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TOPIC: Need Advice

Need Advice 7 years 1 month ago #10822

  • Alyssa Chiasson
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Hi guys,
I've been studying for my PMP off and on for about a year. Work and lack of motivation got in the way for a while, but I've been back at it for the last six weeks- studying 3-6 hours each day. I've read Rita at least 4 times, and have gone through the PMBOK guide multiple times as well. On the Rita practice exams, I've done them so many times that I have the answers all memorized. I THOUGHT I was ready for the exam, which is scheduled for this Friday. I just started working on the quizzes from the PrepCast videos (the little 15 question ones) and on almost half of them, I'm scoring in the 43%-66% range, even after just studying those particular chapters for hours on end. Just for fun, I retook the PrepCast pretest (labeled as easy-medium difficulty) and scored 56%. That is literally the exact score I made when I first took that pretest a year ago.

Has anyone else been stuck in a "I am not progressing, no matter how hard I study" phase? How did you overcome it? I'd love the PMBOK exam simulator, but I feel like I've already spent way too much $ on this, and now I have to pay to reschedule. Does anyone else feel like they are not retaining any of the info? Order of Operations on most processes and ITTOs are a lost cause. I'm stressing out because I've always been a good student- I finished my MBA with a 3.9 GPA, and never had any difficulty like this in school (10 years ago).

I'm open to any and all suggestions and words of wisdom.

Need Advice 7 years 1 month ago #10825

  • Tracy Shagnea, PMP
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Hi Alyssa!

It seems to me that you may be a bit burned out. I think spreading it out over an entire year is a bit too long to maintain focus and to retain much of the rather particular way in which PMI's somewhat esoteric approach and terminology works.

I'm sorry to hear that you're frustrated. I sympathize, because it was also a challenge for me to stay focused on studying between issues at work, struggling to find the time and even my own periodic laziness! I started studying in October 2016 and sat for the exam in April of this year. I also found out in March that I had a hard deadline of April 19 due to personal commitments that were going to make me unavailable 6 nights a week until July! The pressure was definitely there. So, here is how I approached the final leg:

Having completed Rita's book, I shifted my focus to practice exams (I used www.pm-exam-simulator.com/ - I think it's a great product and a bargain for the price). I think this was integral for me, because it allowed me to see where I was weak and then do a focused review of that particular topic. After each practice exam, I pasted the results into a spreadsheet and categorized each question that I got wrong so I could find the areas where I needed further study (using a variety of sources - Rita's book, the PMBOK, etc.). I also reviewed the answers to the questions I missed in order to learn from my mistakes. Finally, I reviewed the answer to questions that I got correct if I found that question difficult during the test (I wrote down the number of such questions as I took the test, so I could go back to them after the exam).

I managed to improve at least a bit with each practice test, and when I took the exam on April 18 I passed.

You're obviously intelligent enough to pass the test, given your success in graduate school. I suspect the issue lies more in your approach and, perhaps, on some mental fatigue -- but you know you better than I do, so take that with a grain of salt!

Best of luck!

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Last edit: by Tracy Shagnea, PMP.

Need Advice 7 years 1 month ago #10836

  • John George
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Hi Alyssa

I think you are very nervous about your exam. In my opinion, you should have practiced various questions for last 4-6 weeks. When i prepared for my examination, I took precast courses plus simulators, I just used pmbok 5th edition book as main source of reference. Important thing is practicing with many questions.
Because pmp is really tough, in my opinion it's better if you reschedule your exam and practice some good simulators and see your result. If you are getting more than 80% consistently for at least 5 mock exams, you are ready for exams.


[email protected] 7 years 1 month ago #10865

  • Anonymous
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Thanks, Tracy. I'll get the simulator and see if that helps. And you're correct, I am burned out on this. I've rescheduled for Mid July- I appreciate your advice.
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