It can't hurt to take it again. When I went through the PrepCast course I wanted to score about 90% on all the tests to make sure I had the information down. To me, 75% can be marginal depending upon how good we are at taking multiple choice tests. I'm terrible at multiple choice tests, so I felt I needed to have a solid mastery of the material before attempting the exam. My suggestions is to:
Step 1: 2-3 Weeks
(1) Read the PMBOK and take notes. I did this in Excel, separating each chapter into the PMBOK by Excel Tabs. Your notes should be in the form of a question (so you can test yourself). I didn't have more than 30 questions per section. Examples from my notes (on Integration):
Who owns integration management? Project Manager, cannot be delegated.
Is a project charter a contract? No, no consideration.
What are the change request types? Corrective, Preventative, Defect Repair, Updates.
What is Salience Model? Classifies stakeholders based on power, urgency, and legitimacy (PUL). The salience model is useful for large complex communities of stakeholders.
Step 2: Ongoing, Nightly.
Step 3: 2-3 Weeks
- Step #1, may take several weeks because we want "SPACING". Which is a technique to remember information through spacing out our learning. We also want to print out the processes (see example 5-15 Validate Scope). I put these on note-cards and reviewed them at night. Only remember unique inputs, outputs and tools. You'll see trends that all processes have data analysis, expert judgement and data representation (charts). Note if a particular process uses a particular report. Estimating processes have estimation tools, so many of the processes are intuitive. Again, just learning the outliers.
- Also be able to write out the process chart (Knowledge Areas by Process Group).
Now that we have re-read the PMBOK, started to quiz ourselves from our notes, understand the big inputs and outputs of processes, can write down the knowledge process chart and formulas, we can re-test. Based on testing and spacing theory of learning you should see improvement. Redo all the PrepCast tests. For each test eliminate answers (strike-through). Try to get the answer down to two. Review the test the next day or the following day. For each question, did we a) know the answer, b) not know the answer, c) got it down to two but guessed wrong, d) got it down to two and guessed right). If its b/c/d - see if the information is in our notes? If not add it (in form of a question). So we are review notes (quizzing our self), going through the process chart, studying ITTOs, formulas, taking tests, reviewing tests.
Sounds like you have a solid base, but need some additional work to get to a place of mastery of the material. And finally, we need to think of the philosophy behind PMP exam questions and how you elminate answers. Here is a question (I made up), to show you how to approach the PMP exam:
Question: Is it is company policy that only the scope and cost baselines are configurable items. Changes to the schedule baselines need to be signed off by the functional manager who directs and manages the scheduling department for the company. Due to a delay in a vendor delivering a required component, the schedule has slipped beyond a critical threshold and a new schedule baseline must be approved. The functional manager is away on vacation for a week. What is the best course of action for the project manager?
a) Wait until the functional manager returns to get approval of the new schedule.
b) Issue a change request.
c) Escalate to the project sponsor.
d) Get approval from the acting scheduling functional manager.
The goal of each question in the PMP exam is to get it down to 2 answers. The PMP has some "trap" questions as well, like we read something about risks and then see risk register in the answers, we are drawn to that answer without fully reading the question. The best test taking strategy is to: think about what proactively moves the project forward, solves problems, with the tools you have in the current scenario.
How to eliminate answer(s:)
Eliminate a) project managers are proactive. Waiting around doing nothing is not proactive.
Eliminate b) the schedule is NOT a configuration item, thus changes do not go through the change control. (need to go against what the PMBOK generally recommends and read the question).
You are down to two answers and you have to pick the "best" answer between C & D.
(C) is problematic because as PMs we don't run to the PS every time something goes awry, we are proactive, we fix the problem. Plus think what can the PS do to solve my problem? This is just procrastination in another form.
Thus, we are left with (D).
This question requires you to think about the configuration management plan and OPAs effect on project policies and processes. There is nothing in the PMBOK that you can actually memorize to figure out the answer, but you use some intuition and think getting approval from the acting scheduling manager is probably the best answer as it seems there is a department whose sole responsibility it is make these changes and keep them updated (probably for the whole company) and there is probably a process in place for secondary approvals if the manager is out of the office.
I think you've got all the tools, but just need another final strong push through the material. I am a pilot (for fun) and failed a check-ride once (the examination includes a written test, an oral test and an actual flight test). I was pretty dejected because I knew I was capable of passing, but just not that day. My instructor told me that if you put all the people in a room that never failed a check-ride (or an exam), it's a pretty dull party.
Hope this helps and best of luck.