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2 years 1 month ago #23213

Felix Kamanga, PMP

Felix Kamanga, PMP's Avatar

Hello Dao,

Congratulations, you did it!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
My comment is about your activities the day before the exam. I think it is better to relax that day, to be fit and fresh, ready for the exam the next day.
Studying a lot some hours before the exam can be counterproductive!
2 years 1 month ago #23177

Dao Ly

Dao Ly's Avatar

I passed the exam on August 26th, 2020 with 5 ATs!
It took me much longer than planned due to work and other commitments.
Learning materials:
Simplilearn: for the 35 hours requirements – online self-study
Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep: read twice and consulted heavily when reviewing the Prepcast Simulator exam answers. I like the wording, but the ITTO was not obvious. I did all the exercises and end chapter questions during studying.
PMBOK guide: read once to be familiar with the “lingo” and consulted heavily when reviewing the Prepcast simulator exam answers.
Andy Crowe The PMP Exam How To Pass On Your First Try: only read a few chapters and questions - I liked the overview and the important points at the beginning of each chapter.
PMI Q&A For The PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition: Didn’t finish all the questions – It helped to remember the PMBOK lingo
Youtube videos: Ricardo Vargas, Praizion and Aileen Ellis on subjects that I need to improve or to have more clarification
Blogs: reddit and Prepcast forum to learn others’ experience and tips
Prepcast Exam Simulator: I tried the first exam but I couldn’t finish it because I found it was too hard. I went back study some more and tried shorter learning quiz. Once I noticed than my score of the quiz got better, I repeated the 1st full exam and scored 84%.
3 weeks prior to the real exam, I studied really really hard, almost 7-8 hours almost every day. I did the exam, reviewed, studied and repeated. Each cycle takes at least 3 days each. I reviewed all the questions and went back to Rita/PMPBOK for more information. What bothered me was even I passed all 7 exams (no ITTO exam) I just couldn’t improve the mark. By exam 6, my mark went down to 72%. It greatly impacted my confidence, I almost rescheduled my exam but fortunately I bounced back to 78% on exam 7. I also tried PMI practice exam but I only got 66%.
I decided against postponing the PMP exam because I started to feel exhausted, tired of studying and I didn’t want to delay any further. I know that I have a strong foundation/understanding and from the mock exams I learned that I have to read the questions more carefully, make sure to choose the best answer among the available options, especially when the next immediately step is not offered in options and should not linger too long on a particular question. I usually only had less than 5 min or none at the end to review the marked questions.
The day before the exam, I reviewed again all the wrong answers of the worst 3 knowledge areas and stopped studying by 7 PM.
My exam was scheduled at 11:30 AM. In the morning, I quickly flipped through PMPBOK chapter 4 just to refresh my mind a bit (I’m not sure it was a good idea or not) after that I just tried to relax by singing, looking at old trip photos and had a good breakfast.
I arrived at the test center around 45 min before the exam (I visited the place one week prior to have an idea of the location). Checked in and proceeded with the test. I timed myself regularly. At the end of question 89 I had the option to review and to take the break. I estimated that I got ~ 8 min (141 min remaining) to review which I did and then took the break.
I thought that I didn’t take the break longer than 10 min but when I restarted the test, the clock was already ticking, I think I lost 2 min. That stressed me out but luckily I managed to catch up and even had a few minutes left to review some flagged questions.
The majority of the questions were shorter than those in Prepcast Simulator which helped a lot - however, not all the answers were straightforward. I flagged a lot of the questions almost 1 every 3 or 4 questions. I was very nervous to press the end review button, much to my relief when I saw the word “Congratulations”. I answered the quick survey and then checked out. I overjoyed when I saw “AT” in all domains. One day after the exam, I received the exam analysis report and I believed that I did better in the real exam than in Prepcast Simulator.
Conclusion: I think practice and review the questions, answers is the key to be familiar with the question type and train your concentration. I relied more on understanding than memorizing because of my aging memory. Of course there is some memorization for instance, you should know the important features of all project plans and documents (see table on page 89 of PMOK guide). As for IITO, just understand what they are, what they are used for (eg: data analysis, data gathering…) and key outputs of each process.
Sorry for the long post but hopefully it will help others. Good luck to all PMP aspirants and if I can do it you can do it too.

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