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TOPIC: Passed PMP First Attemp

Passed PMP First Attemp 10 months 3 weeks ago #8201

  • Dominique Carrasco
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I successfuly passed the exam the 13th of July
The result was: Proficient in 2 Domains and Moderately Proficient in the other 3.

Bellow some personal feedback about the exam preparation and the day of the exam.

*Registration and 35 Hours:
First I joined PMI.
Then I selected some projects I did in the past and prepare my experience with managers or Stakeholders from those projects.
I prepared each project file with them, telling them that if I was audited they could answer some question about the project.
Then I bought the PM PrepCast from Cornelius Fichtner to have the 35 training hours.
I watched or listened the videos: sometimes listening when commuting in the car and sometimes on my desk, watching and taking notes.
I noticed that I had much better results on the training tests with the second method (watching and taking notes).
This took me approx 2 monthes with no hurry.
When I got the 35 hours certificate from PM PrepCast I applied for the exam.
I was not audited and booked an exam date in 3 monthes and half (today).

After having the exam date, I did a plan with a schecule on a spreadsheet.
For this I estimate durations to read PMBOK, RITA and added the lenght of PM PrepCast Modules and used the spreadsheet with automatic formulas to have automatic graphic to see PV, EV, AC
And additional graphics to see CPI, SPI and variances.

Then I watched again the PM PrepCast videos, read the PMBOK + RITA book.
I did this by process area: PM PrepCast Videos + Test, then PMBOK, finally RITA + Test
This took me 2 monthS
After this, I did almost one month break (for many reasons).

*Exam Simulator
I had planed a week off the week before the exam so I spent this week to train on PM Prepcast simulator.
So after 1 month break I directly jumped to exam simulator.
Around 3h hours for 1 test and around 1 or 2 hours to reviews the incorrect answers + the market question because I was not sure.
Review by reading the explanations on the PM prepCast simulator + PMBOK + RITA + the web for some technical topics on legal for exemple.

I did 8 full exams on the simulator + all the RITA exam questions in 1 row (approx 400 questions).
I was surprised because after 1 month break I always had more than 80% (many thanks to PM Prepcast).

*Before the exam
I didn't work the day before the exam (my brain asked me to stop after 8 full exams)
I didn't read notes before the exam.
I visited the place the day before so I was confident to how arrive, the time needed to reach the location and where to park the car.

*The day of the exam
I didn't bring any food or drink. Only my ID + the convocation sheet.
The room was very very quiet. Perfect temperature.
I didn't use the 15 minutes preparation and didn't make a braindump before the exam. I started the test as soon as I could. I didn't use the 4 hours; I marked only 6 questions and do not change the answer when I reviewed it.
So after 3h I clicked "END".
As I am not a native speaker and as I didn't use the full 4 hours I was a little bit stressed because I had no idea of the result until I saw it on the screen, because a lot of questions were contextual (what will you do in this case ..., or what should you do in this case, ...).
I was also confused by some questions where all the 4 answers seemed correct and sometimes it was the opposite when none answer seemed correct.

*Tools and Books
PM PrepCast:
I have no interests or link with this company but I thinkt that PM PrepCast was extremelly valuable for me for many reasons:
1. Even if it is not free, I had the feeling that the first goal of this company was to help me pass the exam and to improve my project management skills. I will not give details but they could have asked me to pay again some modules and they didn't do it, so I appreciate it a lot. The Helpdesk team is efficient to solve your issues very quickly.
2. After doing 1 month break as I explained before, I had more than 80% at all my simulator exams (even RITA) and this means that, thanksfull to PM PrepCast, I learned things and didn't just memorise it. Sometimes I was myself complaining against the PM PrepCast that some lessons were too long or that the same thing was explained several times but at the end of day it worked very well for me.
3. It is a cheap way to have a 35 hours compared with a class. On the opposite you need time because there are a lot of training material.

I also appreciate a lot the RITA book which helped me a lot too. Unfortunatelly I didn't had time to read it many times but I am sure that any student should read it almost 2 times.
Cncerning the RITA book, I did myself some pieces and played a lot of times at the RITA game to sort the activities by process area and in the right order for PLANNING.

When I read the PMBOK, I did 2 spreadsheets:
1 with the Inputs/outputs by process
1 with the Tools and Techniques by process
Then I printed those 2 huges spreadsheet (around 1 meter/1 meter) and put them on my desk walls to watch them regularly

For some topics I watched videos on Youtube from Izenbridge or Project Management
Izebridge: I LOVE the energy that Saket Bansal has in his videos. He helped me to better understand some topics
Project Management: Videos are great. The video about critical chain is amazing.

*What worked for me ?
- The PM PrepCast
- The Spreadsheet to manage my learning project using earned value management and real data based on my plan and progress
- The 1 month break I did until 10 days before the exam (not on purpose) but that showed me what I knew or didn't knew (it was easier to manage the knowledge gaps)
- The 1 meter/meter poster I put on the walls with ITTOs

*What could I have done differently ?
Very difficult to answer because I always scored more than 80% on the simulators and passed it for the first time.

perhaps, some suggestions
- Read the PMBOK twice
- Read the RITA book twice (read it only once because not enough time)
- Do your own plan with deliverables and taks based on your real estimations and progress with automatic graphics
- Add the simulator training in the plan (I didn't do it, so and I didn't had time to read again the RITA and PMBOK). Actually it takes a lot of time to do a full exam + review the answers. Moreover, after doing an exam + review the answers, my brain was not operational any more to learn additional stuff (I am not 20 old).

Remark: I didn't learn the ITTOs by heart. I was a little bit scared about this before the exam because I expected to have a lot of questions about this but the question was contextual.

Special thanks to PMPrepCast. I am sure I passed the exam mainly because of them.

I hope that this feedback will help you a little bit to prepare your exam.
Feel free to ask if you have questions.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mark Wuenscher, PMP
Last Edit: by Mark Wuenscher, PMP. Reason: changed PM Prepcast to PM PrepCast

Passed PMP First Attemp 10 months 3 weeks ago #8204

  • Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Congratulations on passing the PMP exam and for sharing your extensive experience and lessons learned! Best of luck to you as a new PMP.


The following user(s) said Thank You: Dominique Carrasco
Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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