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TOPIC: Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month

Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month 2 years 4 months ago #4282

  • Rehana
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I have passed PMP certification a couple weeks ago in a first attempt and wanted to share my story too.
It took me 35 days start to finish and with limited resources. I had finished my consulting assignment and was in between projects when I decided I would take a break and get my PMP certification, since my plan to do it while being in a job/work since last couple years was going in vain. And that meant, I will have to be off job till I give the test. And considering that I will still have to look for a new project/job after the certification, my time to get this mission accomplished could not be stretched over a month realistically. So, with a target to accomplish PMP set in a month's time, I started with buying the online IT University Online course work for the 36 hrs of classes (required towards this exam eligibility). It took me 6 days to complete the course work. It was a lot of information to grasp at one go but I patiently listened to at least 5 chapters a day of the 25 or something classes/sections listed in there. I was spending at least 6hrs a day at this time. Considering my break period from the last time I gave an exam was 10yrs back, I had to pull myself up and bring to speed to be ready for this vigorous journey and hard target to achieve- which I nicknamed "Do or Die project" ( because I would'nt try it in a long time if I fail to accomplish it now).

The preliminary for this project was, I had limited resources:
1)Money- Since I was funding it myself, with no job in hand currently, was the least scarce of all the available resources and had to be used very efficiently. So $100 was spent on the online course which I got a value price from Groupon. $130 for PMI membership(free PMBOK book) and $425 for the exam.

2)Time- I had whole of it in the 30 days I had set myself up to. Which means, no social life or minimal near to zero and max utilization of the 24X7 I had in hand minus the mandatory 8hrs of sleep. This was developed on an increasing curve by the end date.

3)Man Power- Which means I, myself and Rehana had to give in max num of hrs humanly possible depending on my stress threshold ability.

Soon enough I realized I bought myself a high stress project which had to be delivered - remember " Do or Die" motto :)

Once I completed the online course and was given the green signal to book the exam date, I went ahead and registered with PMI and got the PMP Edition book online. Then booked my exam date for May 9th to seriously set the target. This was exactly 24 days time beginning then.
I had an old 4th Edition paper book with me which is I pulled out and dusted it to begin reading, hoping that it would not be vastly different than the 5th edition book. And I found reading a paper bind was better than reading online. While I was completing the chapters in a pg. by pg. word by word fashion, in the given 10 days of time I had planned for this, I was also attempting quizes in the back of the book. Only in about 4-5 days i realized how time consuming it was and how precious time was. So from 6 hrs a day I progressed to 8 hrs a day of preparing. The quiz results were dismaying at around 50%. But I simply continued without that bothering me. Once I finished the 4th edition book in less than 10 days, I started giving tests online and targeted developing my endurance for the test time management /working under the clock and length. I started with the free online tests from 15 to 200 questions in each. I did not have any upper limit but wanted to do as many tests and as many questions I can possibly do. The next 5 days, I was only doing online tests and practicing ITTO's . So from taking over 4hrs for my first test of 200 questions to clocking it at 3hrs, I achieved my target of time managing the tests within 5 days. I would have done at least 800 questions till now. My scores barely managed to climb up till 60%...
Then I Started reading PMBOK Edition 5 Online pg. - by - pg. While attempting free online quizes intermittently. The last 4 days, I had dedicated to full length (200) tests only and preparing the gaps by reading the answers to the questions at the end of the test and focusing on the wrong answers more but also breezing over the explanation given for the right ones. I could o one full length test and a few short questions tests for the next two days. 2.5 days ahead of the test, I realized, I needed more time and since my test results percentage climbed up to 70% by now, I was hopeful of crossing the 85% consecutively in the last 5 test thumb rule in another week realistically. So, I went ahead and spent another $70 to buy just that much time and re-booked it on the 15th. So this was my additional unplanned budget. But, still I would consider it as contingency reserve as I had kept that money for buying online PMP test sets of 4. So, it meant I could not allocate any budget for that and I will have to depend on the free reserve online. I found a sea of 1500 test questions online in a site and I was happy to use that contingency reserve for the exam re-booking fee. By now my work hours inc to 10- 11hrs a day. I was going in crash mode which single manpower resource. :ohmy:

By this time, I had already developed a love for giving tests and the endurance to sit through had vastly increased effortlessly.

