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TOPIC: Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 1 month 1 week ago #23606

  • Parnad Joshi
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I cleared PMP certification exam on September 8th, 2020 with Above Target scores in each of the five domains.

Study Period
Overall study span of 9 weeks
Actual study time used 8 weeks
On average 2.5-3 hours every weekday and 10-12 hours every weekend. Plus 1.5-2 hours PMPrepCast Podcast during commute.

Study Material
PMPrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner
PMPrepCast exam simulator
PMP Exam Prep book by Rita Mulcahy
PMBOK
Q & As for PMBOK Guide by PMI
Flashcards by Rita Mulcahy

Preparation Process
I memorized all the processes and knowledge areas even before I started PMPrepCast video lectures.

I started off with Cornelius Fichtner’s PMPrepCast video lectures. As suggested by Cornelius, I watched overview lessons of each module on PMPrepCast first. Doing that along with memorization of all the processes helped in understanding the high-level flow of information according to the PMBOK. Once the overview lessons were completed, I started going through each module in details. As I watched the modules, I noted key things (such as ITTO, key definitions etc.) down in my note. The purpose of writing everything down was not to memorize but to recreate the definitions and/or flow of information in simple words by myself.

I completed the video lessons in about 3 weeks. After completing all lessons, I started taking PMPrepCast simulator exam on every weekend. One exam on Saturday and one exam on Sunday. My target was to complete one question in one minute. That left me time to review all the questions I had marked.

From the 4th week, I started reading Rita Mulcahy’s PMP prep book on weekdays. I had taken my time to go through Cornelius’s video lessons so reading through Rita’s book did not feel like starting something completely new. I kept on taking PMPrepCast exams on weekends. I also played PMPrepCast podcast during my commute to and from office (1.5 to 2 hours total).

I went through the questions at the end of each chapter in Rita’s book only after I completed the entire book. I left last two (2) PMPrepCast exams aside to be taken a couple of days before my PMP exam.

I scheduled the online proctored PMP exam for September 8th. September 7th was Labor Day and I took off from office on Friday September 4th. That gave me four days straight just before my PMP exam to stay focused on my final preparations.
I read through the PMBOK in about two and a half (2.5) days from Thursday to Saturday before my exam on Tuesday. It did not bother me reading the PMBOK book too much since I had already gone through the PMPrepCast lessons and Rita’s book before taking up the PMBOK. A lot of people find it very difficult to read through the PMBOK. It can be a bit dry for some people, but I found it alright especially since I had already gone through other preparation material.
I liked the flow and pattern of information in PMBOK. On Sunday and on Monday before my exam I took last two exams of PMPrepCast simulator. I also went through the Q & As for PMP by PMI on Sunday and Monday. I liked going through the descriptions about answers in this book by PMI. It served as a concise version of PMBOK. I put in extra efforts to understand the overall flow and interconnections/overlap of processes.

It was particularly helpful to understand the flow of work performance data, work performance information, work performance reports, change requests and approved change requests. Thorough understanding of quality metrics, quality reports and quality control measurements was also very helpful. Understanding the overlap of stakeholder processes, communication processes and risk processes was also very important.

My scores in PMPrepCast simulator were
84.5% (Self-Assessment test), 78.5%, 77%, 83.5%, 81%, 83%, 90.5%, 90.5%,
82.4% (ITTO)

Exam experience
Online Proctored Exam
PMI and Pearson Vue have made the process of online proctored exam very efficient. I had already run the system test a day before the exam to ensure the laptop I planned on using worked fine. I checked in the Pearson Vue portal half an hour before my scheduled time to get the check in process done. I was asked to take pictures of the workspace and pictures of government issues identity card (I used driving license). You can use your cell phone for taking and uploading pictures. They text you a link and you follow through a step by step procedure. You will be asked to take picture of front and back of your identity card. After the verification of the identity card, you will be asked to take four pictures of the workspace from where you would be taking the exam (Pic 1 Facing the Desk, Pic 2 Back of the Desk, Pic 3 Left side of the Desk and Pic 4 Right side of the desk). The mobile phone needs to be put away in other room before starting the exam. After check in process is completed successfully, a proctor opens a chat window to converse with you.
Note: Try to orient yourself so that there are no mirrors behind your back. Try to have light in front of you so that your face is clearly visible to the proctors.


The exam was certainly challenging. The level of difficulty was a bit higher than PMPrepCast simulator exams. There were a lot of situational questions (almost 70% of all the questions). There were a few straightforward questions as well which I recognized right away and tried to capitalize on to save extra time. I was very careful in flagging the questions for review and kept track of the time. I tried not to flag too many questions. The questions were clearly stated, and language used was unambiguous, however there were a few questions with more than one correct answer. The key is to identify the most appropriate answer out of given four choices.

The first section contains 90 questions. After completing 90 questions you can review any (flagged) questions from this section. I used 108 minutes for the first section and 132 minutes for the second section. I kept track of the time and made sure I finished review of the first section in 108 minutes. Once you end the review session for the first section, you cannot go back to the first section. You get a ten-minute break after completing the review. After completing the second section you can either submit the exam ahead of time or let the timer run to zero. I got congratulations message right away. There was a survey at the end of the exam. The score report was available on Pearson Vue website after half an hour of completing the exam. It took a couple of days for PMI website to reflect the results. I got the congratulating email from PMI after one day of the exam. The PMP certification was available on PMI website after 3 days of the exam.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Christina Dominguez, Fatima Oluwabukola Lawal, Binnur Guleryuz

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 1 month 1 week ago #23608

  • Fatima Oluwabukola Lawal
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congratulations.
please, how can i contact u?

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 1 month 1 week ago #23622

  • Parnad Joshi
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You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 4 weeks 2 days ago #23745

  • Paul Wojcik
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Hello,
Congratulation on your test outcome. Thank you for the detailed explanation of your experienced.
I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Do you need to book the time you plan on taking the test with the PMI even for the online version? The break is pre-set by the system at an specific time or it start running as soon as you finish the review of the first portion of the test? Would you said that the questions about Tools and techniques were very specific? because in my case, I have learned all the process and the outputs of every process, but I haven't memorized the tools and techniques nor inputs of them. I am familiar with them, but I don't know by memory all of them or its associated process, so I am not sure if that in your experience was very critical to pass the test.
Finally, During the test are you allow to take notes? or brain dumps formulas or key concepts that you might considered relevant?

Thank you so much for the insight you can give me about.

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 3 weeks 5 days ago #23791

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Hi Paul

Please see my responses below.
1. Yes, you need to take exam appointment for a specific time. You would see available times on when you are trying to take an appointment. This will be after your exam application has been approved.
2. As soon as you finish first 90 questions, you would get a chance to review the first section. On ending the first section, you will be given an option to wither take a 10 minutes break, or continue with the exam and start the second section.
3. Some questions about tools and techniques were specific but didn't need memorization of all ITTO. A good understanding of ITTO will be sufficient. I did not memorize ITTO but had a thorough understanding of ITTO and especially flow of the data/information/reports. In my experience, they were critical in making up some time that can be used for other lengthy/tricky questions. Since these questions did not consume a lot of time, I could answer it right away and move onto the next question.
4. There is a task bar style menu bar, from where you can open a whiteboard or calculator. You can use whiteboard to take notes. The whiteboard is paint style tool. For taking notes, you would have to draw a text box and write texts inside.

Passed PMP with Above Target in all domains first attempt 3 weeks 23 hours ago #23849

  • Paul Wojcik
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Thank you so much for your help.
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