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TOPIC: passed with 2 months of study. my journey and 2 cents

passed with 2 months of study. my journey and 2 cents 1 year 1 month ago #29710

  • Nanmeng Jiang
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Glad to share that I took the test this morning and passed with 3 ATs. Overall, my study stretched for 2 months and besides the simulator, I earned the 35pdu with Andrew Ramdayal's course on Udemy. Besides these, my supplemental sources are the PMBOK 6th (mainly used to further understand the ITTOs) and Agile Practice Guide (did not finish reading, was used to search for relevant terms appeared in AR's course and the Simulator questions go gain better understanding. I have a 18-month old and a full time job which is hectic as well, so overall in weekdays, I was studying for 1-2hrs a day and during weekends I studied for the full afternoon + some evenings.

The exam questions were highly situational, and the simulator helped to prep the mindset. I started with quizzes and in the last few weeks study, I focused mainly on going over the questions than reviewing materials. I was averaging 60 questions a day since I knew this was how many questions I needed to answer before taking a break. Also did 2 out of the 4 mock exams and my score averaged 80% for both. I knew by then I was ready, and had to take the real exam soon before time fade away my memory. Overall I went through 50% of the questions in the simulator (1000+ questions)


1. Spend more time to prep/test your environment if you decided to take the exam online!
I feel like most would choose this option nowadays. I should have put more thoughts into designing/choosing a better area at home to take the exam and made sure I had everything needed with me to reduce the hassle. After checking in, I realized my laptop had only 1hr battery left and the charger was not with me. Lucky enough, the battery was enough to hold until I took my first break. However, before plugging in the charger, there was a pop-up window indicating low battery which I couldn't remove due to the OnVue application running. I had to speak up to the proctor because with the pop-up window, I couldn't click on anything else. The Proctor kindly refreshed the application which resolved the issue. Had to admit I panicked a bit. Also, I have 2 cats at home, and one of them was scratching my closed door and the other one was crying for a period of time. All of the desks at my place were close to windows and there was outside noise as well. All I got to say was you need to think through whether you have a good environment at home for 4 hours before deciding to take the exam at home. What can you do to make a secure, interruption free zone for you to sit for 4 hours? Highly recommend doing 1 mock exam in the exact setting (exact spot, and exact timing) as a trial which may give you some ideas on improvements.

2. My feel of the actual exam
Many of the posts stated that the actual exam was easier than the simulator, I don't know if I could say so. I would say perhaps only slightly easier, but I always had doubts on my choices since for most of the questions, there were usually 2 choices after eliminating the 'wrong' ones, and both sounded right. In addition, there were more drag/drop and multiple-choice questions than I imagined (and I rarely got those right on the simulator). So, I thought I would fail while taking the exam. One thing I also noticed was that there were more questions regarding conflict resolution (and 'meetings' as a resolution, at least that was what I chose) than I imagined.

3. Have the right strategy
If I had to go back and start over again, I would go through the Agile part first, and then study the PMBOK 6th. Also, for all of the KAs, I would give thoughts on which ones to go over first instead of going by the order in which they appeared in the book. I would put the 'integration' KA last than first which would probably make more sense when connecting with other KAs. I suggest going over more questions than spending time on the books after you finished most of the materials. You learn a lot more from an incorrectly answered question than memorizing course material. These are situational questions and you need to have the right mindset which comes from practice. In the last few weeks, I didn't go back to the course material much. I had doubts on whether I should, but whenever I took 60 questions, I always ended up getting on target or above. I trusted this fact as the sign that I was ready for the real one. I also kept self-assurance whenever I finished a number of questions that I was making good progress and getting closer to a milestone'. For example, after 10 out of 60 questions, I told myself that 'I am 10% done', after another 5 questions, I am 25% done. After 20 questions, I am 1/3 done before I could take a break!! These kept my hope high and helped me focus.
I didn't go back to any answered questions for review due to 2 reasons - 1. I noticed when taking the simulator that there was no clear pattern between which ones I flagged for review and which ones I answered wrong. Also, when I review, I usually kept my original choice 2. I didn't have time anyway! I spent more time going over questions after realizing #1 so that I could choose the best answer in one shot without the need to go back. I finished the entire exam with only 2 mins left on the timer.

I wish you success! Feel free to comment on any questions you have.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Pavun Raj
Last edit: by Nanmeng Jiang.

passed with 2 months of study. my journey and 2 cents 1 year 1 month ago #29711

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