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TOPIC: Cleared today.

Cleared today. 1 year 11 months ago #5391

  • Anil
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Materials used

Rita's – Test Prep – Exhaustive, helps in grasping the concepts, chapter wise tests are good although I could not complete all, I would recommend going through all the chapter wise test, if you have enough time. I really went through this book only once, I did not like style and the assumptions on the mistakes project managers make who don't have a PMP certification.
PMBOK5 – Only used it as a reference, went through all the diagrams and figures 2 days before the exam.
PMP head first – Did not read more than the first four chapters. But its if you prefer learning using diagrammatically.
Rita's – Hot topics – Audio flash cards, may be worth if you work out or spend time to commuting to work. I got this only 2 weeks before the exam and listened to this only once.

I regret not getting PM Prepcast (based on the reviews on the forum) as I had completed my preparation and booked my exam dates with very little time to accommodate more material or study time.


I got my 35 PDUs during Jan 2015 through the local chapter, but my preparation only started around mid March 2015 after purchasing the books. Total preparation time was around 35-40 days, with around 1 to 1.5 hours per bed time reading (not including the mocks) and took the mocks mostly during weekends.

Mock scores

I spent most of my time going through the mock exam results, its very important to go through all the marked and incorrectly answered questions and cross-reference your understanding the PMBOK. If you have more time, go through all the questions (even the once answered correctly).

PM exam simulator is one of the best I terms of the quality of the questions (no repeated questions, correctness of the answers as per PMBOK, points the answer in PMBOK). I made sure interact with the support team with queries, when I was not convinced about the explanation. Doing this would seldom hurt and only identify your gaps. As I can recall could most of my queries and feedbacks for mock question were replied within 24-hours, with a more detailed explanation.

Avoid taking free test as many of them have wrong answers, grammatical mistakes, and even questions relating to content from PMBOK4. These free test don't add much value to the preparation, and would slowdown actual progress and deter your confidence levels.

I maintained a small excel sheet to track the progress of the my exam scores, answered around 2500 questions with ~85% of the answers being correct. On the PM exam simulator, I completed 8 mocks and 1 ITTO exam, and scored around 80% to 85%.

I did not memorise the ITTOs, as its not required and waste of time, instead understood the process itself. Note the objective of PMP is not just to score well in the exam, but you should also apply the knowledge when ever possibly in the real world and this requires a good understand of the 47 processes.

The previous day

Dint cram, relaxed watch a movie and get good sleep. I watched season 7 of “the mentalist” to stop thinking about the exams.

The actual exam

I created a dump sheet (formulas, process chart) during the first 15 minutes, used all the time meant for the tutorial, but never refereed to the dump sheet during the exam. Its still a good thing to do, as it would calm your nerves during that time. I requested and got a manual calculator, as I was more comfortable using it for the mock tests.

The questions were all situational (very lengthy) and a few ITTO questions (again situation based). Also got quite a few maths and CPM questions which ate up most of my time. The exam interface was very close to the simulator.

By the end of the second hour I completed the 78 question, as the question were really long and tricky. I increased pace during the second half, with about totally 20 question marked for review. However, I never had a chance to review the answers as I still had around 25 questions unanswered and thought I failed the exam, with the last 30 seconds.

Practice the mocks while sitting in a mildly noise area in your house while doing the mocks as exam centre could have lots of distractions - users pounding the keyboards at high speed, squeaky chairs, you may also hear some folks reading the content aloud, assuming it not audible to your neighbour.

My exam Score - MP, MP, P, P, MP.

Time management

“The questions expand to fill the time available” :)

This is most important part. Come up with a strategy which works for you in the mocks and stick to it during the real exam.

What I did help me to a certain extent, I always read the last line of the question (for lengthy questions), then skimmed through the answers and then started reading the questions from the beginning again. This way your brain already knows the answer choices available, and would focus on the areas of issue in the question which needs attention, isolating the unimportant details. This way you could potentially avoid reading the questions multiple times.

Also look into this thread for [time management strategies](www.project-management-prepcast.com/inde...agement-on-the-exams) which has a lot of valuable inputs from experienced memebers.

My recommendations to Cornelius Fichtner and team, for the exam simulator:
1. Enable reviews for incorrect questions and marked questions.
2. Every time you return from a viewing the answer/explanation of an incorrect or marked question, from a mock test exam results page, this page goes back to top of the result page, which then requires the user to scroll back to the point again. Instead the pages could scroll down to the last answer/question number button you have just finish read. Unfortunately, if you have marked around 40 question, you have to take the trouble of going the scrolling the results page at least 40 times, which could potentially be avoided.
3. Optionally, show stats on percentage of users who got the answered correct or wrong.

Finally before I can call it a day while I relax, I would like to thank the forums moderators, support team, Cornelius Fichtner and many active members on the forum, without which this post would not have made it here.

Thanks again.
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Anil. Reason: Fixed some typos and gramatical errors.
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