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TOPIC: Passing the PMP Lessons Learned – 6/27/2015 – 2nd

Passing the PMP Lessons Learned – 6/27/2015 – 2nd 1 year 3 months ago #5803

  • Tom Peters
  • Tom Peters's Avatar
I spent 6 months studying and preparing for this exam and felt I was as prepared as I would ever be. I took the exam (1st time) on 5/16/2015 and failed with 3 moderately proficient and two below proficient scores. I decided to spend the night before my test at a hotel just 2 miles from the testing facility. I live an hour from the testing facility and driving there the day of my test would have been ridiculous with all the road constructions and stress of negotiating the traffic. I didn’t sleep well that night because the hotel was so close to the Interstate that noise from all the traffic continued all night. In addition, neighbors next door were in and out of their rooms all night slamming the doors and making loud noises. Also, my bed so soft that I felt I was literally sleeping in a hammock. I’m writing this because people need to know that not only do you need to prepare for the exam, you also need quality sleep the night before in order to comprehend the exam questions. I remember the first 10 questions totally caught me off guard and I spent an inordinate amount of time (20 min at least) trying to understand what they were asking. I totally wasn’t prepared for those questions. I also had a ton of calculations (EMV, PTA, FLOAT, etc) but only 1 ITTO question and that didn’t show up until question 196. After my heartbreak, I realized my shortcomings and began concentrating on improving my understanding in these areas.

I rescheduled my test (6 weeks) and began reading and studying the PMBOK and Rita again. I read both 3 times and did all the exercises, spent more time studying and understanding the process flow and all the calculations. I also researched a different hotel (one that was farter from the Interstate). I created a brain dump that was 3 pages in length. This is the way I remember information by categorizing and writing them down. However, I only brain dumped the formulas for the exam – the other information was still fresh in my mind and if I needed to write it out to solve a question or two, I could easily do that.

Finally, I had a different experience with my second hotel of choice and a better outcome from my second exam – passing the PMP.

The PMPrepcast, Exam-Simulator and videos were essential in helping me understand the Project Management. This is a very tough test because there is so much information to learn and comprehend. I took three exam’s scoring in the low to mid 80’s and numerous other questions just for the differences in content and question asking. All in all very helpful. My family and I are very happy to have completed and passed this exam. I’m sure I was driving them crazy….

Thoughts on what to prepare for: Don’t underestimate the importance of calculations. If you understand how to perform them these are easy questions to get RIGHT on the exam. Like many others have stated, no need to spend a lot of time studying ITTO’s. Instead study process flow. There is an excellent website for this and I used it - www.brainbok.com
I also researched as many calculation questions as I could find. PMPrepcast has a good amount to study.

Get some quality sleep and eat a hearty breakfast before the exam so you’re not hungry. I took a break at the halfway mark and that helped as well. Gave me a chance to clear my mind and start fresh for the second half.

Good luck!
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