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TOPIC: PMP Pass Above Target-My two cents

PMP Pass Above Target-My two cents 1 year 3 months ago #29530

  • Shermie
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After 143 days of preparation, 50+ hours of PM PrepCast courses, ~40 documents of notes, 50 times of exam simulation totaling 50+ hours, 2300 questions completed
I passed the PMP exam Above Target!

Key Steps of Exam Preparation
1. Holistic Study Plan - Have a plan before you start so you know how many days and how much time you can contribute to the exam. The PM PrepCast Elite package provides a study plan reference that I found helpful to customize.
2. Qualification & Application - Ensure you are qualified to take the exam. The application materials are time-consuming to collect and organize if you start from scratch. It took me about a month to complete the entire application process with approval to roll in the exam.
3. Courses & Materials - Highly recommend the PM PrepCast Elite package. I focused on the course and simulator. Otherwise, I only read some ad-hoc blog posts in my preparation process.
4. Review & Summary - It's helpful to put together mindmaps and take/reorganize notes after taking the classes. This is an efficient way to understand knowledge and memorize it to some extent.
5. Simulation - VERY important. I spent a lot of time in the system. The timed exams helped me get familiarized with the exam pace. The questions are situational and pretty close to the real exam style. I took all the 2300 questions and reviewed the incorrect ones from time to time.
6. The Day Before - Get the ID, exam environment, equipment, and yourself ready! Relax and welcome the exam. Be sure to learn the exam rules in detail as they are REALLY strict. This video explains what you can and cannot do.

Exam Day - worth-noting items
1. Check-in - Start checking in as early as you can (30 mins in advance). There are a few steps you need to go through and time flies. In case you encounter technical issues or manual check-in conversations, I'd recommend you start when you can. I used an extended monitor, external camera, and keyboard, so the admin staff talked to me right after the document validation step. He double-checked the use of my laptop on the desk (closed in my photo). The conversation was not long, but an extra step to go through.
2. Strict Rules - Remember all the rules is super critical to keep your pace in the exam. Pay attention to your position in the camera. There is a small window showing how you look while taking the exam. 40 mins after I began the exam, I was reminded to show my shoulder and above as my face was too close to the screen, or my exam qualification will be canceled. This distraction made me nervous in the remaining exam and I paid close attention to my video image. Thus it's highly recommended that you turn on your camera app on your laptop during simulations. It will enhance your experience in a remote exam.
3. Breaks - It's extremely helpful to take the two 10-min breaks as your eyes, body, and mind need relaxation. I took two 6-min breaks and got back to my exam to avoid unexpected scenarios of losing exam time (read a story about being locked out of the exam system for a few minutes after getting back from a 10-min break). Just to be safe.
4. Exam Feelings - The questions are similar in style to the simulator and I felt pretty confident about my answers. However, as mentioned above, I was pretty nervous about failing due to external factors like unintentionally violating the rules. Additionally, it is important to follow your own pace. I know the first and third 60 minutes are tough and I need to slow down a bit, and in the second section, I would be in the mood. So my time allocation goal was 80, 70, and 80. I ended up with 10 mins early in total.
5. Result - I saw congratulations after finishing the exam. Then there was an immediate email from PearsonVUE, the exam platform, informing the performance report is ready. You would know if you passed or failed, and your level of performance rating (Needs Improvement, Below Target, Target, Above Target). After 5.5 hours, PMI sent an email sharing the detailed result analysis report, including the levels (Low, Middle, High) of the 35 tasks in the Exam Content Outline.

The End?
I'm glad I closed my PMP exam project successfully with high quality on time! This is not the end. There are still PDUs to earn and a lifelong journey of iterating ourselves.
Hope my sharing could help someone who is going to take the exam. Good luck to everyone in the community!

PMP Pass Above Target-My two cents 1 year 3 months ago #29531

  • Stephanie Brookes
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Thanks for your insight! Did you study part-time for 143 days? Knowing you passed AT now, would you have studied any less??


PMP Pass Above Target-My two cents 1 year 3 months ago #29533

  • Shermie
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Stephanie Brookes wrote: Thanks for your insight! Did you study part-time for 143 days? Knowing you passed AT now, would you have studied any less??


Thank you, Stephanie! Thanks for your questions!
I'm working full-time with a pretty busy schedule. This is how I planned my study: 1-1.5 hours per weekday in the mornings and evenings. Plus at least 4 effective study hours each day on the weekends. The plan was a pretty good fit for me without too much stress, so I would still stick to it if going over again :)

PMP Pass Above Target-My two cents 1 year 3 months ago #29536

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Hi Shermie

First of all... congratulations on passing the exam and thanks for posting the lessons learned here.

Quick question for you... would you be interested in doing a "PMP Exam Lessons Learned" interview with me? I would like to interview you not only because you have followed a solid study plan but mainly for your experience of taking the PMP exam online/at home.

The interview would be similar to this one here with Dana:
but we would primarily be focusing on your experience of using the online system.

Thank you!
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

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