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TOPIC: Passed with AT/AT/AT

Passed with AT/AT/AT 1 year 9 months ago #27971

  • Yanyan Gai
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This is such a ride! I failed my first attempt in December last year. I am truly grateful for all the posts I've read on this forum, so I wanted to share with all of you, and hopefully, my experience can help some of you.
My background and 1st Attempt: I have started working as a project manager for management consulting firms in 2016. At work, I have used both waterfall and agile approaches. I am a certified scrum master. I scheduled my PMP exam last summer and with work and family and covid, I didn't really start studying until October last year. When I say study, I mean 1-2 hours every day after my 2.5-year-old toddler and 6 months old baby went to bed. The only material I used was an online Bootcamp my company purchased. I followed the instructor's videos and notes he shared. I got almost 90% on all his quizzes and I thought I was ready. (I didn't even know what I didn't know at the time!) Then I failed so badly. I got two ATs, one Target, and two Needs Improvement (not even BT).
Lessons learned from the fail attempt: I got too confident with my work experience and false encouragement of the bootcamp. So choose a good system to help you study! Also, a lot of you might have years of project management experience, but PMP is an exam.
2nd Attempt Prep stage 1: I learned my lesson from last year and decided that if I can't put some solid effort towards it, I should not register for the exam. I discovered this subforum through google and I read a lot of posts (thank you!!). I purchased PrepCast in mid-April. I decided to skip the PMBOK and AgileGuide (I learned quickly that I always get distracted when I read the books), and I started on my quiz days. I studied 2-3 hours per day and 4 days out of a week. I started from the timed 10-question quizzes for each knowledge area, I'd repeat the knowledge area until I get 80%. Every study session, I'd finish 2 quizzes and write down notes of the concepts that I didn't understand from the questions that I got wrong. I went through every option and detailed explanation. After I finished all the knowledge areas, I started doing 20- and 30- questions quizzes. After 3 months [Work got crazy in May and didn't study much] of study time in the quiz mode, I really saw the difference. At the end of the quiz phase, I could get 80-90% right most of the time for my 30 question quizzes.
2nd Attempt Prep stage 2: I did 3 mock exams two weeks before my exam, the first one was 69.4%. I couldn't believe it and got really upset and thought I probably should reschedule. I couldn't even start checking the wrong answers as I always do. Then I thought about this and decided to take another mock just to see the result. Then I passed with 75%! I took the 3rd quiz the day before my exam, I got 79%.
The exam: Unlike most of the people from recent exams, my questions are 50% Predictive/Waterfall and 50% Hybrid and Agile. I got a lot of questions about how to deal with team dynamics; or what to do to take over projects mid-way of a project. Compared to my December experience, I'd say the questions are more realistic in project management. I chose to do the exam at home, and the Procter was very nice this time.
What I learned from the prep:
1. Get a reputable system to help you study. I only used the PrepCast system, so I can't speak to which one is more similar to the real exam.
2. Review every wrong quiz question and every option no matter which system [PrepCast, Study Hall, etc.] you choose.
3. If you can, do at least one mock start to finish to feel the pressure and test your speed.
4. Read every question and every option in the real exam. Don't skip anything!
5. Take the 10-min breaks to refresh and stay hydrated.
6. Don't give up even if you feel you have a bad first 60 or second 60 questions. You never know until you submit.
7. Work/Life/Kids can be very challenging when you prepare for the exam. But stay strong, you've got this!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shruthi S, Noelia Lostao, Ayyagari Srikanth

Passed with AT/AT/AT 1 year 9 months ago #27972

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Passed with AT/AT/AT 1 year 9 months ago #27984

  • Noelia Lostao
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Thanks!! I feel very identified with your comments
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