Reply: PMP Certification - First Attempt - Online Proctored (AT/AT/AT/AT/T)

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Topic History of : PMP Certification - First Attempt - Online Proctored (AT/AT/AT/AT/T)

Max. showing the last 6 posts - (Last post first)
8 months 1 week ago #22793


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8 months 1 week ago #22792

Elizabeth Harrin

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Well done Brandon! Thanks for taking the time to share your success here.
8 months 1 week ago #22791

Brandon Hogan

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Happy and incredibly relieved to report that I passed the PMP exam yesterday on my first attempt!

I have been studying independently since January this year. There were a number of delays, due to the pandemic. My initial plan was to write by April, but once the current exam was extended I gave myself some "float"... Anyways here was my study regiment.

PM Head First - this was a great starting tool to have a basic understanding of PMP
PMBOK Guide 6th Edition - I would not recommend diving into this without having read PM Head First if you do not have a good understanding of PMP
Ricardo Viras Youtube Video - this gave further perspective and understanding of how all of the process' are integrated
PM Prepcast - I used Prepcast for the 35 PDUs - money well spent. Far longer than 35 hours, but it ensured I understood all of the topics.
PMP Prepcast Exam Simulator - I would not recommend taking the exam without having done at least a few practice exams from Prepcast. The questions were the closest I found to the exam. The 200 questions in 4 hours prepared me in stamina, which was absolutely necessary. My results did fluctuate - 72% - 84%. I felt comfortable after a few exams, but I pushed myself to complete all of them, which made me feel even more comfortable.

I did also read RM Study Guide and Kim Heldman's PM Study Guide, I would not recommend reading both of these. If you feel the need to I would only read one of the two. I found them to be confusing and almost contradictory at times, which had me questioning the knowledge that I already had. I honestly think I would have done better without reading these - "Law of Diminishing Returns".

The best advice I can give you is to schedule the exam once you have all of the requirements. DO NOT keep pushing it off like I did and keep studying different materials.

Exam Day (Proctored)
I was initially very reluctant having read a number of issues previous applicants have had - technical issues in particular. Despite my reluctance, I am very happy that I chose to write the exam in the comfort of my own home. The entire experience was fairly smooth. I signed in 45 min early, since I was nervous about any technical issues. I wasn't actually able to start the exam module until 30 min before. The room check was smooth.
Once the exam started, I did freeze up at first - it was unsettling having the camera on and knowing someone was watching me (and watching myself - there's an always present video). After about 5 questions I started to get used to the setting and made a mental note to review those questions before submitting to ensure I didn't overlook anything due to nerves. I reached the 90 question mark at 140 minutes and gave myself 5 minutes to review any flagged questions. I felt relatively good about everything and started the 10 minute break. The 10 minute break was super helpful to give your eyes a rest and body a stretch. I quickly went to the bathroom and stepped outside to take in get feel invigorated by the sun. I had a snack and smelled some peppermint essential oil (helpful studying tool for mental alertness) and went back to it after 5 minutes. There were so many questions that I could barely choose between the two answers - be prepared for this and use your best judgement. Always read the question twice and try to use the highlight and strikethrough function. Highlighting words that let me determine the process/knowledge area that the question was in helped with atleast 1/3 of the questions. There were a handful of questions that hooked me - I spent almost 5 minutes on a few...I ended up flagging them. Some questions didn't seem to have any correct answer...be prepared mentally for this. Choose one of the two that you think are best, flag it and move on. When I answered question 200, I had 50 seconds left. I decided to submit the exam, since I felt mentally exhausted at that point and didn't think reviewing any of those difficult questions would be helpful. My stomach sank when I submitted the exam, and then a congratulations screen appeared immediately. That was one of the largest reliefs in my life.
Here is a very important piece of information of what NOT to do when this screen arrives. DO NOT get up and get your phone to take a picture. I did this and was threatened to be disqualified by the proctor. I pleaded with them and explained that I had finished the exam and that I was only taking a picture to validate my success. They then said that "it was okay" but it was against the rules to have your phone out while the module was open. The thought of losing all of my work in those 30 seconds of reprimendation was worse than any nervousness I had during the exam. Please learn from my mistake. I received the report the following day (today) and did much better than I expected - AT / AT / AT / AT / T

Hope this helps anyone that is intending on taking the exam. It's alot of work, but man is it worth it to feel such a sense of accomplishment. Also, all this independent studying has made me realize how much free time I did have, which I can't wait to utilize again.

Best of luck to anyone challenging the exam :)

Training for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®