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TOPIC: Passed May 18th 2015

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 6 months ago #5595

  • Todd Hammer
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Hey Everyone.

I'm glad to say I passed the PMP exam yesterday on my first try.

Here are the key things that helped me on this effort.

In brief: Read the PMBOK and Head First PMP, come to understand EVM, Use a study coach program, take all of the practice tests you can!! Especially the 4 hour 200 question versions.

Here are more details on why I say this:

I didn't use the rita mulcahy book, I didn't like her writing style and found her to be demeaning. I was a little concerned about this as its a popular option. I used the Head First PMP Book. Its a much better read and not discouraging. I read through it entirely along with the PMBOK. Read a chapter in PMBOK, follow up in Head First.

EVM - This is a big part of the test, but isn't hard as long as you come to understand EVM. In fact, I looked forward to these as its simple math and a "gimme" question. If you don't understand EVM, look at the Head First PMP book's explaination!! This book's explanation of EVM was KEY to my success. I haven't found a better explanation ANYWHERE. Even if you don't use this book in it entirety, at least review its explanation of EVM. EVM totally made sense after I read through this. Having said that, you will need to remember the formulas. This is easily done if you start creating your mind dump sheet a few months a head of taking the test and writing it down every day.

Study Coach - I studied for this on my own. No crash coarses. I struggled on my to create a study schedule and plan. I had already read the PMBOK and Head First Book but didn't feel prepared. I then signed up for the study coach from www.project-management-study-coach.com/. This was a GREAT help. Not only do they give you a schedule, but many videos and extra material. You get many emails to keep you going and on track.

Practice Tests! - I also signed up for the exam.pm-exam-simulator.com/. I view this as NOT an option!! A primary key to passing! This gives you 8 standard 4 hour x 200 question practice tests. And an additional ITTO only test (I didn't actually take this one). I took 2 of these tests every week leading up to the PMP test. You gotta take the full 4 hour test, THEN go back and examine everything you missed and figure out why you missed them. I screen shotted the explanations so I could study them as well. I got to where I was making 78-80% on these tests. I used other practice tests as well. There is actually a book on pmi.org with 18 50question tests you can download for free. I took a LOT of these too. If you want to feel really discouraged, try the test at www.oliverlehmann.com. This thing kicked my butt every time I took it. I found it MUCH harder than the actual PMP exam.

The process table - Yes, you need to memorize this thing. Its sounds bad, but it isn't really. I installed an app on my iPad called PMSheet. Its sort of a game that lets you fill in the blanks of the process chart. Using this, I learned the chart within a week or two.

I didn't memorize all of the ITTOs, but I studied them quite a bit and tried to understand what was going where and why. There are several questions on these. These too where sneaky. A few times they don't use the phrase "what is the input" or "what is the output", but stepping back and looking at what they were really asking, they were ITTO questions. I'm sure I got some right and some wrong.

The exam itself - I would just say read the questions carefully. They give you some EVM details and you have to understand what's going on. For example they may say there is 25% of the work to complete. You need to be able to translate that into what you really need to know, which is this means 75% of the work was done (calculating EV). So read every question, and read every answer.

The nicest thing about the test that you should know is you can Highlight words in the question in yellow. This helps you focus on what you think is important.

That's it, that's how I passed!!
Todd Hammer, PMP
The following user(s) said Thank You: Pavan kumar Dunna

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 6 months ago #5614

  • Kristina Rama
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I definitely have noted down your advise.

Well Done!!

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 6 months ago #5685

  • Felix MD
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Hi Michael, great job!

one doubt, the free test book you referred - available in pmi.org - ¿Could you link it, please?

Thanks in advance

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 4 months ago #5946

  • Todd Hammer
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Hey Felix, I dug around on the PMI.org site and couldn't find that book anywhere. In fact, they used to have a bunch of free books and now I can't find any.
Todd Hammer, PMP

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 4 months ago #5947

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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PMI still offers a number of free books online. They can be found in the "eReads & Reference" section: But I must admit that I do not know what book Todd is referring to.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

Passed May 18th 2015 1 year 4 months ago #5950

  • Todd Hammer
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Thank you Cornelius. I literally spent an hour looking for that section last night.

The book is:
PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers & Explanations, 2013 Edition
by Christopher Scordo

At this link: pmi.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bkid=55550

I used this reference a lot leading up to when I switched over to the exam.pm-exam-simulator.com.
These questions were just a little easier, but not much. They were very helpful.

I tracted my success rate on these along with everything else. Also used them to go back and record why I missed questions.
Todd Hammer, PMP
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