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TOPIC: Idea PMP Exam Tips: How I Passed mine on the First Try

PMP Exam Tips: How I Passed mine on the First Try 2 years 4 months ago #6871

  • Alma Gibic
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Working on projects for a few years, I was considering PMP certification for a while. Finally, in February last year, prompted by a growing numbers of RFP and announcements seeking PMP certified professionals, I researched on most economical and effective way to gain this certificate. I will deduce this journey in steps.
Step 1: Becoming PMI member

I found out that becoming PMI member will pay off not only by significantly reducing examination fee, but also by giving me insight into many learning resources such as books, templates, journals, standards and many more that help not only pass the exam, but also to learn how to improve your management skills and tools.

Step 2: 60 Hours of Training

Next step was to find efficient and effective training to earn required 60 hours of training in Project Management. I researched PMI Registred Education Providers. I opted for OSP International Cornelius Fichtner PM PrepCast and I never regretted it. Being busy it allowed me to download podcast on my smartphone and listen it on the go. It has around 50 videos and I have listened around 5 per day on average. After watching podcast I was allowed to take final exam to test my knowledge. I passed it, and then verified my training at PMI web page.

Step 3: Sending Application to PMI

After obtaining contact hours I made an online application on, waited for five days and my application was approved. Some people need to go through audit to verify their experience but I was not chosen for audit. After I was approved, I was asked to pay for my exam and then I had one year period to give a tree try’s to pass the exam. Payment was only for one try, additional attempts you need to pay again.

Step 4: Studying

My study approach was agile and iterative and leaned on Latin phrase “Repetitio est mater studiorum ”. The first increment in my studding was to create a study plan. I illustrated this in a My Learning Process diagram .

Explanation of My Learning Process diagram:

a. Watching PM PrepCast for the second time but only overview lessons, Earned Value, CPM and any other area that I felt I was weak at;

b. Review PMBOK (download for free from my PMI);

c. Review PMI Standards (download for free from my PMI);

d. Practice PM PrepCast sample questions and mark and check every question area I answer wrong in PMBOK (13 chapters, around thirty questions each, one chapter per day);

e. Continue to PMP® EXAM PREP, Eight Edition by Rita Mulcahy (Includes 14 mocks with around 30 questions each, one mock per day.);

f. Continue to Lite Mocks + Knowledge Area Wise by Christopher Scordo (18 mocks with 50 questions each, downloaded for free from PMI eReads & Reference);

g. Install and reviewPM FasTrack simulator by Rita Mulcahy (only free sample 20 questions);

h. Exam Central PMP Questions (free, I did around one hundred of these);

i. Oliver Lechman timed 75 questions (free);

j. Tutorials Point 200 Questions (free);

k. Iteration: if any mistakes, go back to answer again questions from d to j;

l. Schedule exam date (one month before exam);

m. Create a cheat sheet to memorize Knowledge Areas (KA) and Processes (I created my own abbreviations to associate me on sequence of processes in each area and process group. Associations were in both, my native language and English.) and then review only questions about processes and KA;

n. Memorize formulas (Connect similar formulas and minor differences between them.):

o. Last 2 days exercise only questions with formulas.

The most time consuming part of learning was exercising sample questions. A lot. I answered 30-50 questions on average per day and at the same time reviewing areas I was wrong in. Since I am using computer during the day at my job, I tried to avoid further staring at computer at home by printing my sample questions materials. I marked every question that I answered wrong and reviewed that area in PMBOK. Then I went on questions from other authors and afterwards when finishing all questions returned to those I was wrong in.

Step 5: Exam

The hardest part of obtaining my PMP was sitting 4 hours and 30 minutes (30 minutes preparing time) being concentrated on questions and reviewing time progress. I did mark questions for a review, but honestly I finished only three minutes before exam ended and there was no really much time for a review. My lesson learned here: practice finishing each question in one minute. I was lazy in practicing this. Formula questions might take longer so you need saved time believe me.

I hope this helps PMP aspirants in preparing their PMP exam. If you have further questions please comment.
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