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TOPIC: Passed PMP on first attempt - my tips

Passed PMP on first attempt - my tips 2 years 4 months ago #4414

  • Nana Osei
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Hello everyone,

I passed the PMP exam yesterday with Proficient scores across all 5 process groups.

There's a lot of great content on this board already about study plans and different prep material etc so I'll limit my tips to the exam itself and what you need to know as you prepare:

1. Understand ITTOs:
The PM Prepcast does a great job of explaining the "why" of the ITTOs. Spend as much time as you need to really understand the interrelationships and logical linkages between the processes. An output in Process X is likely to become an input to Process Y etc.
Just taking a look at the process chart will help you identify the primary outputs of many of the processes as well as relevant patterns - many Control processes have various "updates" and "change requests" as outputs; just as many Planning processes have "meetings" and "expert judgement as T&Ts, etc etc.

2. Selection by Elimination
I found the real exam to be quite a ways harder than the Exam Simulator questions. Please avoid losing yourself in all 4 answer choices! Try to eliminate at least two of the four options as quickly as you can. Then spend the rest of the time deciding between the remaining two; at least using that technique made it a considerably less stressful experience for me.

3. 4 hours go by quickly.
The PMP exam was probably the fastest 4 hours I can remember. I had less than 8 minutes at the end and I still needed to revisit my marked questions. Fortunately I had marked only 4 or 5 questions and was able to just beat the clock. There was zero time for review. My best advice - if you are not sure about a question, just move on. It's hard to do, but the clock won't relent while you dawdle.

4. Aim for 100% success rate on math questions.
This is by far the best way of improving your odds of passing the exam - I saw a testimonial from another contributor here saying there's no ambiguity in math and i couldn't agree more. A vast majority of the questions are scenario-based requiring your best judgement, so take advantage of the calculation-based questions when they come up. Know your EVM, communications channels, PERT and Expected Monetary Value. Related to this, the ITTOs are also a good way of amassing correct answers - same principle.

5. Do tons of full-length sample exams.
I did 8 of the 9 PMP Exam Simulator exams, including the one on ITTOs - plus probably 500 shorter-length exams from other sources. One probably requires a consistent 80% on prep exams in order to be ready for the real thing. The PMP Simulator is great because it comes with a detailed explanation of each answer you got wrong.


Books/Study material - I used the following:

- PMBOK Guide 5th Edition
- Edwel PMP Exam Boot Camp
- PM Prepcast and PMP Exam Simulator
- Project Management: The Managerial Process; Larson and Gray, 5th Edition.

Hope this is of some use to someone - best of luck!

Nana Osei PMP.
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