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I first took the exam August 6th , which I failed (miserably). My assessment to why I failed was as follows:
1- ineffective preparation.
. I spent too much time focusing on ITTOs.
. I used too many prep sources.
. I took some practice exams that lead me to underestimate how hard the real exam is (these commercial practice exams were unrealistic. they were too easy compared to the real exam)
2- Poor exam taking skills (mainly time management.
. Although I read a lot , I had never took a full length practice exam. instead I used to take 20-50 questions at a time. I though the time I made on those pilot-sample practice exams could be extrapolated to a full-length exam(I was wrong!!).
I started preparing for the second attempt the moment I stepped out of the exam center. I went back to my office and rescheduled for September 17th. shortly afterwards I bought prepcastR subscription and began studying , starting with my areas of weakness. I immediately noticed the difference between prepcast and the material I used the first time , the precast is more comprehensive, elaborative and really geared towards the real PMP exam , it can be a very effective stand-alone prep material. Since I had been preparing before I had my first attempt, going through the material the second time was much easier and more focused. The material itself is very effective regardless of your prior level of preparation. I was selective in my studies and practice because I knew my weaknesses. Yesterday I took the exam and passes it with much ease. My take home tips:
1. time is your #1 enemy , so prepare well to manage your time effectively during the exam.
2. if this is your 1st attempt go through the whole material systematically (based on the prepcast course design).
3. Rather than focusing on memorizing the material, one should focus on using the material to develop an attitude or a common sense directed towards problem solving in a scenario context.
4. Never underestimate the exam , it is really hard and you are expected to approach your preparation with this spirit.
5. Don't spend too much time on memorizing ITTOs.
6. make sure that you know your calculations and that you are able to do them quickly. there will be situations in the exam when you will have to fish for the information that you need to plug into your formula , other situations are straight forward (plug and play type of questions).
7. although there are some trick questions (e.g tricky wording) don't assume that all questions are traps.
8. Start reading the question at the end (it worked very well for me) , train your eye to immediately go for the sentence with the question mark "?" , sometimes all you need to know is in that sentence! and of course if you need to go back and read the full paragrapg , you will read it with the question already in mind which will help you process it faster (this well save you valuable time).
9. if you notice a lengthy question (one or more long paragraphs) or overly complicated diagrams , the real question is probably much simpler than it appears to be. so read the last sentence to save time.
10. don't worry about complicated calculations (there are not any on the exam), but make sure that you know which formula to use (there are often more than one formula to chose from).
11. the prepcast simulator exams are very very realistic. make sure you do the full exam with the clock ticking. taking the full exam not only will it give you a wider range of exposure to the material or help you manage your time,but it will also help you manage anxiety , mental and physical stress.
12. don't used too many perp sources (they can result in confusion).
13. don't feel tempted to skip on studying small process groups (initiation and closing) more question/process are awarded to these groups.
14.finally: time..time..time.. keep it in mind, practice monitoring it, maging it and controlling it.
Last Edit: by Ahmed Awaji. Reason: Grammar correction
Great advice, I am taking the test on November 23rd for the first time and I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. I bought the exam simulator questions and I am going to take my first exam on Friday. I plan on taking one every week to prepare along with my normal studying. Luckily I work 4 ten hour days now so every Friday I can go to the local library to simulate the test environment and see where I am at. Congrats on passing the test!
Good luck , Derek and all the best. The trick is to approach it with a healthy attitude (you should not underestimate the exam nor should you allow the exam to beat you). You seem to have a good preparation plan. You also seem to have enough time to get in top shape for the exam. So with proper preparation you are very likely to get your PMP on November 23rd.
Passed September 17th (2nd attempt)
2 years 5 months ago #6284
I failed my first attempt, this past Friday, October 9th. I took a PMP Boot Camp course, as well as study Rita Mulcahy's book, and take simulated test on examcentral. The night before my actual exam, I took the simulated exam that's on the disc that comes with Rita's book. I noticed right away that this exam was much harder than the ones I had been taking on examcentral. I was frightened! But, the exam was the next morning. What was I to do? I went into the exam, and the questions were just as difficult as I remembered from Rita's exam. I knew right away that I had set myself up for failure. But, I muscled my way through the exam hoping that some type of way I had managed to make sense out of the situational questions (What's the BEST choice? What would you do FIRST?) However, I did very poorly. I received 4 below proficients and one mostly proficient in closing, the smallest portion of the exam.
Needless to say, I'm down in the dumps but I look forward to tackling the exam again. For someone in my situation, what would you suggest? I have looked at the offerings for the PMP PrepCast and for the PMP CoachStudy. Of course, the recorded CoachStudy is the cheaper option but I don't want to sell myself short by just trying to save money. So, should I get the PrepCast or the CoachStudy?
As I mentioned in my post I took the prepcast and I bought the simulator subscription. It was the best move I made. Rita's book was also a good help for me. My guess is that you will do well with the prepcast lecturesa and practicing the simulator (the prepcast simulator is really realistic) , it may even be a bit harder than the real exam. Once you have done your review and went through few full lenght simulated exams successfully ,chance is you will do well on the real exam. Just keep in mind that in February the exam will be different (New update). Finally , don't worry about your first attempt, the trick is to get up on your feet as soon as you have taken the fall "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger". All the best
This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam.