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TOPIC: Passing the Exam on the first try

Passing the Exam on the first try 3 months 1 week ago #7757

  • Andreas Björklund
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Here are my suggestions for passing the exam on the first try

What I did do:
  • Lessons Learned after each test exam on failed questions with regards to Knowledge Areas, Process Groups, Process Connectivity and General Exam Strategy
  • I made sure I WAS disturbed during the test exams to compensate for taking them at home
  • I took breaks during the test exams just like I planned on doing during the real thing (but ended up not doing)
  • I made sure to complete each exam as swiftly as possible as I imagined using more time during the real thing due to exam jitters (which seemed to be a true assumption)

What I didn't do:
  • Lessons Learned on questions I got right by guessing
  • Use a Study Guide based on the 5th edition PMBOK guide (books based on PMBOK 4th edition were understandably cheaper)
  • Take a PMP specific prep course

What preparation strategies contributed to my success:
  • I gained quite a lot of new knowledge from taking test exams and reading up on the ones I got wrong
  • Lessons Learned on Process Connectivity gave me a better understanding of how PMP processes fit together than I got from the study material I used
  • Lessons Learned on Exam Strategy gave me a set of ground rules to follow to maximize my chances of guessing correctly which to me seemed like was needed more during the actual exam than during test exams
  • As we took the test in a room not solely with other PMP Exam takers I felt that being disturbed while taking practise exams helped me not loose focus in a less than ideal exam environment
  • The confidence from taking the practise exams in between 2-2,5h helped me keep stress levels down when the real exam seemed harder and took me more time than the practise exams had done

What would I have done differently in retrospect:
  • Lessons Learned on all questions probably would've helped me gain "Proficient" status on all Process Groups and can be the deciding factor to pass the exam at all in other instances
  • Using the PrepCast would've saved me the time it took me to get ready for the exam so if you have the economic means and feel pressed for time I would recommend it
  • The real exam has a few more functions than the practise exams like marking text for comprehending the questions and a strikethrough function to eliminate alternatives that you know are false. I would have used them more if I had known that they would be there and prepared mentally for their availability

Other tips:
  • Don't feel discouraged if the real exam seems alot harder than the practise exams. If you consistently pass the test exams you more than likely will pass the real one too (I had 3 P's and 2MP's during the real exam which is about what I scored during the practise tests as well). I would guess that either the passing score is considerably lower than in the PMP Exam Simulator or the stress of taking the real exam messes with your confidence.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for guessing as the real exam in my opinion was a bit more vague than the practise exams
  • Apart from revieweing marked and unanswered questions I recommend sampling questions at the beginning and at appropriate intervals throughout the exam to identify periods of lost focus before you click "End Exam"
  • Use your strong suits to gain confidence and to save precious time during the actual exam but use your weak points to excel both as an exam taker and as the PMP you will soon become

Best Regards
Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by Mark Wuenscher, PMP.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mark Wuenscher, PMP

Passing the Exam on the first try 3 months 1 week ago #7758

  • Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Thank you for posting your lessons learned and provide some great advice to those preparing for the exam.
Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Moderators: Yolanda Mabutas, Mary Kathrine Padua