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TOPIC: Passed PMP with All Above Target in first attempt: Journey + Lessons learned

Passed PMP with All Above Target in first attempt: Journey + Lessons learned 1 month 1 week ago #23601

  • Imran ul Haq
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Hello everyone,

I just passed my PMP Exam in 1st attempt with all “Above Target”. Below I have shared my exam journey with the intention that other aspirants take some positives from these, just like I did for the last 6-7 months to get my hopes up and gain confidence from others stories.

I started my preparations way back in March 2019 by lending Rita Mulcahy's book from the library. Finished the book within a month but was unable to understand the concepts and my motivation took a nose dive. Then work related pressures postponed the preparations till May 2020 when finally I got some time, so I finished Rita again. This time I understood many concepts but still the overall understanding was not clear. Then bought Joe's PMP Prep course on Udemy and started listening to him, but quickly reverted to reading since this mode of delivery was not suiting me personally. Then I started reading Head First, Andy Crowe's book and PMBOK at the same time in parallel by chapter/process and completed the exercises at the end for practice. After finishing these books, I purchased the Prepcast simulator in June, after a lot of great feedback on various forums about its quality, and started giving small quizzes (10, 20 questions) to check the understanding and review the concepts. Took the first complete Mock Exam after almost 2 months and got 89% and at the same time got 70% on official PMP. This gave me huge confidence about my preparations. Next I finished Andy Crowe's prep exam at the end of the book and got ~80% as well. Finally I scheduled the exam to sit after 2 weeks. I would like to say that the quality of Prepcast questions and the similarity to the PMP questions both are very high. Interesting I complete almost all questions (~100) left but only took 1 full mock exam. I took several 60Q and 100Q timed exams to set my pace to about 1 min per question. The simulator helped a lot in training the brain about the question dynamics, how to extract the information from it and how to identify the correct question (sometimes by process of elimination)
I would advise all the aspirants to schedule the exam, after good preparation in order to have that much needed pressure for the final push otherwise the student syndrome will not end easily. Actually it's a catch 22 situation, I think most of us will NOT feel "completely prepared" considering the breadth of the knowledge and the amount of information that is in the PMBOK. But on the other hand, we don't want to be careless and be over confident and schedule the exam after getting good score on 1, 2 tests. There is a fine line and I believe you will get that inner feeingl when you are ready, at least I did after those 3 mock exams and continuous good scores on random small quizzes.
I planned to take complete rest and not study/revise anything the day before the exam, however, this did not go according to plan. I still had 250+ unanswered questions on Prepcast and I did not want to leave them so I did 2 quizzes of Prepcast 100 question and reviewed the marked/incorrect answers.
On the exam day, woke up early around 6AM, packed the laptop, got the breakfast from outside and reached office. Took the breakfast while viewing Eileen's videos, and believe me they are excellent. I paused the videos to answer the question and then resumed the video to check the answer and the reason/logic behind the answer while having breakfast. This gave me a lot of confidence. Next I revised all the processes of initiating and planning, but had to cancel for the others since the exam time was almost approaching.
The exam check-in was easy and overall experience was great. I did not see anyone mention the "Comment" feature in the exam where you can write some notes/comments for a question. The whiteboard is quite cumbersome to use, I only used it for critical path questions. The numerical questions, I solved in the Comments box. I wrote the formula that was relevant, then filled the data from the question and finally got the answer from the calculator. I think it was very useful. Most of the questions are situational and very close to the Prepcast, although I found some to be quite vague and some had two correct answers and I could not identify the best so I guessed. I miscalculated the break and expected it to be after 79 questions. Then remembered that it happens at the end of question 89. I took too much time during the first half as I eased into the questions. I reviewed the first half questions and I was left with 125 minutes (2h 5m) for the remaining 111 questions. Took the break of 10 min, went to the washroom, washed my face, ate a croissant , drank some apple juice and when I checked the break timer, it was 2 minutes up that was being deducted from my exam time. Quickly started the next set and they were comparatively easy (some were short, few simple and direct) and I finished the questions with 5 min remaining. I marked one CPM question since I was afraid it would take too much time, went back and solved it and reviewed the other marked questions. Someone suggested in his/her lessons learned to mark the initial questions that you are not 100% confident, and review them later. This helped me a lot as I modified the answered to almost 7-8 questions since I was very focused and I guess some questions jogged some part of memory. Finally I pressed the Finish Review button, and prayed with all my heart as I was quite nervous with many answers that I thought might not be the "best". However, the page refreshed and within 1-2 seconds, I saw the congratulations message. I took a sigh of relief, thanked the Almighty and finished the survey. I checked the time and it was around 4:30. I did not notice the time during the break since I was worried that the time might be up sooner and it did. Came home and refreshed the personvue dashboard to view the report and all "Above Target" was written there thankfully.
I wish good luck to all of you and hope that you get something positive from my experience. Please try your level best, stop procrastinating, bury the fears, study hard and give your 100% and you will succeed. Best of luck
Good day and God bless!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fatima Oluwabukola Lawal
Last edit: by Imran ul Haq.

Passed PMP with All Above Target in first attempt: Journey + Lessons learned 1 month 1 week ago #23618

  • Yolanda Mabutas
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Hi Imran,

Congratulations & thank you for sharing your journey!
Yolanda Mabutas
OSP International LLC
The following user(s) said Thank You: Imran ul Haq
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

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