Then with 8days in hand from May 7th till 14th, I had to only give number of tests per day of all ranges of difficulty and length and finish reading PMBOK every page, practice ITTO's re-brushing a couple knowledge areas a day. I did not try to memorize but analyze the possible inputs and outputs and the tools req to get them. I relaxed a couple days in between and took it easy. Now when I had exactly 4 days in hand, I completely finished reading PMBOK 5th edition and kept the last 3.5 days for just full length tests only. Every morning I used to start a new full length test take a lunch break and chill a bit and then read the answers go for a couple hrs of walk, refresh and again take another test at 8pm wind it up by 11:30. If there were any answers left to go through at the end, I would complete them first thing the following morning. I realized my work hours went up to 12-13 hrs a day. But was also happy that my results were also up and above 80%- 87% consistently by now sparing a few in the upper 70%. The performance relieved my stress of the hours I put in.

The last day before the exam, I gave only one test in the morning and closed my books by 3pm. I took a total break and called up and chatted with friends, went on a long walk, slept early by 10am for a 5:30 am wake up the next morning. I had anxiety but minimal stress as I knew I could clock it well and did my best so far that I could possibly do.

At 7:30 am the following morning on May 15th, I took the test. I opted for a carb and protien b'fast of 2 CLIFF bars and lots of water. I needed both of them to sit through the 4 hrs. The Exam seemed relatively tougher than I had attempted in online tests and although I had practiced timing a lot, I found the really wordy and unusually lengthy and tricky questions time consuming. However, I did not quite hurry up and read them carefully through. Used elimination method for the multiple choice answers. I had marked only 8 questions and there was one unanswered one left at the end of my exam with only 9 mins remaining. I quickly went through each of them back and changed a few answers on them. and ended my exam 40 secs early. At the end of the exam, while I was doing the test center feed back section and before my exam results, The only thing I was thinking out loud in my mind was, I had given my best, and I need not worry about the results no matter what. This is only a test and I can always give it again if needed. On the other hand, I was also confident of passing as I had this feeling by the end of the exam.
After those seemingly never ending moments of spinning , All I could see on the screen was "CONGRATULATIONS!!!!" I stopped for a min, my mind was blank, I clapped slowly to applaud my triumph and sincerely congratulated myself for the efforts I put in and my faith to achieve the goal and above all, the success of my accurate Planning to accomplish this mission impossible. :woohoo:

I camly and quitely walked out of the room not to disturb anyone else and took my results and walked out!!

I wanted to share this story of mine with all of you, just in case it may help any one out there to prepare and pass when they have a 30-40 days full time in hand and limited resources. My preparation was purely hard work (# of hrs put daily) and discipline. The PMBOK book edition 5 I got was also free after becoming member of PMI :) ......
So, basically I could be awarded - "Toughest exam fastest" award and minimalistic expensive. :evil:

However, I am grateful to all the online resource links and the prep material I got for this exam. I hope this inspires someone to try my way.

Now after a week of vacation in LA/Vegas to treat my self for this success, the task remains to get into a suitable job. I hope I get success there as well sooner than later.
~Cheers, Rehana
Last Edit: 2 years 3 months ago by Yolanda Mabutas.

Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month 2 years 4 months ago #4311

  • Sami Snunu
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Congratulations Rehana!, your story proved that self-determination, dedication and focus on the goal is the key to succeed..

Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month 2 years 4 months ago #4313

  • Ayo O
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Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month 2 years 4 months ago #4351

  • rehana
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Thanks much for your appreciation. Patience and Perseverance with focus on your goals is the key. nothing is unaccomplishable. I wish you luck if you are planning to take the PMP exam.

Passed PMP First attempt in 1 month 2 years 4 months ago #4352

  • Rehana
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Thanks Much Ayo.
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