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TOPIC: Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 3 weeks ago #17601

  • Borislav Belinski
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I tried to take my PMP exam on Jun 1st but failed (slightly below the passing middle line). I have been practicing with your simulator since January and have spent 78 hours on it...I have read the PMBOK twice and listened to your podcasts. But when I sat for the exam some of the questions there were looking more complex. I have done great on 2 areas (Above target for M&C and Closing). However my Planning domain Needs improvement and my Initiation and Executing domain are Below Target. I have just purchased extension for 60 days for your simulator but practicing the same questions may not help me much. Do you have a particular advise on what additional preparation I may do to make sure I get this right the second time I sit for the exam?
I have been also using Rita's book and FASTrack simulator and have been doing also great there (>75-80%).
On the actual exam it seems I am very pressurized by the time and I could only complete all 200 questions but there is insufficient time for review of the marked ones. I have been trying very hard to increase my speed but I cannot do it. At the end I normally have 10-15 minutes left max... I find particularly hard to answer questions from the type "What you should do NEXT...or FIRST"...it looks that they have more than one right answers...
Any practical advise for approach and re-study? Appreciate very much your help!

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #17638

  • Joe Pang
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Hello Borislav,

Sorry to hear that you did not do so well on the 1st attempt. From your post, it looks like you did well in your exam preparation stage, however during the actual you run into problems with the time as well as the exam question format.

I have a couple of suggestions for you:
1. While Prepcast Simulator is amongst the best product in the market, I'd suggest doing other exam simulators as well (ex. Oliver Lehmann), so that you get used to a variety of exam question style.
2. Do as many of full-length mock exams as you can
3. When I was doing my exam I read the whole thing backwards (Start with answer choices -> narrow down what knowledge area to focus -> then read the question), try this method during your mock exam and see if it improves your time.

Also, can you let us know what particular challenge you had during the actual exam? (Ex. Were the answers too similar? the language used is too complicated?)
Can you also post your Prepcast simulation score if you don't mind?

Hope this helps, and thank you for your patience for my late reply.
-Joe
Toronto-based project manager, currently engaging in paperless transformation projects for utilities companies

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #17639

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Thank you, Joe.
My results from the Exam Simulator presently are:
PMP Exam 1 82%
PMP Exam 2 74.5%
PMP Exam 3 90%
PMP Exam 4 89%
PMP Exam 5 93%
PMP Exam 6 83.5%
PMP Exam 7 80%
PMP Exam 8 (ITTO) 90.5%

I have subscribed for 2 more online simulators (PM Master Prep (pmmasterprep.com) & PM Training (pmtraining.com)). I hope more practice with new questions will help... Also studying again Planning, Execution and Initiation process groups and finding the links as well memorizing the Plan activity sequences and Tool and Techniques may help, I think.
I feel I shall concentrate first on correctly determining the Knowledge area and the Process group in the question (I still have hard time to do it, but even I am correct I am still having hard time to remember which tools are used and not used for a particular process, which inputs are required, and what are exactly the outputs...It seems a lot of questions (even indirectly) are testing you on exactly that - if you know the ITTOs...)

You asked for the particular challenge - I think reading the questions takes long time for me because if I read them too fast it just doesn't make sometimes any sense, I am reading it either slowly or sometimes faster but 2-3 times. By the time I understand what they are asking for - around 1 minute is gone...So it is very pressuring to choose an answer (just 20 sec left, right?). I pick the best choice based on elimination and then sometimes I mark the questions but if there is no time at the end to go back the marking doesn't make any sense...

Anyway - I will try my best to study more and do more full length exams so I have better chance of passing the second time...

One more question - how long you think I shall wait until my second trial (bear in mind I am working and mainly studying at the evenings and weekends)> I am not sure that for 1 month I can perfect all the new questions I have subscribed for (around 1200+1400 = 2600 more questions in the other two simulators). It is a bit overwhelming ...
Last edit: by Borislav Belinski.

