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TOPIC: Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try

Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 6 years 4 months ago #1567

  • Thomas Reblora, PMP
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I passed my PMP exam on May 11th on my 1st attempt and I'd like to share my lessons learned, with the hope that this could help candidates on the same aspiration to become PMP soon.

Before starting, I'd like to emphasize that most of these are not new. Some of the tips I got from PM PrepCast (thanks, Cornelius!), some from friends who had either passed or failed the test, some from the net and the rest are my own. The very first lesson therefore in this LL is: don't ignore PMP exam tips as they are first-hand experiences and thus, they have been proven. Maybe not all tips will apply to everyone but it doesn't hurt to LISTEN and APPLY. At the end of the day, you are doing it for yourself "so that you will not wonder whether the results would have been otherwise --- if you HAD ONLY LISTENED & APPLIED".

Here goes my LL...

A. WHAT WORKED DURING PREPARATION
o Memorizing page 43 of the PMBOK
o Regularly-paced reviews (note: I had to re-memorize page 43 and those that I had reviewed already as I tend to forget over time)
o Reading the PMBOK glossary many times, especially the acronyms and types (i.e. technique, input, output, etc. See example below). It helped a lot in eliminating incorrect choices during the exam. Thanks Cornelius for this excellent tip!
o When too busy to squeeze studying, at least reading the PMBOK glossary or viewing/listening to Cornelius Fichtner’s PM PrepCast while in the train. (note: I always made it a point to listen to PM PrepCast everyday in my 1-hr trip to work with my noise-cancelling earphones)
o In parallel, reading the PMP Exam Prep 6th edition (by Rita Mulcahy, PMP) from cover to cover and taking notes of new insights or things that I found difficult. Then reviewing my notes every now and then.
o Before reading 1 chapter in Rita’s book, taking the test for that chapter to gauge how I would fair (had I taken the exam at that point in time). Then re-taking the same test after reading the chapter to MEASURE IMPROVEMENT. Then re-taking the same test after a week or two to GAUGE RETENTION.
o Using the results of the above step to prioritize which process to review further (i.e. the lowest score)
o Taking mock tests then understanding the right answers for wrongly-answered questions
o Taking mock tests then validating why my answer to correctly-answered question were correct
o Understanding how EVM is calculated, inside & out
o Understanding the numerous PMI-isms and applying them to situational questions
o Understanding where you are among the processes, under a given scenario (note: aside from understanding, PMBOK’s page 43 helped a lot to validate correctness)
o Understanding the Prof. Code of Conduct’s key principles and their applications to situational questions
o Scheduling the exam on a Tuesday afternoon and taking a leave on Monday & Tuesday to have a full, 3-day continuous review before the exam. (note: if you could take more than 3 days, the better)

B. WHAT WORKED DURING THE EXAM
o Arriving at the exam venue 45 minutes earlier
o Utilizing the whole 15 minutes for the exam tutorial by:
 Taking the tutorial (which actually just took 4 minutes), then
 The rest of the time writing page 43 of the PMBOK and other formulas on my scratch paper given in the exam room (note: this is allowed)
o Using method of elimination (many times) to validate even answers that I was quite sure about
o Reading the last line of the question first (i.e. know what is being asked) before reading the question from the beginning. It was easier to understand the question this way. (Cornelius is indeed right!)
o For questions with absolute answers, answering the question without looking at the choices. If it was a match, I was more confident of my answer. (Cornelius is again right!)
o Selecting the closest choice when none matched my absolute answer
o Going back to the previous screen to make sure that I really chose the answer I had intended
o Immediately marking an item for review if the question wasn’t clear after reading it the 1st time. Then attempting to answer before moving to the next question.
o Marking an item for review if I had some doubts that the question could be a tricky one
o Reviewing marked items after finishing all 200 questions and answering them as if it were the 1st time I read the question. If my 2nd attempt was still the same as my 1st answer, it could be likely correct (note: when I reviewed the marked questions I changed answers to about 5 items because I found tricky keywords during the 2nd round)
o Utilizing the whole 4 hours to review my answers even if I finished about 30 minutes earlier
o Bringing a jacket. It was indeed cold.

Cheers to all PMP candidates and good luck!

Tom Reblora, PMP

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 6 years 4 months ago #1576

  • Harshdeep Bhasin
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Hi,
Which Exam simulator are you using?

Please advice on where to get practice questions from?

I have PMPrepcast and Rita Mulcahy sixth edition so far to prepare for PMP.

Thank you,
Harshdeep

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 6 years 4 months ago #1581

  • Thomas Reblora, PMP
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Hi Harshdeep,

I mostly used Rita's questions and the ones that came with PrepCast repeatedly -- 1st to gauge myself on the 1st encounter then repeated a few times to gauge retention.

Early on I had tried answering the free questions from pmhub.net but eventually decided to concentrate on Rita and PrepCast. I never had the time to take a full 200-question mock test but it should be good to take one to experience the 4-hr-long test.

Cheers,
Tom

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 11 months ago #1725

  • Gopal
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Hi Harshep,

Can I get the Rita Mul 6th Edition if you have a softcopuy of same?

Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Gopal

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 11 months ago #1726

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Gopal,

Please refrain from asking other members of our forums to send you soft copies of book. All PMP Exam prep books are commercial products and are copyright protected. By asking other students to send you a copy you are asking them to ignore the PMI Code of Ethics and professional conduct (section on Respect).

Please purchase a copy from your local or online book store.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 10 months ago #1796

  • chereta
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I am studying for the exam and I am utilizing the Kaplan self test as a study guide. It has over 700 questions. Has anyone used Kaplan???? Was it helpful????? I am so nervous and so unsure of myself.

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 10 months ago #1802

  • Felipe Rivera
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chereta wrote:
I am studying for the exam and I am utilizing the Kaplan self test as a study guide. It has over 700 questions. Has anyone used Kaplan???? Was it helpful????? I am so nervous and so unsure of myself.

It's said that Rita's is the best...,I'm not saying that Kaplan is bad... but I haven't heard from anybody using that book.

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 10 months ago #1806

  • aqeel
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Y do we need rita's or anybody's 6th edition for appearing in 4th edition exam. Plz reply at my email.

B)

Re:Lessons Learned for passing PMP on 1st try 5 years 10 months ago #1807

  • aqeel
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i have also not heard about it. You better take a look a Rita's and compare both contents before final exam. You are the better judge.
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