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TOPIC: Passed the PMP Exam on my first try

Passed the PMP Exam on my first try 5 years 11 months ago #2453

  • Jan Hyatt
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Hi everyone! I'm happy to say that I passed the PMP exam on my first try Friday! The preparation process turned out to be quite a bit more difficult than I had anticipated, so hopefully I can share what I learned and help you out as you get ready.

I am an independent PM consultant and finished a year-long project in early June. I'd been wanting to get the PMP certification for several years, but never felt I had time to do so, so I decided to take off some time this summer to prepare. I had been told by a colleague about Andy Crowe's book "Pass the PMP exam on your first try", so I decided to order that book. After looking at it, I realized that my knowledge of the actual terms used in the PMBOK guide was not up to date, so I decided to take an online course too. I signed up for the PMPrepcast in June. Around the same time, I sent my application to PMI and joined PMI.

The PMPrepcast was grueling! I started out by trying to do several lessons each day and take the daily exams, but wasn't scoring that well, so I slowed down and did about two lessons a day. Each day I read the Andy Crowe chapter related to the online lessons, and did the quizzes in the book. Once I finished I took the prepcast test (and passed) and then took the book exam. I also signed up for Insite (comes with the book) and took those exams. I took several other online exams - when I started I was scoring about 70%, eventually was scoring around 85% on them.

What I found with the test was that there is a lot of emphasis on the order of processes, and the inputs, tools, techniques and outputs. [SECTION REMOVED BY MODERATOR. LESSON LEARNED WAS REFERENCING DETAILED QUESTIONS ON THE EXAM]

There were maybe six or seven formula questions (less than I expected), but you should know the formulas inside and out, as they are actually easy questions if you know the formula. I marked about 15 questions to review (and in most cases picked the same answer after review).

The other thing that helped was to think as if the project were really big - an international project with hundreds of team members. The possible answers often were hard to choose if I applied them to a small project, but made more sense if applied to a big project.

The hardest part of the exam is that many times it seemed like none of the answers were exactly right - you have to pick the best choice given, even if it isn't the best answer in the real world. Taking lots of practice tests, and reading forums to see why questions are answered a certain way, really helps with being able to answer the questions on the test.

Anyway, that's what I learned from my experience. Good luck!
Last Edit: by Cornelius Fichtner. Reason: Contained too detailed info about type of exam questions
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