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TOPIC: Passed 1st Attempt - 4 Above Target, 1 at Target

Passed 1st Attempt - 4 Above Target, 1 at Target 2 months 1 day ago #24582

  • Michelle Navarro
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I actually took the exam on May 30, but I was so busy with work due to COVID, I never made it here to share my lessons learned.

Also due to COVID, I had to take the proctored exam. It was a HORRIBLE experience, but I lived through it and passed! I had taken two PMPrepCast exams with my work laptop at my office on a weekend, using my camera and trying to simulate a real proctored exam. I had also read about experiences with the PearsonVUE exam and took steps to be prepared. I thought I had worked through all the issues. The day of the exam, I ran into every issue imaginable. But I practiced deep breathing, reminded myself that I had studied hard, knew the material, and had passed the PrepCast practice exams. And I passed.

I highly recommend the PrepCast. I also bought Sohel Akhter's PMP Certification Exam Prep, sixth edition exam prep book and the PMBOK. I tried at first to study the PMBOK online, but it wasn't worth it. I added chapter marking tabs to both books and wrote in them and highlighted as I read.

I started off by creating a OneNote book to track my schedule, my application, study plans, receipts, etc. My goal was to take minimal time off work and keep costs to a minimum. Plus, I live in a rural area, so I had no access to easily attend prep courses without incurring costs of hotels and restaurants.

To understand the PMBOK enough to complete my application,I skimmed the beginning of each chapter and listened to the intro podcast of each chapter to get an overall feel for the structure. Then I started to listen to the full PrepCast videos. At first I listened while doing other things, like I do my podcasts. But I soon learned that I wasn't retaining the material well. I ended up scheduling focused listening session. About halfway through, I submitted may application and it was approved.

After I finished listening to all of the PrepCast videos, I read through a chapter in the PMBOK and a cahpter in the Akhter prep book. Then I took the Akhter assessment. I think it helped to read two written sources of material to cement what I first heard in the audio PrepCast. In addition, I took notes on note cards. I never did have time to go back and quiz myself on most of them, but I think it helped to write down definitions, lists, and formulas.

I printed a formula sheet and quizzed myself. I'm very logical but not good at memorizing, so I just had to practice the formulas. I did have formulas on my exam.

I also went through the entire Glossary, one page a day, to quiz myself on terms. And I reviewed a Free Confusing Terms list. It was helpful because it's easy to recognize fake terms on the test when you know the real terms.

I practiced my brain dump like people suggested. It was hard to really know what to write down, and by the time I took my exam, I learned that I only had a limited-function whiteboard to use. So I didn't really use a brain dump for the final exam.

Finally, after months of studying nights and weekends (more than the 144 hours I had alotted because I stretched it out too long), I took the practice exams. One was in the Akhter book, one was a free one I found online, and I took two PMPrepCast exams. Additionally, I had been answering questions in the weekly emails.

What I would do differently:
1. Set a date and stick to it - I kept letting other things push out my study time and it dragged on.
2. Not take as many notes - I didn't have time to go back to them.
3. Take a few days of work to just get some serious reading and studying done.

Overall, I feel I learned a lot and it was worth my time. I wish I had taken the exam in January, when I originally had it planned, so I could have taken it in person. The prep and stress of doing a proctored exam was no fun. But in the end, I know a lot more, I have my credentials. and have started earning my PDUs!
Last edit: by Michelle Navarro.

Passed 1st Attempt - 4 Above Target, 1 at Target 1 month 4 weeks ago #24642

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Thanks for coming back, Michelle, and sharing your exam success story. And congratulations!
Elizabeth Harrin

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