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PASSED PMP in first attempt 3 years 5 months ago #4922

  • Abhirup Banerjee
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Thank you all.

Over the last 3 months I have been studying with intent and determination which I was thinking to do 1 year back. I believed as any work/project any endeavour needs a strong "why" for it's inception. If one finds the "why" he probably figures out "how" :).

My first Lesson Learned is to Find your own personal motivation for this PMP preparation project.And this one would be your personal reason. Probably no one can tell you what it should be. Think over it and you would know for sure.

Let me share some of the approaches I have taken.

Make a study group with dedicated aspirants, You can choose 1 person, buddy as a co PMP aspirant to study together and brainstorm ideas,solutions.My study group consisted of two persons. Myself and one of my colleague.

Explain and make your spouse understand why being a PMP would help you and your family. Once he/she understands he/she would be your best cheerleader.And you will need One for this challenging exam.

Subscribe to a PMP course. I chose PMPPrepcast , which is by the way awesome.

I am skipping the parts of applying in PMI website, required experience and advantages of being a member. I am assuming you know that already.

Books I referred:
  1. Head First PMP 3rd Edition

  2. PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam

  3. PMBOK 5th Edition

  4. 105_Questions_for_the_PMP_Formula_Study_Guide5 [Prepcast Formula Package]

Tips and Tricks:

I personally liked using Memonics and Memory Palace techniques which I learned accidentally just before starting the preparation.

The official word is "Peg Word" and "Method of Loci"
Reference:The Memory Book
Book by Harry Lorayne

With the above techniques I remember and could recall most ITTOs for any 47 processes processes.

With "Association and Linking" I remember the interface of the ITTOs, which process starts when, which runs in parallel, which gives input to which.

With "ACRONYMS" I remembered all theories and Quality champions.

Anything and everything in PMBOK or any book which needed to remembered in sequence I remember using "Peg Words".

And mind you this is not ROT memorisation although some of the reader might assume by now. As Cornelius Fichtner told me , It is important to understand how to be a PMP not just pass the exam. I understood , assimilated the concepts using PMPPrepcast videos and podcasts and the books. For books and videos I use the Method of loci and peg words to put it in my brain as indexes.It has just become a part of my system now.Call it whatever it is , but I am enjoying it to the fullest.


I need not look beyond the following pdf which I got as a package when I purchased PMP Prepcast Formulas.105_Questions_for_the_PMP_Formula_Study_Guide5

I got some question in real exam similar to a few of the maths above.
As a supplement I had completed Oliver Lehman 175 free Sample Questions by then.

Mock Exams

1. Free Mock test of PMstudy
2. Free Exam Central
3. Free and Paid PMP Prepcast Simulator
4. Free Oliver Lehman Mock Test
5. Paid Simplilearn Mock Tests

Supplements: ITTO practise ITTO practise
Android and IOS ITTO Games ITTO practise ITTO practise
Self Made Riddles For tough ITTOS and T&Ts
Self Made Study Notes Made during study and lesson learned after mock exams
Table 3-1 Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping Brain Dump
(I have a separate thread for how to make this chart easily for your brain dump and also remember it for rest of your life! I am planning to write a thread only on Brain Dump)

It is not tough to remember every ITTO of 47 processes and it neither takes a lifetime to remember nor it is out of the league of your intelligence if you know how to use Method of Loci and Peg Words.Let me know if anyone is interested, I will have a separate thread for that.

Being said that only remembering the ITTOS is not enough. The "Why" is important too.Somehow someone might believe I don't understand that so want to make it clear :).

Discussing sample questions and answers with my study group helped me a lot understanding the questions pattern in PMP exam.

Reading Lessons Learned from PMP Prepcast Package and this Forum.

Other Forums :
PMZilla Forum
Deep Fried Brain project forum

I took the "Test Drive" in Prometric a day before the exam.This one helped me a lot understanding the Policies,procedures and guidelines in Exam Center.You can book a test drive in Prometric.

I took enough rest before the day of exam and was in the exam centre early.I ate properly and used the washroom before I took the exam[This one is especially important ;)]

Believe in yourself and your study, don't doubt your abilities. Cornelius Fichtner is a great cheerleader for me personally who guided me when I was doubting myself before the exam in this forum and also he took his busy time off to respond to me in personal emails.That meant a lot for me.

My wife Rupali is a great support during my studies and encouraged me do everything to keep distractions away,keep me jolly and gave me great support during studies and mock exams. Your Home Support is essential for this type of exams!!

During the exam:

The Real Exam questions was similar to the questions of PMP Prepcast simulator , yes that is a fact.
And the questions seemed to me surprisingly easy and all 200 questions seemed to me I can use Method of Elimination if not I can directly get it from my Memory Palace instantly.

The que words like "next" came to a lot of the questions. One Important lesson learned is "Read each word of the question carefully".Some of the questions seemed too easy to me and I read some of them twice/thrice just to make sure I am on right track.

I made a Brain dump during the first "15" free/Intro minutes.(I need not to read the Intro because I already took the "Test Drive" on the day before).I concentrated on Brain dump.

The first 100 questions was easily done during the first 1 hour.I will not lie , I started to think something may be wrong, It can't be this easy!!(You should not doubt yourself though)

I had 100 questions to answer in the next 3 hours.
I purposefully was slower in my approach after that and made sure I took at least 2 hours and 30 minutes for the last 100. I reviewed the marked questions for 25 minutes, carefully,rereading those questions.
Rethinking why the one of two non eliminated options is not the "best" answer.[You can easily eliminate 2 out of 4 Options and that leaves you with 2]. I made some corrections and moved ahead.

Finally I could not wait any longer. I ended the exam and completed the survey.

I could see the screen with Congratulations, PASS...

I got 2 Ps and 3 Moderately P rating. I felt I would have easily got 5 P s if I got hold of my nerves better.And I am sure I will use this personal lesson learned in my future certifications.Make 4 hour exam your second nature by giving more Mock Exams before the actual exam. As they say, Practise makes a man perfect.

Best of Luck you guys appearing for the PMP exam. According to me you deserve the certification when you have studied and shared your knowledge enough and helped someone along the way. :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nguyen Van Binh, Steve Sandoval

PASSED PMP in first attempt 3 years 5 months ago #4928

  • Steve Sandoval
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Thank you for sharing your lessons learned, and congratulations once again on your new PMP!
Steve Sandoval, PMP
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