but for some reason, this material is not being comprehended or memorized to my satisfaction. I have been consistently scoring 83% on the PM PrepCast quizzes and exams. I frequently miss ITTOs, because I refuse to memorize them. And Cornelius (among everyone else) says, don't memorize them. Trying to figure out from a set of four close ones is impossible. Anyways, on other practice tests (not necessarily full tests), I score between 78% and 86%, and there is no consistency in where I score low or high, meaning no one or two process groups or knowledge areas consistently scores low (except for ethics -- go figure, because I am a very ethical and honest person by nature).
With that said, all of my peers tell me I will pass. I tell them I will likely not. I truly believe it. 78% isn't good enough and if this test kicks my backside like I anticipate based on what others tell me, I will likely score in the range of upper 60s.
Can anyone... anyone tell me based on what I've said, are my practice scores any indicator of a possible passing score?
Can anyone tell me if the PM PrepCast questions are roughly the same intensity (in both range, from easy to hard) and length of questions on the actual exam? I'm not asking for specific questions, because I know that would be unethical, but are there similarities or am I in for a complete shock?
Also, does anyone know if you receive one Below Proficient, if you automatically fail? Or is it some sort of combination, like four other process groups were Proficient, but one Below Proficient, is still enough to pass?
I need help not freaking out.
Are other practice tests that others have taken more representative of the actual questions?
Based on what you reported below, you will, most probably, pass the exam.
The Prepcast practice questions are, to a great extent, similar to the real exam but they are not enough.
My advise to you is to take at least 4 full practice exams from a well known exam simulator (you can check the
PM Exam Simulator
) and if you score an average of 80% you should go ahead for the exam confidently.
PM PrepCast Exam = 83%
Exam Central Exam = 83%
Oliver Lehrman Exam = 82%
Passionate PM Exam = 82%
PM Study = 78% (but they had many questions about AOA, which I have not studied, along with a few other things which I've never ever seen anywhere...?, which would have brought me up to 80-83%.
Quizzes I get anwhere from 76% to 100% depending on the knowledge area, etc.
So probably, most likely, maybe passing...
I guess I will find out soon.
I agree, I think there's a high likelihood you will pass. If you've taken full length exams, then you have the critical skill of being able to answer all the questions in the time allotted, and based on your scores, it really sounds like you will do just fine. It is a difficult test, but not because the questions are more difficult than what you've practiced. It's difficult (at least for me) because you feel the pressure of the testing situation and the time limit. The only way to counter that is have taken the full length tests, pacing yourself, and not losing focus. Following Cornelius' advice about checking out the testing location before the actual day, bringing a snack and water, and getting a couple days rest before the test really worked well for me to.
And remember, what's the worst that can happen - you learn a ton and then retake it. But I really think you will pass the first time! Certainly let us know when that happens!
Thanks. I'm honestly worried about both the content and the pressure. The moment I take smaller portion quizzes and remove the timer, (I still get done under the alloted time), I do fine emotionally (although honestly, I still get around 83%)... my brain and body relax. At least I'm consistent in my scoring either way. I'm worried that I'll freak out so much that I just choke.
I have actually driven to the location. It is 1 hour 30 minutes away and hidden behind another building with no sign out front, plus the street I would turn on to get there is in a large 10 mile loop, so you cross the street once before going three mile to turn on that same street. Never would have known... (and yes, don't own a GPS b/c mine crudded out and haven't gotten a new one and don't have GPS on phone... still old fashioned).
I have a plan to do nothing the day before and the day before that. Just relax. The morning of, practice brain dump one more time. Sleep in but not too late. Eat good breakfast, bring water and snacks, wear comfortable clothes, bring all my books and notes just in case I freak out. Be early. Bring necessary paperwork. Have contingency plan.
I am horrible when it comes to reading under pressure and have always had comprehension issues (never content understanding issues) and combine that with time... you've got me in a bad situation. When I sat for an ASQ test, I literally had to be in the zone for that 3 hour test. Luckily I found it. So far, I've not tapped into that during any of my practice tests and that worries me to no end. I'd feel more confident if I was scoring in the 90's.
I agree with Ahmed and Leslie. You seem to be in great shape to pass your exam. When I was taking my practice exams, my results feel in the 70's. I too felt a little concerned at that time, but once I logged into this forum community and read some of the feedback from other students regarding their practice test results, I felt better and I passed the first time. I don't fair well under pressure either so I allowed myself 2 five minute breaks during the exam to catch my breath. This may not work for everybody, but it did for me. All the best in your exam and let us know how you did.
I wrote and passed my PMP yesterday. I don't think I felt quite as nervous as you did but let me tell you - I did start to cry when the Congrats message popped up on the screen.
Based on my experience yesterday, here's what I can tell you:
1. I used the prepcast and the exam simulator as my main study tools. I did use two supplemental study books (Head First PMP and Achieve PMP Success) and I do not feel they substantially contributed to my preparation. The prepcast was my best tool for learning the material and the exam simulator was the best tool for mentally preparing for the exam
2. As per Cornelius' advice, I didn't spend one single minute memorizing ITTOs. In my opinion, that advice was spot on.
3. The PMP exam uses psychometric scoring so based on my understanding, you may face a hard exam with a low bar to jump over to pass or you may face an easy exam with a higher bar for passing. After writing all 9 practice exams in the exam simulator, I believe I had an easier exam. I felt many of my questions were more straight-forward than what I saw in the exam simulator and closer to what was in the self-assessments.
4. In the end, I ended up scoring Proficient in three areas and moderately proficient in two. Closing was one of my moderately proficient areas and in my exam simulator results, I was only scoring 71% on that area. Monitoring & Controlling was a proficient area for me and in my exam simulator results, I was only scoring 79%. But, Initiating was my other moderately proficient area and in my exam simulator results, I was scoring 86%.
5. Your exam score is made up of two parts - and overall pass/fail and then your domain results. They are not related. You do not have to achieve a minimum mark on each area in order to get your overall pass/fail, therefore YES, you can get below proficient in an area and still pass. I wrote my CAPM five years ago and I had a below proficient and still passed. Full disclosure - my CAPM results were by knowledge area, not domain so that was 1 below proficient out of 9 (only 9 knowledge areas back in those days...) But I definitely recall watching one of the prepcast videos were Cornelius explains the examination results and shows an example of a pass with a below proficient.
My advice to you - start taking some full 2 hour exams. I know you've said that the pressure freaks you out which is all the more reason to simulate the exam conditions as much as possible. My exam centre was small, only 8 testing stations so it was relatively quiet, save for the construction going on right outside. Try doing a couple of full exams at the same time as your real exam. I found a difference in my scores based on when I wrote my practice exam - after work scores were lower than early morning weekend scores. I wrote early on a weekday so they were a better reflection of how I'd do.
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This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam.