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TOPIC: I passed my PMP exam yesterday

I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6338

  • Robert Johnson
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I am very happy to report that I passed my PMP exam on my first attempt yesterday with Proficient ratings in all five domains. The whole preparation process took me roughly five months, about twice as long as I originally had expected, based on feedback from people who had gone before. My main sources were the PMBOK, the PM PrepCast online course (including the exam simulator), and Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep 8th Edition. I supplemented them by looking online for information about particular topics where I needed more in-depth study.

I went through three of the PrepCast 4-hour exams, plus doing all of the end-of-chapter practice exams in Rita’s book in one sitting. I also took a few of Christopher Scordo’s shorter practice tests in PMI’s free eReads and Reference section for PMP exam guidance.

Basically, I tried to follow the study approach outlined in my two main sources. I was pleased with it and thought that they both gave good guidance about the PMI mindset, specific knowledge, types of questions, and test taking logistics and psychology. I would highly recommend both PrepCast and Rita’s book. Having at least two different viewpoints like that is also helpful, as individuals inevitably bring their unique perspective. I considered even adding a third but didn’t, due to exhaustion by that point in the process.

Here are the basic steps that I followed:

1. Initial planning and resource selection. After reviewing the PMI credential handbook and other exam information, I spent a week looking through online PMP and project management forums to get recommendations on study approaches, classes, and books. They were very helpful to orient me in a somewhat daunting process. I looked for teachers and authors who were consistently recommended. Price and location for courses were also a consideration. Since I live some distance from the city, I chose an online course, although initially I was inclined to try for the face-to-face approach.

2. Preparing the experience worksheet for the PMI application. It’s good to gather all your information as early as possible to document your work experience for PMI’s application to take the PMP, even though you cannot submit the application until you have passed your course. This also took much longer than I initially expected, due to the effort involved in gathering the information on all the projects and describing the projects in PMBOK language. As recommended, I sent the information to my previous manager and got her approval for it in advance.

3. First pass through the PMBOK. This could have been combined with reading Rita’s book, but in my case I didn’t do it that way.

4. Read Rita’s book, following her recommended sequence. I still didn’t feel quite ready for the exams, so I held off taking her end-of-chapter practice exams.

5. Took Cornelius Fichtner’s PrepCast course online. Cornelius really helped solidify my understanding of all the good information in Rita’s book. I enjoyed his encouraging approach and sense of humor. Having this (virtual) human interaction was particularly helpful, given that I was studying in isolation. A few of the additional topics that were particularly helpful to me were the modules on Agile, Earned Value, and Critical Chain.

6. Took a break. At this point I felt I had been studying forever, and it was summer. So I took a break for close to a month.

7. Exam simulator and second pass through PMBOK. I did some review to catch up after my break, using the notes I had taken in all the previous steps. Then I went through all of Rita’s end-of-chapter practice exams and took 3 of the PrepCast simulated exams. This was over a period of about two weeks. As I finished the PMBOK for the last time, I took a few of the Scordo practice tests on the PMI site. Since I was scoring above 80%, I felt ready to take the real test.

8. Final test preparation. As recommended, I went a week early on a dry run to the Prometric test site. Given that I had the uncertainty of a ferry trip involved, it was helpful for easing my mind. I practiced writing out my formulas every day for about a week until I felt confident. (I included EVM, Present Value, communication channels, PTA and FPIF for contracts, and three-point estimates and standard deviation sigma values.) I also repeatedly went over the ITTO diagrams for each of the 10 knowledge areas. For some reason, it was better for me to work backwards on these, starting with the outputs of a process, then the tools, and finally the inputs. I tried to take it easy the day before the test and on the day of the test, although I couldn’t resist a little last-minute review.

Good luck to everyone studying for the exam. It is quite the intense experience, but it is comforting to know that there is an endpoint and you are not alone.

Bob Johnson
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by Robert Johnson. Reason: On rereading it, I prefer to remove the end notes. Thanks.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mary Berchtold

I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6344

  • Ahmed Amin
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Congratulations Robert for the PMP and the 5Ps, well done.
Ahmed Amin Abdullah, PMP
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I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6351

  • Rahul Kakkar
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Congratulations Robert! Thank you for posting your lessons learned.
Rahul Kakkar, PMP, MBA
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I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6356

  • Dawn Upperman
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Wow 5 P's...Congrats!

I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6366

  • cindy kok
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Wow! 5Ps! Congrats Robert. I failed my exam yesterday.. got no Ps, only 3 moderate Ps and 2 under Ps. Thank you for the helpful tips...I guess my weakest area maybe the ITTOs.

I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6388

  • Ahmed Amin
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Hello cindy,
Sorry to hear that you have failed the exam, please use our forum as a resource and we will be glad to support you.
Ahmed Amin Abdullah, PMP
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I passed my PMP exam yesterday 1 year 1 month ago #6390

  • Dawn Upperman
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Hi Cindy, Sorry to hear you did not pass. As Ahmed said, please feel free to use our forum as a resource for support and for encouragement. You can do this!
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