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #17640

  • Tracy Shagnea, PMP
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Borislav,

You are right that there can be more than one correct answer. You have to choose the best answer from among the possibilities. It's important to parse the question and get to the heart of the question. PMI puts lots of extraneous info in some of the questions that can be (and needs to be) safely ignored.

One element of my studying that made a big difference for me was in analyzing the questions that I got wrong. Each time I took a full practice test, after I was done I examined all the questions I got wrong and categorized the type of error I made to see if there were patterns. When I saw a pattern, I worked to correct it. Part of this is to understand WHY you got the question wrong. That is to say, don't just read the correct answer and move on. You need to understand WHY you didn't get that answer. Was it just a fact you didn't know? No big deal, there, now you know it. Is is a concept you don't understand? Then you may need to really go over that concept in the PMBOK or training guide until you understand it. Sometimes you may well see that you simply weren't even answering the right question - PMI threw in lots of "fog" that wasn't central to the question and you got lost in evaluating the answer because the question wasn't clear in your mind. If that's happening, you need to work on separating the wheat from the chaff (i.e., figuring out what really was being asked).

For me, I discovered that many of my mistakes initially were what I categorized as "stupid mistakes" because I read the question too fast and missed the point. I had to really work to slow myself down and read calmly and thoroughly. My test scores to jumped considerably when I did this . It may seem counter-intuitive to say you need to complete all these questions by going more slowly, but due to my nature, it was critical (I'm terribly impatient).

Most of all, don't panic! You can do this. Don't rush. Take your time to study well and you will see improvement.

Best of luck!
Tracy
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #17642

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Hello Borislav,

How unfortunate that you didn't pass your exam at first. I know it can be frustrating. But don't let that get you down. Many have been in your situation before and they managed to pass the exam on their second attempt. You can do it, too! Here are some of my ideas:

First, you didn't have to purchase another 60-day extension from us, because we offer a free 90-day extension if you don't pass your exam. Here is how this works:
- You are a paying customer of The PM Exam Simulator.
- You did not ask for a refund on your account.
- You took your PMP®, PMI-ACP® or CAPM® exam but didn’t pass it.
- Send a scanned version of your Exam Score Report to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. within 45 days of the failed exam attempt. (Don’t have a scanner? Take a picture with your smart phone.)
- In the email please tell us the first name, last name and email address from your simulator account
So I will go ahead and I'll write to support to ask them to refund your purchase and give you a free extension instead.

Second, please listen to this free interview I did with Kevin Reilly: www.project-management-podcast.com/podca...pmp-exam-three-times
In this discussion, we discover the top reasons why people fail the exam and it may help you to look at your own performance to analyze and better understand what may have gone wrong.

Third, my recommendation as you are preparing for your next attempt is this: keep answering sample questions and spend at least the same time in doing your review. So if you spend 2 hours on answering the questions, you have to spend AT LEAST 2 hours in doing the review. Look at every question that you got wrong and learn from your mistake. Read the explanations, look at the references, review the PMBOK Guide, watch the PrepCast lesson on the topic, and so on. Don't be satisfied with "oh, I got it wrong". But instead, ask why you got it wrong and do the research.

And of course, you want to do exactly the same type of review with all the questions you answered correctly but you know that you guessed, or where you were not sure. So if you were 'just lucky' and got it right by chance, you need to do an in-depth review as well.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #17650

  • Alexandra
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Hello Borislav,
PMI offer language aid - I am not sure where you come from, but maybe they offer your language. Please check it. You must click it when you register on exam. It is free.
Also I got this message from PMI:
"PMP candidates for whom we don’t have a language aid in their native tongue can request additional time to complete their exam. This would need to be requested prior to scheduling their exam. "
It can be also helpful.
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 2 months 1 week ago #17683

  • Alexandra
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Hello,
fyi

I just got email from PMI and they prolong me time for exam to 6 hours because I am not native speaker. Maybe it can help you too.

