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TOPIC: Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14360

  • Joao Miguel Beltrao
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Hi everyone! I passed by PMP exam on June 12th 2018, in Lisbon, Portugal, with an overall Above Target (specifically 4 Above Targets and one Target).

I started my journey in March 2018 by gathering all the info on my past projects, so that I was all ready to submit my application when the time came.
I was waiting for the new version of the PMP Exam based on the PMBOK 6 and sure enough, by March 25h the new courses for the new PMP were already available and I started watching the PMP Prep Courses on Pluralsight.

After the first run-through I bought another course, the Joseph Phillips PMP Prep course on Udemy. I started going through that course in parallel with reading the PMBOK – i.e. I would watch a chapter of the course and read the corresponding chapter of the PMBOK.
After that I took another run through the Pluralsight course.

I continued my studies with Rita’s PMP Prep book and the PMTraining.com Exam Simulator package.
The PMBOK was a constant go-to reference while doing the mock exams.
After a while I purchased access to PMPrepCast Exam Simulator and went through a lot of questions there, referencing the PMBOK along the way.

I studied and/or practiced every single day. For between 1 to 2 hours each weekday, and around 10 to 12 hours over each weekend (4 hours on a Saturday and 8 hours on a Sunday, for example).
Finally on June 12th, after a bit over 2 and a half months of intense studying, I took and passed the exam.

Some notes on each resource:

Pluralsight PMP Prep courses by Casey Ayers – Really great course, I highly recommend it. Do watch out for the occasional reference to some “old” material – I think not 100% of the course got updated and proof-watched, but overall I would truly recommend it to everyone.

Joseph Phillips PMP Prep Course on Udemy.com – Another great course, probably the best value for money there is in this space. I would have payed 4x as much for it and still feel it would be great value for money. Like all courses and prep material that is so “recent” in regard to the new exam, the occasional small reference to some “old” stuff still lurks, but it’s a non-issue. The assignments you get, and the 200 questions quizzes at the end, are worth the money alone.

PMBOK 6 – This may sound strange but I actually LIKE the PMBOK. I ready it once from start to finish (the portion that we need to read for the exam, not the “ANSI Standard” or the “Agile Practice Guide” portions).

Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep 9th edition – This is the “gold standard” of PMP exam prep books, and it was a really helpful resource. I ignored the Rita Process Chart because I prefer the PMP “way” of presenting processes and ITTOs, but the “meat of the book” is excellent.

PMTraining.com Exam Simulator – A great resource and great value for money (yes you do need to pay for it). The questions are short (like in the real exam) but the questions are a bit easier overall than in the real PMP Exam. But do yourself a favor and buy access to this simulator – it is a great way to practice before you hop onto harder and more realistic stuff.
For each question you will get an explanation on each option as to why it is the right/wrong option and a reference to the correct page(s) on the PMBOK.

Simplilearn Free 200Q Simulator – I used this one too. Great questions, and great way to simulate a full blown 200 question exam.

PMStudy.com Free 200Q Simulator – Also a great resource, and free.

PM Prepcast Exam Simulator – When you’re ready, step up your game with the “big boy” – This simulator will give you harder questions, a great discussion forum, and great support. Oh and the explanations for each right/wrong answer are very detailed and you will also get the overall references to the best pages on the PMBOK for more information.
I interacted a lot with the team at PM Prepcast through the question feedback mechanics they built into the simulator (many thanks for that!) I found that the questions on this simulator are longer than what you see on the actual exam, but many of the questions try to shoot for the same level of “vagueness” that you will see on many of the real PMP exam questions. Even though this may be one of the simulator’s strengths, it can give you a high level of frustration. Remember this is by design, because the real PMP exam will make you feel the same way.
Don’t stress if suddenly you get a low score on one of the mock exams here and, if you really think you gave a correct answer and the simulator says otherwise, go research the PMBOK, and if you are truly correct or if you think the questions had information that was too misleading, go ahead and use the live feedback option inside the simulator.
As for comparing my simulator scores with the real final PMP exam results: I was scoring above 80% on both simulators (PMTraining.com and PM Prepcast) on the final week leading up to the exam.
At PM Prepcast my dashboard says that 80% of questions were correctly answered in my first attempt.
Let me say this again: don't get discouraged if you get a low score on one or two of the mock exams. It's part of the process. It happens to everyone.

Overall I answered 3615 questions – 1410 questions at PM Prepcast, 1509 questions at PMTraining and 696 questions on other simulators, books, etc.
And finally on the exam: the security procedures were stricter than at the airport (ouch, really Prometric?). I took a break at the 100 question mark to drink some water, eat a snack and go to the bathroom. The exam took me 3 hours.
I felt that some questions were straightforward and some others were truly vague. I wish I could see exactly what questions I got wrong, what the explanation for each right/wrong option was, and I wish there was a way to “challenge” those questions the same way you can on the PM Prepcast simulator. I bet you I could revert one or two questions because some of them are really WTF?!?
So now I’m a PMP. Time to celebrate and figure out what I will do with all the new free time I have in my day that I used to fill up with studying.

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14361

  • Stan Po, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
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Dear Joao,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. We highly value your genuine feedback here in the forum as well as the inputs you have provided through our simulator Live Feedback™ support feature. Insights like yours help us improve our products for all our customers. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Now it’s time to celebrate your success. Don't forget to start earning your PDU’s.

Congratulations again!
Regards,
Stan
The following user(s) said Thank You: Joao Miguel Beltrao

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14362

  • John Wolverton
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Joao
Congratulations, and very nice write up on what you did to prep for the PMP!
Best Wishes
jfw
John F. Wolverton, PMP®
The following user(s) said Thank You: Joao Miguel Beltrao

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14363

  • Joao Miguel Beltrao
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Thank you all!! Oh and feel free to move this post to the "Lessons Learned" board :)

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14365

  • Joao Miguel Beltrao
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Thank you so much Stan, it was my pleasure to give you the feedback on some of the questions. Many thanks to all of you at OSP International!

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14405

  • Anonymous
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Hi Juao,

Congratulations, on passing your exam. Since PMBOK has been changed and so are the exams, Please guide, if RITA's still helpful or PMBOK 6th edition could be the only source for updated contents.

Regards,

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14407

  • Luke Ho
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Congrats, Joao. So most questions were short instead of long winded questions? The fact that you finished in 3 hours probably meant that the questions were short and even spending more time reading the questions, your answers wouldn't have been changed

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14426

  • Joao Miguel Beltrao
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I think you should use several resources to prepare (though not too many). PMBOK 6 is essential and Rita's guide is really good. I would recommend you read both.

Passed the PMP on June 12th 2018 – Overall Above Target 2 years 5 months ago #14427

  • Joao Miguel Beltrao
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Yeah you're right in what you wrote :)
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