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HURRAY!!! Yes, I cleared PMP exam in first attempt on May 5th 2016, 5:10 pm IST.
I listened to PM Prepcast podcast(audio/video) on my laptop to keep it interesting for me, especially listening to interviews from successful PMP exam takers was very inspiring. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking real time simulated mock exams to gain confidence in writing PMP exam. I took around 10 full mock exams in real time simulated environment in last two weeks, prior to my exam date and reviewed all the correct and wrong answers for each mock exam. Make sure, you don’t miss reviewing the all your answers and make your own notes to fill your knowledge gaps. Even though most of the questions are scenarios based, knowing ITTOs would help you analyse the scenarios and narrow down your answers by process of elimination technique.
My exam was schedule was around 1:00 pm, I reached the venue just half an hour early, thanks to horrible traffic of Bangalore. There is only one prometric centre in Bangalore which is in Whitefield. I submitted my ID and appointment letter in reception and went through security checks. I just freshen up, washed my face and ate some biscuits and drank water to relax my nerves. They gave me a locker to keep all my belongings in it safely and asked me to remove my watch also. After full security checks, like how they do in airports, literally, I was allowed to start the exam as scheduled.
I took the mandatory 15 minutes tutorial which guides you how to go about the exam questions, do spend 2-3 minutes going through the tutorial, and start writing brain dump of all formulas and whatever you feel like writing it down (to clear your mind) on paper till tutorial clocks runs out, there is two pencils and 4 page yellow colour paper booklet provided to you by the invigilator. There were lot of scenario based questions, there were around 7 math related questions (5 EVM, 1 critcal path, 1 simple make or buy question). Lots of questions regarding communication management, stakeholder management and lessons learnt. I didn't take any breaks during the exam, just stretched my arms, and changed my posture, whenever i felt like slacking or losing concentration.
Since the PMP exam is flexible to allow you to attempt questions in any order, my strategy was to attempt the easy questions first, meaning, (not to attempt any numerical or very lengthy/wordy questions). I just skimmed the short questions first, if I knew the answer for sure, I would answer it, if not I shall leave it blank. Whenever I was stuck between two answer choices and in dilemma, I would choose one answer out of the two choices and mark the question for review and note the down the two options which were mind boggling in the answer sheet given to me (doing this also saves time in the end, as you don’t go through all four choices again and concentrate only on two choices to save time). Time management is very critical in PMP exam and I didn't have time to review all 200 questions in the end.
So I had divided my exam in 3 cycles/passes, and here it goes:
1) First pass: Attempt all questions which I am 90% sure is the right answer (that’s the case for almost all questions in PMP, there is 10% chance of getting distracted with other answer choices).
2) Second pass: Attempt all unanswered questions, there is a button in bottom of the screen which will help you navigate only through unanswered questions one by one and you can mark them also for review to revisit if you are not sure about the answer choice you make
Wait a minute; now at this point make sure, you have answered all the 200 questions. It took me around 3 hrs 40 minutes to do so. Make sure, by going through the answer grid visible to you on review screen.
3) Third pass: Quickly review only marked questions (there was no time to review all 200 questions), there is a button in bottom of the screen, which will help you navigate through only marked review questions one by one. There were around 15-20 questions marked questions by me and they were really mind boggling which I reviewed and made a best guess in that crunch time and unmarked them from review. So, literally, finished the exam around 3hours 55 mins and was damn scared to press the submit button. So I decided not to submit the exam button and it log out itself after clock ran out of time. There was a survey at the end of the exam to give feedback your test taking experience which I finished and pressed submit…and then….and then...wait for it....
"Congratulations, YOU ARE PMP certified now".
Wow, is this real?? I WAS STUNNED for few seconds. It felt great to just keep staring that "Congratulations screen" for few seconds
I promptly end the exam acting very calm outside but feeling ecstatic from inside and collected my temporary certificate from invigilator, left the venue smiling all the way to my home.(Ok, not smiling till I reached home because of horrible Bangalore traffic, please save Bangalore, plant more trees and start cycling everyone).
for other info i might have missed here.
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.