Welcome, Guest
Congratulations! Let us know your lessons learned and how our products have helped you prepare.
Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the PMI Exams.

TOPIC: Passed on the 3rd Try

Passed on the 3rd Try 8 months 2 weeks ago #6953

  • Jacob
  • Jacob's Avatar
So I passed the PMP exam on the 3rd try

The first time I wrote the exam, I had very long questions with long answer choices. I bricked the exam.

The second time was even harder than the first one. Very very Long questions and long answer choices. I even had to scroll down in some of them. The normal screen size wasn't enough and those screens are pretty big. I bricked it again.

The third exam took a chill pill with a mixture of hard and easy questions. The easy concepts to answer started appearing like Tuckman, contract types, ITTO puzzle, easy math, sponsor, organisation structures and definitions [almost as if some of the questions were from the CAPM exam].

My preparation was no different from any of the 3times. I just took a chance on the 3rd try and it was just an easier exam. I knew all the concepts but the 1st two exams were too vague to answer correctly. I somehow had a feeling from reading all the lessons learned that it wasn't going to be difficult 3 times in a row.

It is important to practise hard questions for the PMP exam, even though It didn't work for me, it just meant I had a 50percent chance of getting questions right because I was able to eliminate 2 answers each time. I had all the so called 50 50 questions, but I just had bad luck in picking the wrong one each time. I'm certain I was just 5 or 10 right answers away from passing the 1st two times.

Something worth mentioning, I applied for the PMP exam with a Masters on my resume, so the PMI might have singled me out and made the exam harder because of the masters. I have read a couple of people with masters and/or many many years of experience complaining about the same thing so maybe its not just me.

When they saw I didn't pass the first two times, they gave me an easier one the 3rd time. When I went in the 3rd time to write the exam, I didn't feel nervous or anything I just felt the same way one would feel when in the simulator at home. when I found out I passed, I didn't feel anything either I just felt the same way I felt when I was going to write the exam.

Passed on the 3rd Try 8 months 2 weeks ago #6972

  • Alphonse Rutayisire
  • Alphonse Rutayisire's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 10
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Jacob, first of all, Congratulations. As you can see, in perseverance lies success. Second, I like your observation that before taking the third attempt, you had a feeling from reading all lessons learned that it wasn't going to be difficult 3 times in a row. I know people who have actually given up writing PMP exam even after the third attempt. In your case, you entered the exam having already passed just from your mindset already. Regarding your preparations, it reminds me of times when I go on holiday for a few weeks and break my physical exercise routine. It gets hard the first day I retake them. My muscles ache on the following day but on the third and fourth day, I am back into the real thing where my muscles are no longer hurting. I think this is what happens when you prepare for the PMP exam and particularly when you resolve not to give up but rather keep at it. In your minds eyes it doesn't feel like you have done any more special learning but the confidence and more knowledge have already sunk into the brain effortlessly. For instance, I could never understand myself how on earth one should not memorize ITTOs and still be able to pass the PMP exam.
Lastly, I don't think PMI customises questions based on prior qualifications of a candidates. That could have been a bad news for any PMP certified person let alone PMI community. In fact, the PMP certification might have lost credibility. They use some algorithms which, to me, appear to be fair.
Hope this sheds light on my experience but again Congratulations and welcome to the PMP community.
Community Moderator

Passed on the 3rd Try 8 months 1 week ago #6979

  • Magroud Noreddine
  • Magroud Noreddine's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 17
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: 0
Hi jacob,

Congratulations on your pmp !.

I don't know if you are right or wrong on the fact that the exam was harder because you have a master degree or if it was easier on the third attempt.
However on a pure business point of view, practice this kind of things would be disastrous for their reputation !!!.
I mean if you build a business with a reputation that makes your institute so famous around the world why would you take so much risk ?
let's assume that someone worked inside PMI and they did practice what you mentioned, go public with such info their reputation would be ruined :(.
Even if you say that this someone have contract to not disclose any information, we all know that build a reputation/trust takes lots of time, break it is only a matter of "minutes".

It would not be a smart career move for us aspirant to take the exam as there is a huge risk that the value of the certification could greatly decrease ! even for PMP's.
"do as i say, not as i do", i do believe that "fairness" part of the code of ethics would not have been followed !

There is many reason for me choosing this certification, one of them was this code of ethics, i hope that companies looking for PMP are not only looking for knowledge but also are driven by this code. Even if as Cornelius said in his videos it's not always easy to achieve it, but we strive to !

Cheers and congratulation again on your PMP.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Tracey South

Passed on the 3rd Try 7 months 1 day ago #7177

  • Paul
  • Paul's Avatar
Congrats Jacob!
Great persistence. I hope the master's degree doesn't mean harder tests. At this point I think the master's degree is easier than the PMP as that can be done over years (took me 6) but the PMP is a whole different experience / preparation. would you mind letting me know what you used for study materials?


Passed on the 3rd Try 7 months 14 hours ago #7184

  • Jacob
  • Jacob's Avatar
Thanks for the replies everyone.

After reading a lot of lessons learned, I just kind of speculated that a Masters meant a harder test. well maybe, maybe not. Yes Paul, a Masters is far less complicated to get than the PMP. I have 2 Masters, one in Engineering and one in Business Admin. even the Professional Engineering exam is nothing like the PMP or at least the first two PMP exams I wrote. Personally,

I believe more in real schooling and comprehensive degrees. You do learn more from them however, I live in Canada and Canadians don't believe in real schooling in alot of disciplines. Their system is set up for people with certifications and designations so I had to join the bandwagon so to say to even get an interview.

My pmp tests were lengthy while some people go on lessons learned sites and say that their tests were one or two lines long. One guy even wrote he had to slow down so the time would catch up with him, that his exam seemed far too easy. I thought WOW - What a contrast in PMP exams. Anyhow, it is important to have a rigorous approach in preparing.

You need to have a study plan. I can tell you how I did mine.

Step one - created the ITTOs in a spread sheet.

Step two - defined all of them and their importance.

Step three - I demystified the differences between very closely related terms like risk reassessment and risk audit.

Step four - I worked on all the calculations

Step five - I worked on PMP mock exams and I made special notes of recurring question whether I got the quest right or wrong like: (Project charter,WBS, Critical path, Change requests steps, Communication channels, Risk response strategy techniques, Baselines, Quality control tools, Closing the project process, Stakeholders and their roles in a Project, Theorists, Organisation structures, Contracts) I ended up creating notes on these special topics for myself and I think this is what helped me pass.

The reason why I said I was only about 5 or 10 points away from passing the first two times was because People with 2Bps have passed before. So I knew it was just a matter of 5 or so questions maybe even less because there must be a predefined score as your pass point since it is a machine marking the test.

Let me be honest here, I used only one prep course and the PMBOK.

The prep course provider I used was very very weak but their mock exam was good. I took many mock tests I could find including PM prep cast, Oliver Lehmann, Daud Nasir, PMstudy. Maybe if I used the podcasts from PMprep cast the first time to prepare I would have passed, who knows. but I suggest you do use the post cast and take many mock tests. Beware of easy mock tests out there. they are not the real deal however, they are good practice for learning the theory.

If you are going for boot camp, do at least the 1st two steps before you go. Because boot camps are fast paced and they are there just to help you put things together rather than teach you everything from scratch.

I wish you success in your PMP journey and hope it complements your Masters very well.
Moderators: Yolanda Mabutas, Mary Kathrine Padua