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TOPIC: Passed PMP on 1st try!

Passed PMP on 1st try! 3 years 10 months ago #12441

  • Jorge Castilla
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After deciding to get my PMP cert in Feb I started watching the videos at very slow pace and taking the chapter tests (scored between 70-80%) . Being busy at work and other commitments I finished in August. I bought the prepcast formula book mainly for the 109 sample problems after reading in many forums to expect a lot of problems on the test. At the point I decided to schedule my test for 1 week in October but living Florida had to deal with Hurricane Irma and had to rescheduled it for 11/17/2017. I realized that too much time had passed when I started watching the videos and was starting to forget the earlier lessons. I picked up the pace: 1st I read the PMBOK cover to cover and studied the summaries from Andy Crowe. I started to take some free tests online to get a feel before activating my 90 day exam simulator from Prepcast. Finally i was ready around October and took my tests...5 in all. My scores were 80.5, 87, 86.5, 83, 84. The week before the test I borrowed Rita's book from a frined....and had to put it down because I started to get the feeling I had large gaps. I felt ready since I good scores on Prepcast test. The night before the exam I worried that maybe the prepcast test were too easy and might need to study from Rita's book. I thought about postponing my test but decided against since it was too late.
My strategy was simple...use the 15 min allotted for the tutorial time to do my brain dump (practicing it took me 15 min to write down all 47 processes, formulas) . and mark any question I had doubts on to revisit later. Here is my test experience

- To my surprise the Prometric person told me I couldn't start using scrap paper until the time started on the 1st question. I asked him "not even my brain dump? I was told I could". He said NO! I figured no big deal, during my practice tests I had 20-25 min left over even after reviewing my marked questions.

-I started the test, did my brain dump...right on time 3:45min left

-I marked many questions during my 1st hours, once I was settled in (in test mode) I marked less.

-2 hours into the test I realized I was slow 70 done, but i was confident i could pic-up the pace

-With 30min left, I noticed I had only answered 150, uh oh. i started to speed read and select the 1st answer that came to mind....no more looking for tricky questions which had slowed me considerably..5min left, 170 question done, then 2, 1 , 10 sec...I ran out of time after question 193!! All those marked questions...never had a chance to review again.

- in my head i figured I couldnt get more than 40 wrong answers...and with 7 left to answer and the bunch of marked questions I started to think I had failed....sped thru the survey and waited the 30 sec or so for my results

-PASSED - overall Above target....ea section ABOVE Target. RELIEF!!

Lessons learned: Just like Walter said on the other post I only referred to my brain dump only 3 or 4 times. EVM or other formulas, may 3 or 5. You might not want to spend time on the brain dump! Area to focus not so much the math problems but the situational questions....the sequence of things...a lot of ..."what do you next" or what is the 1st thing you do". My tip is yes read the PMBOK to get familiar with the processes etc, terminology, tools etc. Practice with exam simulators to address gaps (understand why you answered wrong) but most importantly understand the big picture how to put it all together which you wont get out from either the PMBOK nor Prepcast....but like books like Rita's. Good luck in your studies!!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Will Thomas, Genevieve Pluviose, PMP

Passed PMP on 1st try! 3 years 9 months ago #12571

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I has jest passed the Exam at the 1st try and above target. I was surprised because the Prometrics rep did not allow to make a brain dump. There is a rumor in internet and youtube that suggest that technique before starting the exam It is NOT allowed.
I would suggest anyone who is struggling with the exam to study from Aileen Ellis books and this PM Prepcast which is very similar to a real exam.
Good luck

Passed PMP on 1st try! 3 years 9 months ago #12602

  • Shanon Sims
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I also recently passed my PMP exam on the first try. I was surprised, as I didn't feel completely ready but needed to get in done as a step in the process. I was even more focused on Plan B (my contingency plan if I didn't pass) than my Plan A (what happens next after passing).

My suggestions:
* Read the PMBOK. It's boring as hell, but you've simply got to have that info.
* Download apps/games for PMP exam prep. Free ones: ITTO game, just to practice ITTOs for each process. Flash cards, practice test questions, etc. You'll be surprised at how often you will just grab your phone and spend 10-15 minutes on this stuff.
* PMPrepCast is really good prep material. Cornelius has a great delivery style and good tips. I went through it fully during the summer, then listened to the podcast version to review and prep over the past month. I had several study setbacks, so it was good to keep the same study materials over the course of months. And yes, I tried a variety of others as well, including a full Udemy course, but this one is it.
* Get your application done in a timely manner. I did not do this and stressed about it for months! Once it was done, submitted, and accepted, I really kicked myself in the rear for procrastination.
* Be prepared for the exam - don't stress or spend useless time with that Brain Dump. Seriously. You DO NOT get to do it during the tutorial, and once you see that timer going, the tension mounts up. I started it, then decided to must move on with my test and come back to it once I got my groove going. But I was prepared enough that I didn't need that crutch after all. Know your processes! Know your knowledge areas! Know your domains! Know your formulas!
* It seemed like I answered 50 questions over Risk Management! I'm sure it wasn't that many, but I'm pretty sure that the field test questions were all on that one knowledge area due to the frequency of Risk Management popping up on the test. At one point I thought that maybe this was just a Risk Management test and I was being punked. That kind of anxiety is unnecessary, but what do you do? Damn. At least it wasn't EVM! Small aspects of gratitude...
* I took my test in Lisbon, Portugal. I checked the site the day before to get my feel around the place. The test proctors working there had their coats on (December 6), so I asked if it would be cold like this in the center tomorrow. They seemed surprised that I thought it was cold, yet we were all standing in a modern office in a modern building wrapped in coats and scarves. And yes, it was hideously cold in the test room the next day. I wore a large sweater but left my coat in the locker, realizing several minutes into the test what a mistake that was. I needed gloves, leg warmers, woolly socks, a ski mask, etc. Seriously - a small space heater under the cubicle desk would provide SO MUCH comfort and remove distraction. During my restroom break, I was so thankful for the hand dryer so I could just thaw out my fingers!

If you are getting ready for the test, have faith in yourself, be diligent in your studies, and do your best. I hope to see you around the PM world soon!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jorge Castilla
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