Your request for special accommodations have been confirmed and approved and you have been granted the following reasonable accommodations to sit for the examination.
Additional time – 2 hours – total of 6 hour to complete the exam
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 4 weeks ago #17823

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Alexandra
This is a perfect advise but I saw it a bit late after I already booked my exam (I do not want to re-book now...I think I have a momentum). You are correct in your guess that my native language is not English and I will try this option if I fail again :)...I think that reading questions slowly and calmly is a key for answering them correctly (that is what Tracy Shagnea, PMP said also above). Reading and understanding the questions correctly makes you apply your knowledge right...At the end of the day that is what matters - your knowledge, not the speed. Unfortunately we must comply with this "speed" requirement which I found to be so pressurizing ....
I hope I will not need to use your advise for 2 hours extension, and I will pass my exam scheduled for next month on July 13...
Thanks again!!!
Last edit: by Borislav Belinski.

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 4 weeks ago #17824

  • Borislav Belinski
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Cornelius
Sorry for the delay in my response. Do you still need a scanned copy of my past test?
I can e-mail the PDF version I downloaded from PMI to your guys if required...
Last edit: by Borislav Belinski.

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 4 weeks ago #17825

  • Borislav Belinski
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This is so true, Tracy!...Read the questions slowly, don't panic, and answer right the first time. Otherwise there might be no time for review at the end... I was indeed panicking there the first time...

Very good advise!!! Thanks!
Last edit: by Borislav Belinski.

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 4 weeks ago #17826

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Hello Borislav,

I do not need a copy of your test results.

Also, I wanted to mention that I recently wrote and published a new article with tips and recommendations titled How to recover from a failed PMP exam . Please take a look. (And of course, I do appreciate anyone's feedback and input. So if you have any additional ideas and tips please let me know).
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Last edit: by Cornelius Fichtner.

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 3 weeks ago #17867

  • Temitope Babs-jonah
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Hi,
i took the PMP exam on the 28th of June, i was so sure i had passed only to see at the end that i did not. i was crushed, but for some reason i snapped out of it, i have spent the entire weekend analyzing my result.
i was marked need improvement on closing and execution. i was surprised on the evaluation of the execution but after a few quiz on closing yesterday i realized that i needed to read more on closing, execution i seem to be ok just made a few silly mistakes.

i really want to take the exam in 2 weeks, by taking alot more simulations, i only took about 4 the first time. what would you advise, Another reason for wanting to take the exam soon, is becasue its best while the zeal is still there and at the end of July i will be migrating with my family .

Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 3 weeks ago #17868

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Temitope,

If you hadn't said "I'm migrating at the end of July" I would have suggested that you do not try and take the exam again within 2 weeks. As I write in my new article about " How to recover from a failed PMP exam " going for a second attempt almost it right away is not recommended. But... you have a clear deadline and I understand the need for speed.

I think what you have already done -- analyze your exam report and realize where you need to improve -- is a great start. So I would recommend that you continue to study those areas, but also to continue to take sample exams and then do a "deep dive" into every single question you get wrong or got correct but it was just a lucky guess. Please check out the article. There are many more tips in there.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Failed the first attempt - practical study advise for second attempt 1 month 1 week ago #17954

  • Borislav Belinski
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Hello Cornelius
Today I passed my PMP exam (on the second try). The results are pretty good - all domains "Above Target", except the Closing one, which is "Target". I had enough time to review my marked questions (about 30 minutes at the end). I changed the answers for 6 of them after careful review. I feel that heavy load came off my shoulders. Thank you for your support. For all who are reading this I used your simulator, but in addition I practiced and completed all test with two more online simulators - PMtraining.com and PMmasterprep.com. It took me actually years since I first started studying in 2016...But actually I only actively practiced using simulators since Feb 2019 (about 5 months). I think the total questions I answered are more than 3500...My advise to those who are taking the exam is to read very carefully the latest PMBOK guide and practice as much as possible with sample questions as well as learn very well the processes and specifically the ones related to Change Requests and Approved Changes, Data-Information-Report Flow, Deliverables - Approved Deliverables, and in summary all the correct sequences in Planning group...That's all guys! Have a great summer!!!
Last edit: by Borislav Belinski.

[email protected] 1 month 1 week ago #17959

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Hi,
How long it takes PMI to review and approve your request?
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