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TOPIC: 1st Attempt Pass 8/14 - Thoughts

1st Attempt Pass 8/14 - Thoughts 5 years 2 months ago #2390

  • Matthew
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I passed my PMP exam last night on my first attempt.
Test Experience:
At first I found the test harder than I expected it to be. I marked quite a few questions for review in the first 100 questions. As I got more comfortable with the question still and nerves settled I found I marked very few questions for review in the last 100 questions.
I finished the exam in just under two hours. I decided to take a quick break to get a drink and take a breath before going back to review the marked questions. As I started going through the questions I realized I was pretty confident with my initial answer. I decided to commit to my initial answers and only quickly scanned all marked questions. I only changed one. So I was done with the entire exam within 2:15. I decided I either knew it or didn’t. I wasn’t going to learn it there.
Luckily I had read several posts here and was prepared for the next step. After ending the exam you get a white screen. A previous post stated it lasted for several minutes. It was actually only about 30 seconds. It seems like minutes though. After the pause you then are offered a survey. I elected to ‘end’ the survey and not take it. I was very happy to see ‘Congratulations’ as the first word on the next screen. I didn’t see much else after that.
I got the following ratings…which I didn’t process until I got my printout:
Initiating – Below Proficient
Planning - Proficient
Executing – Moderately Proficient
M & C - Proficient
Closing – Moderately Proficient
Professional – Moderately Proficient

Studying – What I Did:
PMBOK – Read it once. Went back and quick notes for each knowledge area.
Study Guide – Bought a study guide and read through it once. I was not happy with it so I won’t list it here. Read reviews before making your purchase. I didn’t do my homework like I should.
Exam Simulator – Spent the last month going through using the www.pm-exam-simulator.com/ . Would test one night and then review each answer the next. I reviewed all answers….both correct and incorrect.
Memorization – Processes, knowledge areas and some of the ITTOs.

Studying –What I Should Have Done:
PMBOK – Should have read it more times. Should have been my key focus. The first time through I could barely make it. But as you understand the logic and methodology more it becomes a very quick read and makes so much more sense.
Study Guide- Research well. I was not happy with what I got. I would look at something like the PM Prepcast instead of a book. Even though my book was ‘Updated for PMBOK4’ I felt it wasn’t accurate. I think they missed some of the changes from 3. I feel like the Prepcast would have been more up to date, engaging, and been a better use of my time and money.
Exam Simulator – This is why I passed the exam in my opinion. You can study and memorize all you want, but working through test exam questions and getting comfortable with the concept of applying the knowledge and pulling data from you memory is the only way to go. My only regret here if you will is that I should have possibly used two sources. I was very happy with www.pm-exam-simulator.com/ but it would have been nice to get one more set of questions using a little different approach to increase the comfort level.
Memorization – I should have memorized the ITTOs and I think you should make the effort to do so. It seems overwhelming but it’s not. I had no problem memorizing the ones I did. I just committed to doing so too late and ran out of time. Besides the few extra questions it will help you get right it will make the whole methodology make complete sense you to. Make a plan to memorize one or two a week as you study. You will quickly find that it is very logical and will make understanding the methodology easier. When you are confused on something or aren’t sure you can figure it out if you know the ITTOs. The answers are all there.

Those are my lessons learned. Good luck.
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