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TOPIC: My PMP journey from Needs Improvement to Above Target

My PMP journey from Needs Improvement to Above Target 1 week 2 days ago #23431

  • Kenan Dokuyucu
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I'm embarrassed to say it, but I finally passed the PMP on my third attempt, 5 x AT. It has been over a year and I'm happy I cleared the PMP on my final chance before the exam format completely changes.

First Attempt
I took the exam way too soon after the prep course, not to mention the prep course was uninformative and had a poor instructor. Make sure you sign up for a quality prep course regardless if it's online or F2F. Also make sure you have the right resources. Purchase the PMBOK as a reference as it proved invaluable information for understanding concepts. Lesson learned: You need additional thorough studying even after 35 contact hours as there is so much information to process. In addition to PMBOK make sure you purchase a quality study guide, in this case I utilized Andy Crowe's book but looking back it wasn't as useful as Rita's book. I also only took 2 practice tests from the study guide and thought my 61-63% score was sufficient. Bad idea

Second Attempt
Once completing Crow's book and reviewing the PMBOK to understand knowledge areas, I felt the only way to pass on the second time was to take several practice questions. I purchased nearly every PMP app from the app store you can think of and everyday I would answer multiple questions (10-50). I also purchased a handful of practice tests, from Master Academy and other sources. I was scoring close to 80% but the problem was the questions were not situational only conceptual which is why I failed the exam on the second try. Another issue was the practice exams did not highlight my weak areas nor gave sufficient explanations as to why the question choices were right or wrong

Third Attempt
After I failed a second time, it was time to do an in-depth review on weak areas and purchase Rita's book. Now was also the time to not be cheap and purchase PrepCast Exam Simulator. I took every practice exam: 75%, 76%, 82%, 76%, 81%, 74%, 78%, 79% (ITTO). I made sure to also take the learning quizzes for the knowledge areas that needed attention. I read through the forums and felt more confident, but also saw people were taking the PMI practice exam so I gave it a try and it hurt my confidence only scored 67.5%. My recommendation is to just skip this unless you want to get an idea what the question wording format is like as it can affect your morale and is definitely more difficult than the actual exam.

Exam Day Lessons Learned:
-Do not cram the night before or day of
-Meditate, pray, stretch, etc. if you have test anxiety like me
-Run system test twice if you're taking online
-Have a comfortable desk setup since you will be sitting for a long time
-Keep water next to you as the Pearson proctor let me take a drink, but don't drink too much before test or during break

To Summarize & Recommended Resources:
  • Use PMBOK only as reference and to understand terminology and tools/techniques. If you get a practice question wrong check the PMBOK to confirm why it's not the right answer
  • Rita's book > Andy Crowe's book. Purchase in the beginning of your PMP journey
  • Avoid the study apps as they encourage a memorization strategy
  • Purchase a quality exam simulator like PrepCast and utilize after solid understanding of knowledge areas
  • Only take the PMI practice exam to get an idea of the wording style of questions. Do not take it the same week as your exam or use your result as a benchmark to PrepCast scores
  • Praveen Malik's ITTO guide...I would say you can memorize ITTOs, but at a minimum you need to understand how and where they are utilized for the processes
  • Ricardo Vargas YouTube video and flowchart

My PMP journey from Needs Improvement to Above Target 1 week 1 day ago #23436

  • Felix Kamanga, PMP
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Hi Kenan,

Congratulation, you finally did it!
You've been really persevering, and that is a good example to all who are struggling to succeed in the PMP Exam.
After each failure, you did things differently to improve the quality of your preparation.
I like the way you've highlighted the positive impact of the PrepCast materials on your preparation for the third attempt, which was the good one!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Felix Kamanga, PMP
Community Moderator
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kenan Dokuyucu
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

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