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26th of June 2014 the day the big day “that’s how I called it once I scheduled my PMP exam 1 month prior that date” the day where I achieved and passed my PMP exam on my first attempt with Moderately Proficient in all knowledge areas
Two month of studying and preparation, equipped with the best resources, the PM Prepcast, PM Formulas, PM Exam Simulator, PMBOK guide 5th edition and Rita-PMPExam Prep 8th Edition leads to this success and being a PMP certified.
The study plan was as follows:
Watched the PM Prepcast videos as a start;
Read the Rita-PMP Exam Prep 8th Edition guide;
Watched the PM Prepcast again and read the PMBOK in parallel. Since the PM Prepcast videos structure was the same the PMBOK guide, that helped in breaking the dryness of the PMBOK and understand the material deeply;
Then, went through the PM Formulas. That was an amazing guide and quickly helped me in knowing the ins and outs of each formula and practiced them;
I read the PMBOK again for the last time and skimmed through Rita and get ready for the exam simulator;
For the last 10 days before the exam, I did all the 9 exam tests. It was perfect because that helped me get used to the 4 hours exam. Before starting any exam simulation, I was doing the brain dump on a paper and then press the start exam. At the end of each exam I was reviewing the wrong answers and referring to the page number of each question in the PMBOK guide for more details. Below were my results:
Exam 1: 46% (I answered 92 out of 200 questions and stopped the exam. It was my first 4 hours exam testing and wasn’t able to continue the 4 hours)
Exam 2: 69%
Exam 3: 73%
Exam 4: 78.5%
Exam 5: 76%
Exam 6: 76.5%
Exam 9 (ITTO): 82%
Exam 7: 75%
Exam 8: 31.5% (that was the day before my exam stopped the exam on the 100 question. I was drained and lost focus. So I went to bed for a good sleep before the big day)
During the first month of studying, after watching all the videos, I sat for the 25 exam questions, got the 35 contact hours certificate and submitted my application. I scheduled the exam after one month once I got the acceptance from PMI and here things changed. I have a target date, a motivation that paced my study plan.
The big day arrived, I walked to the exam center with confident, repeating the sentence (Today I will become a PMP certified, I will pass the exam).
The first thing I wrote on the scratch paper that the test center provided was “Wael Al Gharib, PMP… Today I will become a PMP certified… I will pass the PMP exam” and I kept it on my sight. The next step was the brain dump. I wrote all the formulas and the processes and knowledge areas relation. The 15 minutes tutorial ends and the exam started.
My plan/strategy was to finish 50 questions in 55 min and end up with total 20 min for review and a short break. But unfortunately things didn't work as planned. The first 50 questions were so tough and I spent around 65 minutes on them. Then things changed and I started to move fast and was able to finish the exam on time without any break and reviewing any question. When I went back to review the questions I had around 20 seconds and I figured out that I had 3 unanswered questions where I quickly made a guess on them. We were not allowed to get water inside the exam room, and to drink we have to go outside, then enter and rechecked again which wasn't an option for me due to the lack of seconds of time. So I spent 4 hours without water and holding myself in the last 15 min because I wanted to go to the bathroom but no time for that (I would have failed if I did )
When the exam time ended and was forwarded to the survey, I skipped it. I was so stressed and excited to see my results. After few seconds, and believe me was the longest seconds I ever counted, the CONGRATULATIONS statement blinked on the screen and the celebration started
It was the best feeling ever… I took the printout of my results and went out jumping, dancing and smiling
That was my journey guys good luck for all the ones who are planning to take the exam and congratulations for the ones that already took it… we are now PMP Certified
Finally I want to end up with a statement to Mr. Cornelius Fichtner. In one of your videos about Earned Value management, you said that EVM is the best thing ever happened to project management. Well, here is my statement, you are the best thing ever happened to the PMP Preparation with all the tools that you have that make this journey joyful Thank you!
Your version of your study plan was highly motivating. I am also planning to take my PMP test in 8 weeks from today and wanted to check with you if this is a reasonable timeline.
I recently resigned from my position as I needed to complete my PMP and look for an alternative position during this timeframe.
-Started with the PM PrepCast last week
-Skimmed through the PMBOK
-Reviewing Andy Crowe along with the PM PrepCast
-Plan to take practice tests 4 weeks from today
I know I am missing Rita Mulachy in this list. Is this a reasonable plan to test for PMP 8 weeks from now? Is there anything that I need to focus besides the above listed activities? I appreciate your suggestions or recommendations as this will be helpful for me to prepare.
As for your timeframe, i see 8 weeks as a good duration. You have more time during the days to prepare and study since you resigned. For me it was hard to catch up with my studies after 8 working hours, i used to study maximum 3 hours during the working week and full day in the weekend.
The resources you are using in your study plan are very good. PM Prepcast is the best tool to boost your studies along with the PMBOK. I suggest to read Rita once after your are done with the videos and the PMBOK. Finally, practice a lot and do full 4 hours exams as much as you can. The PMP exam simulator that the guys offer here is excellent and very helpful. I highly recommend it.
Good luck again in you journey towards achieving your PMP.
This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam.