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TOPIC: "Never saw someone write so fast & actually pass!"

"Never saw someone write so fast & actually pass!" 2 years 3 weeks ago #4779

  • Colleen Morrow
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That was what the staff person at my Prometric testing centre told me yesterday when I passed my PMP exam. I wrote and passed with three proficients and two moderately proficients in just under two hours. Perhaps it was something she says to everyone but if it wasn't, I think it was due to buckling down and dedicating 10 weeks to preparing for my exam and using the PM PrepCast as my primary study tool.

I ordered my copy of PMBOK and two exam prep books on August 31. I purchased the PM PrepCast and Exam Simulator on September 1. By far, the most useful tools were the PrepCast and the Exam Simulator.

I created a study schedule and worked through all of my materials in a methodical fashion:
  • My first step was writing the PM PrepCast self-assessment and then watching all the intro videos for each module from the PrepCast, making notes in blue and leaving plenty of space in between each process. This gave me a high level understanding of everything. I think this was useful in providing a foundation to build on and help me understand from the very beginning how things fit together.
  • After going through each of the intro videos, I turned to PMBOK and read it, making additional notes in purple. This was the only reading of PMBOK I did.
  • Next, I went back and worked through each module, going through between 2 and 6 hours of videos each day (more on weekends, less on weekdays.) I made more notes in blue and would not hesitate to go back in the video to watch something again if I didn't quite follow. I watched the videos at home or at work and feel the visual was very useful. I would sometimes listen to the .00 videos in the car since I had already seen them. I also listened to the audio only files in the car.
  • Once I had worked through the entire PrepCast, I wrote two simulated exams, reviewed those results & my notes and wrote a third exam.
  • Next, I moved on to using Head First PMP, adding to my notes in pink. It was a fun, unique book that presented the material in a different way and helped my think about things different. The exercises weren't just practice questions - there were crossword puzzles and matching exercises and many other different ways of reinforcing the material. While the book was fun and interesting, it did not cover the material in the same depth as the PrepCast. Once I finished working through the book, I did it's final exam, two more Exam Simulator exams, reviewed my results & notes and wrote a third exam. My scores did not change much from the first set of three exams i did.
  • Next, I worked my way through Achieve PMP Success, adding to my notes in orange. I consulted PMBOK if something didn't quite make sense. Once I had worked through it, I wrote its final exam, did two more Exam Simulator exams and reviewed my results & notes
  • At this point, I was done with my exam prep materials and was about a week out from my exam. My intention was to keep working through simulated exams and reviewing my results/notes but the exam simulator that came with Achieve PMP Success turned out to be less than ideal. I ended up working through two full exams there and then just reviewing my notes after that

In the end, I wrote all of the exams in the Exam Simulator (9) plus two practice exams in my prep books and two in another simulator for a total of 13 practice exams. I had a set of very colourful notes that allowed me to target exactly which study tool to go back to if something caught my attention and I wanted to dig into more. By far, the most useful tool was the PrepCast. It went into so much more detail than my other study tools. I felt well prepared to write my exam.

Oh, and as far as my application to write went, once I had my certificate for my contact hours, I submitted my application which took about a week to approve. I submitted on a Monday evening and got notification from PMI that I was approved to write in the wee hours of the following Sunday morning. I submitted my payment and got selected for audit. I was able to get all of my audit materials in the mail by the end of the day on Monday. PMI received my audit materials on Thursday and within two hours of my tracking number showing someone had signed for my materials, I received notification from PMI that I passed my audit. This was September 25. In all, including audit, from the day I submitted my application to the day I scheduled my exam was 10 days. I scheduled my exam immediately for a Friday morning. At this point, I revised my study schedule to reflect my exam date.

Good luck to everyone!

"Never saw someone write so fast & actually pass!" 1 year 10 months ago #5042

  • Rehan Ali
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Hi colleen

First of all many many congrats for your success. I attempted PMP in Jan'14 but unfortunately unable to make it clear. Now I am planning for 2nd attempt by end of Feb 2015. Could you please give useful tips for PMP exam preparation and if possible share few notes?

Also do you have any idea about passing criteria for following combinations;

1) with 1 proficient, moderate ?? ad below proficient ??

2) with 2 proficient, moderate ?? ad below proficient ??

Regards
Rehan Ali

"Never saw someone write so fast & actually pass!" 1 year 10 months ago #5071

  • Colleen Morrow
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I can only speak for what I received on the exam to pass. If I recall correctly, though, the exam is scored based on an overall mark not on individual areas so I would guess there's a huge variety of combinations that could result in a pass. I formerly held my CAPM credential so I used that exam report as a base for understanding where to focus my PMP studies. I suggest doing the same - spend the most time focusing on the areas you got below proficient on, do light review of your proficient areas and review the areas of your moderately proficients that you find trip you up. Good luck on your next attempt!!
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