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TOPIC: Project Complete.. Good Luck to all aspirants

Project Complete.. Good Luck to all aspirants 2 years 8 months ago #4026

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All -
I cleared my PMP exam on first try. I have described the steps what i followed in detail & I hope this post will atleast be of little help for all the PMP aspirants. Good Luck.

Study time - 6 to 7 weeks

Materials used - PMBOK, Rita, PM-Prepcast, PM Formulas, PM Simulator, PM Study

Preparation steps
  • Skimmed through PMBOK once. Zzzzzz... Understood Chapters 1,2 & 3. Memorized page 61.
  • Used PM Prepcast videos to understand all the concepts. Also referred to PMBOK as and when the knowladge area finishes. Got my contact hrs certificate.
  • Prepcast was really helpful in understanding all the concepts. I referred it through my preparation as & when a topic was not clear to me.
  • Read through Rita prep book ~ 3 hrs per chapter. For any concept which was in Rita & not present in PMBOK, i made notes on my PMBOK.
  • My test scores in Rita prep book chapter tests were b/w 70 to 80%. Had a few low scores at 60% for a few chapters.
  • When reviewing the test results from Rita Prep book, i always made notes on PMBOK of concepts that were new to me.
  • Read through PMBOK cover to cover once.
  • Read through PMBOK cover to cover once more.
  • At this point I started taking full length tests & started seeing good scores. I reviewed any incorrect answers & made notes on my PMBOK.
  • I went back to PM Fast track knowladge area chapter questions for HR, Communication & Procurement. This is were I got scores of 60's earlier
  • Used PMBOK to recollect the ITTOs logically.
  • During the last month, almost every other morning I wrote the entire formula dump & Page 61 in a sheet of paper.
  • By the time the exam came closer, I realized that I really did not need the Page 61 dump anymore.
  • 2 days before the exam I read PMBOK cover to cover again.
  • On the day before exam i used PMBOK to recollect the ITTOs logically & then recollected each topic from memory. Referred the book as & when needed.
  • My practice test scores were fairly consistent but never improved above 84%.
  • I had a lot of confidence from my practice tests, I felt completely ready on the day of exam.

Exam tips & some hindsight
  • You DON’T have to memorize ITTOs for the exam. If you understand them, that should be enough.
  • I did write the formula dump for the exam but I did not write the different process groups & processes down.
  • Remember every line in PMBOK Is a potential question. Interpretation of the content is very important
  • Whenever you do sample questions, make note of all the mistakes that you make & review them periodically. This is critical to succeed in the exam.
  • I feel Pmstudy & exam central full length tests come close the real test. PM Exam simulator comes third. Rita fast track was good to start with but too wordy compared to the real exam.
  • I completed all my practice tests under 2.5 hrs, but in the real test took 3.75 hrs to complete the first pass.
  • So this will tell you the difference between the practice & the real tests. It does not mean the real exam is too difficult but it takes a little longer
  • Always ensure that you do atleast 50 questions per hour to stay on track to completion.
  • I had only 15 mins to review about 20 questions which I had marked for review including 2 critical path questions which I eventually had to make a educated guess.
  • I actually ended up reading PMBOK 5 to 6 times which turned out to be the most important material for this exam.
  • This does not mean PMBOK alone is enough, PMBOK along with extra concepts from Rita, exam central & PMStudy mock test questions were required.
  • Together I did not find a concept in my exam that was new to me.
  • The right attitude to approach the exam is to want to get every question right. That I did (but I settled for a pass after the first 30 mins in to the exam)
  • If you get 70 to 80% in mock tests, then you should schedule your test. Overpreparation is bad.
  • Most importantly take care of your health before your exam.
  • Use only one prep book. But if you find additional concepts when solve sample questions make a note of them.

Exam application timelines
When i commited myself to complete PMP certification,i had a high level plan & planned in detail as i moved on (rolling wave planning). I always made sure i moved on to the next step even if my previous step is not fully complete. I filled up the study gaps when i revised, this way i was never stuck in one step. Here are my high level timelines for the exam.

Exam Application stepsDays before exam
Contact Hours certificate29
PMI Application28
Submit application for exam25
Application approval21
Paid fees for exam20
Appointment to take test8

My mock test results & timelines
The biggest question for every PMP aspirant is - "When do i know that i am ready for the exam ?". Here are my mock test scores & the days before the final exam i took these mock tests which "could" act as a guideline.

Test NameScoresDays before exam
PM Exam Simulator Exam 184%17
Rita Fast track Exam 181%12
PM Exam Simulator Exam 280%11
Rita Fast track Exam 277%10
PM Exam Simulator Exam 382%9
Exam central75%7
Rita Fast track SuperPMP70%8
PM Study Test 182%2
PM Study Test 276%1

My final results
Final exam ResultsGrade
M & CP
The following user(s) said Thank You: Swati Kumar, Pavan kumar Dunna
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