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TOPIC: Passed PMP 1st try with only Prepcast and Exam Simulator

Passed PMP 1st try with only Prepcast and Exam Simulator 3 weeks 1 day ago #23848

  • Jason McMillen
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I signed up for the PM Prepcast July 31st 2020 and then signed up for the Prepcast exam simulator a few weeks later. I took my test and passed on October 8, 2020.

Here are some of my stats that might be helpful:

Time in exam simulator:
21 hours. Three 4 hour exams (Scores 70%, 78% and 81% two days before PMP exam) and 22 quizzes.

Time with Prepcast videos:
95 hours. Reading the PMBOK guide, tests, and quizzes made up the rest of the roughly 160 hours.

Study time: I have a six year old and a three year old (plus being a full time project manager and a Little League Coach for a fall program) at home so I studied two hours in the evening after they went to bed and then I studied an hour every morning before they woke up six days a week. The last few weeks I added two of the larger 4 hour exams in addition to the usual study time.

How I studied:
I watched the Prepcast videos all the way through to the end and then referred back to them periodically as needed. Cornelius is "Expert Judgement". After the first month, even though I had not gone through all the videos, I took the Prepcast exam to get my 35 hour certificate and passed at 75%. I then signed up for the PMP exam for five weeks later so I could stay on-track and finish quickly to get my life back. I continued with the videos and referred back to them on trouble areas. I did the self test before watching the videos in each group to know what my weak points were so I could pay extra attention to the explanations.

I did not read the entire PMBOK guide. I read the first 100 pages. I did not reference any other materials than the Prepcast videos and the Prepcast exam simulator. I am a visual learner and have always done well with lectures so the Prepcast videos were awesome for how I learn.

The exam simulator was key in learning also. I would take a quiz and then go over my missed questions and any that I guessed on. I never had any open books or notes when I took the quizzes and exams so every quiz or exam would be just like the real thing. In going over the missed questions and guessed questions, I would read the entire question again, go through all fo the answers, the reason for the right answers and the reasons for the wrong answers. I did take notes on all of my wrong answers to make sure that I was understanding the concept and why I missed the question. I also marked all my guessed questions and found that I guessed right a little more than half the time by at least eliminating two answers and guessing between the last two. Even if I guessed the right answer, I treated it as a wrong answer and went through process the same so I could get a better understanding of the concept.

As I progressed through the quizzes and built up some stats in the exam simulator, I started taking additional quizzes on the knowledge areas and domains that I was having lower scores in. I was eventually able to bring the percentages up to or beyond target. The process went: Test, review, check stats, create new test with new questions in problem area and then repeat until the stats got to target and above on answering the question the first time. If I continued in the knowledge area without significant improvement, I went back to the Prepcast videos and then repeated the test process again.

On test day:
My exam was at 1:30pm in my home office. I went to work in the morning and came home at midday to clean my desk and set up for the exam. I am a Mac user and Pearson does not work on Safari so I had to use Chrome. Once the app was downloaded, I followed the direction to provide pictures of the work area and pictures of my ID. I thought I was ready to go but when the proctor came on, she wanted different pictures with a wider angle. She was nice. I started the exam and it offered a seven minute tutorial to go over the calculator, whiteboard, highlight and strike through. I took the tutorial to try out the highlight and strikethrough just to make sure it worked well with my mouse. I was glad I did. I felt confident that if I needed the tools, they were there and I knew what to do (I only ended uo using the calculator).

My plan for the exam was to go through the problems and if I cam to a problem that had calculations, I would mark and skip to come back to it. There are not that many. When I did come back to those at the end, I got bogged down. In the second half I just answered everything as it came up.

The exam was much like the four hour exams in the simulator. After the first ten questions, which I thought were harder than the simulator, either I calmed down and got into a flow, or the questions were easier and in line with the difficulty in the simulator. I chose to take the break in the test at the completion of question 89. Then you have a chance to review the previous 89 questions. Your review time is part of the entire time of the exam and I ended up doing a bunch of review and caused myself a little time crunch on the other end of the test. You can only review the first 89 questions at this time and not at the end of the test. The first part of the test I thought was pretty manageable but when I took too much review time, the second part of the test caused me to be a clock watcher which got me out of my groove. I survived and got three AT's but I probably could have done better. However, I am now a PMP.

A PMP is certainly a worthwhile endeavor and I wish everyone the best on their PMP adventure.

Jason
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lisa Neal

Passed PMP 1st try with only Prepcast and Exam Simulator 2 weeks 5 days ago #23873

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Well done, Jason - thanks for coming back and letting us know your route to exam success.
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Elizabeth Harrin
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