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TOPIC: Passed 2021 Exam with 3/3 ATs on 1st attempt!

Passed 2021 Exam with 3/3 ATs on 1st attempt! 3 years 4 months ago #26287

  • Emily Livingstone
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Hi all, I passed the 2021 PMP Exam with Above Targets in all 3 domains yesterday! Below are my Lessons Learned and process. Thank you to the PMPrep cast for being an instrumental part of my success.

Situation: I currently work full-time, so I studied for 4 months (with more intense focus the last month leading up to my 2/3/2021 exam date). I am a classic over-preparer so I probably could have done this in a shorter amount of time, but I wanted to be prepared. Also, my 36 months of PM experience was earned in Jan 2021, so I was always planning to take the new 2021 Exam.

Timeline: October 1st 2020 through February 3rd 2021

Study Materials Used:
-PMPrep Cast Elite (Training Videos, pre-recorded)
-PMPrep Cast 2021 Exam Simulator
-Rita McCauley PMP Exam Prep Book, 10th Edition, 2021 Version
-PMBOK Guide, 6th Edition
-Agile Practice Guide

I believe with the change from REP to ATP the PMPrep Cast videos I watched are no longer an option, but I still would fully recommend PMPrepcast as an ATP, especially the Exam Simulator.

I started by reading the Agile Practice Guide first because I knew that Agile was going to be a large part of the 2021 Exam and the PMBOK Guide and the PMPrep Cast Videos were made for the 2020 Exam, so I wanted to start off with knowledge of Agile, so I could apply that to all future learning. Then, I watched 1 module (corresponding to 1 chapter in the PMBOK guide) per week; I took notes on the videos and then made flash cards from those notes and the PMBOK guide. Yes, I did read the PMBOK guide once through; I read each chapter during the week that I watched the module on the same topic. I used the Exam Simulator to take weekly quizzes on each topic.

Going through all the material week by week in the PMBOK Guide/PMPrep Cast Videos took me a little over 14 weeks. Once I was through all of the information, I then ordered the Rita McCauley Book which was recently released for the 2021 Exam. This book was so important! It is 100% more engaging than the PMBOK Guide (actually enjoyable to read) and has practice quizzes and activities throughout that help to truly demonstrate your knowledge, aside from just reading. I read Rita's book once through which provided a review of all the topics in a different perspective. Rita's book also points out the Agile items that are relevant for the 2021 Exam. I highly recommend Rita's book!

As I was reading Rita's book (this took me about 2 weeks), I was taking the full length 2021 Exam Simulator Exams on the weekends. My scores were as follows: 68.3%, 80.6%, 75.6%, 83.9%. I only took each exam once. I did review every question I marked and/or got wrong. I took the about the same amount of time reviewing the test, as I did taking it (about 4 hours each). After reading Rita's book, I re-read the Agile Practice Guide and was very glad I did. When I first read the Agile Practice Guide, it was all so new to me that I skimmed some of the important parts, but after reading Rita's Book and taking the PMP Exams, I was able to read the Agile Practice Guide with a different mindset.

One thing I was concerned about the exam was the ITTO's. I fully agree in not memorizing them - you must understand the tool/technique and then if you know it, you will be able to logically determine where it falls in each process. It is important to understand all of the processes, their Knowledge Area's, and their Process Groups, and the order in which the processes occur within their Knowledge Area.

As for the exam day, I went through Pearson VUE and took the exam in person, with COVID protocol. If you have the right mask (to not fog up your glasses), mask wearing is no problem. I finished with only 2 minutes to spare when I took the real PMP Exam (compared to when I was taking the practice exams, I would finish with 15-20 min to spare). When I read the questions (in the real exam or practice), I always read the last line first and then the entire question. I believe I started off a bit slower on the real exam to not make any mistakes and towards the end, I was very nervous that I was going to run out of time. The exam does provide 2, 10 minute breaks which I am really thankful for. I did not use any of the highlighter or strike out tools on the real exam, which would have taken up more time. I did flag items, but did not go back to look at any due to time. Overall, I passed with Above Targets in all 3 domains!

I hope this helps you and your studies. My most important piece of advice would be review your practice exams and take time to understand why you got it wrong. This helped me the most. Best of luck in your studies!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ginger Nix, Khatereh Azarhoush, Katrina Lopez

Passed 2021 Exam with 3/3 ATs on 1st attempt! 3 years 4 months ago #26288

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Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
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Passed 2021 Exam with 3/3 ATs on 1st attempt! 3 years 4 months ago #26308

  • Wade Lai
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Hi, Emily,

Congrats on passing your PMP. Are you looking to get rid of your Rita's 10th edition by any chance? I'm willing to buy it from you. Let me know. Thanks

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