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TOPIC: Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning)

Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning) 4 years 1 week ago #15144

  • Shema Khan
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Hi all,
This morning what I experienced was awful, in first 50 min, I was able to answer 40 questions. Loads of question on procurement, Stk holder management and steps to follow after either a scope change/ increase or missed something in QA updates to documents. Some of the questions had very complicated confusing language. I did pretty bad on M&C which use to be my strength not sure what I did wrong.
I failed my first attempt and I'm really heartbroken. I really want to understand if I should rewrite this again in the next few weeks based on the results I got.
Here is what I got -
Initiation - BT
Planning - AT
Executions - Needs Imp.
M&C - BT
Closing - BT
I might need a strategy to ace this exam.
I had given 5 mocks average was 67 %.
I had friends who passed the exam when they were getting 60% on prep cast exams. I did use Rita and Prep cast simulator to prepare. I really need to evaluate before I take the decision to rewrite. I have worked as a PM and it seems like I'm not getting PMP material.

Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning) 4 years 1 week ago #15148

  • Deepak G
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Hi Shema,
As your appeared in real exam so you have the experience on the questions. Based on the questions think where you struggled to answer like narrow down to two choices but failed to get the one with confidence or understanding the question and getting the associated process with question was a challenge.
Definitely getting high score in mock exam is plus and gives more confidence. But you should focus on the gaps and why you answered wrongly.
My suggestion for rewrite will be as below.
1. Focus on all the processes and understand well. Understand all the terminology with each process and what is input & output.
2. Understand each output and what it contains and where it will be used /updated in project life cycle.
3. Then take mock exam again and check for the gaps.
Rushing for a PMP exam is never good as it checks your understanding on the processes and how well you can implement.You mentioned lot of procurement/stakeholder/change in scope so focus more in those areas for gaps.
Good luck for your preparation & next rewrite.
Last edit: by Deepak G. Reason: corrected sentence

Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning) 4 years 1 week ago #15157

  • Joe Pang
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Hi Shema,

Sorry to hear that you did not do so well in the exam. Don't let that beat you down, take a short break (it's Fridayyyy), reflect on what you did well/ didn't do so well, and formulate a new strategy to pass the 2nd exam.

From looking at your post. I'd suggest the following:
1. I wouldn't book the 2nd exam so soon. Study the areas you didn't do so well (I'd say start with Init, Close, Exec), then do another mock exam. Once you see where you are at, you'll know how much more time you need to study. At this point you can book an exam date that you are comfortable with.
2. Don't be surprised that you will need to reread the PMBOK and Rita's (in my case, 3 times). Also remembering the concepts is only a bare minimum, you need to know how to apply these concepts, keep applying these PM concepts in your imaginary projects!
3. You said the exam questions have very complicated and confusing language. To counter this, do a lot of mock exams, finish your Rita and Prepcast Simulator exams, then venture out and find other sources of mock exams. I don't think all the questions in the actual exam is written by only one person, so doing a lot of exams questions from various sources can really help.

You can do it! Cheers!
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in capital construction projects and digital transformation projects for the power & utility sector.

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shema Khan, pdeverak

Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning) 4 years 1 week ago #15159

  • Cynthia Lim Louis, PMP
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Hi Shema,

Don't feel disheartened. Project Managers never quit, stay focused :). I didn't passed in my first attempt but I passed in my second one. I know many PMP Aspirants who passed their exams in their second attempt and some third attempt, so don't give up. Like what Joe said, take a few days break, recharged and try again :).

You mentioned that you did 5 mock exams with an average score of 67%, have you had a chance to filter out areas that you need to revise based on these mock exams? If you have not, here's my suggestion on what you could do (assuming you are using the PM PrepCast Exam Stimulator) to know where you can start focusing.

1. For each mock exam that you took, filter out the questions that you answered right vs. wrong by process groups and knowledge areas. Write down how many you get it right and how many you get it wrong, you should be able to see which are the areas you need to focus on. You can then either start by revising your incorrect answers from the exam simulator or go straight to PMBOK and Rita's guide. Each question in the exam simulator has a PMBOK reference page at the bottom of the question which you can use to start your revision.

2. You mentioned "complicated confusing language" in the exams. I agree with Joe, one way to counter that is to practice many mock exams, however, if I may add, usually long situational questions are there to trick you, these questions typically has no right or wrong answers but the BEST answer, so what I did (advice from a PM coach) is to (i) read the last sentence of the question on what exactly the question is asking (ii) read the 4 answer choices and then (iii) read the entire question, it will help you filter out the "noise" in the question.

3. I agree with Joe about not booking for a 2nd exam so soon but you also have to come up with a timeline because we are given one year with three attempts to pass the exams. Having said that, let me share with you my experience. My first attempt was based on 5th edition and I failed. I booked for a second exam in the following 3 weeks but due to incremental weather in my area, the exam center was closed. I had no choice but to start preparing for 6th edition. My one year eligibility was Nov 2019 and so my plan was to take it in July and if I failed in my second attempt, then I will have enough time to prepare for my third attempt. Therefore, I suggest that you start looking at how much time you have, come up with a study plan, be consistent and be focus.

I hope this helps :).

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Failed the exam - 3 below target and one above target (Wrote it this morning) 4 years 3 days ago #15195

  • Daniel Dewart
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I am so sorry to hear that you failed the PMP test on your first try - but don't be discourage, a proper mindset is 50% of the secret, the other 50% is preparation. Look at my recommendations
below and give yourself 30-45 days, or 60-80 hours, of intensive review before trying again.

A good place to start is with the quizzes on PM Prepcast. Make sure you select learning mode and do between 10 and 20 questions each time. Check if you got the question right after
EACH question. If you got a question wrong then read the PM Prepcast answer and do additional research on the internet to clarify anything you may still be confused about. Take your
time doing this and make sure you really understand the material before moving on. I found that the PM Prepcast questions covered the tenor and tone of the actual test questions very well. Also,
make sure you set the filter Prepcast questions to only show questions you have not yet seen. After a week do a couple of rounds of questions with the filter set to only questions you got
wrong – this will reinforce learning the material.

Get the PMP Pocket Prep from the Apple Store. In Pocket Prep; go to “Exam Readiness”->”Helpful Information” and read the “Mastering Your Multiple Choice Exam”. Repeat at least two more
times prior to taking the test. This is by far the most useful article I have read for strategies on how to improve your multiple-choice test taking skills.

Please let me know how you do on the second round – we are all rooting for you!



P.S. Take some chocolate with you on the day of the test and eat it right before you start. Not only will it relax you, but it will give your brain much needed energy to make it through the test.
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