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TOPIC: Passed My Exam on 2nd Attempt (2P & 3MP)

Passed My Exam on 2nd Attempt (2P & 3MP) 2 months 6 days ago #8498

  • Ganavel Dorai Rethinam, MSc, PMP
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For my 2nd attempt I took 3 months to prepare.

Study Materials (1.5 months):
1) Rita’s PMP Exam Prep Book & Hot Topics (Took 1 month to finish studying).
2) PMBOK, went through for 2 weeks (found it to be very boring).
3) Izenbridge videos

Practice for Exams (1.5 months):
1) Rita’s Chapter end questions
2) Free questions over various PMP exam preparation websites
3) PM Exam Simulator by Prepcast (I used this extensively for the last 1 month). This is by far 1 of the best exam simulator I’ve tried! The forum discussions were very helpful. I also did try Rita’s Fastrack but I found PM Exam Simulator to be better. My scores for the 8 mock exams ranged from 74.5% to 84.5%. For ITTOs exam I scored 89%.
4) Oliver Lehman 175Qs: Scored 78%.
As my scores for my exams averaged around 80%, I felt it was ready for the exam. Although the studying part at the beginning was done smoothly, I uncovered substantial amount of gaps when I tried the mock exams. That’s where I worked on many weak areas.

2nd Attempt Exam Day (28th September 2016):
1) Someone shared about the Test Drive so I did the same 1 day before my exam day so I don’t repeat the same blunders that I’ve made in my 1st attempt.
2) Went an hour early to the exam center. Waited for my turn to be seated for the exam.
3) Did the dump sheet during the 15 mins tutorial. I’ve shared my dump sheet as attached.
4) There is a feature to highlight text using left click of the mouse and you can strikeout text or the answer options using the right click of the mouse.
5) Usually for my mock exams I can finish within 3.25 to 3.5 hours but in the real exam I took 3 hours and 55 mins. I marked around 65 questions. I never had the chance to go through the marked questions. However, for each of the marked questions I took some time to choose the best answer. Basically for this type of questions I’ll try to identify first in which process is the question referring to? And from there I can figure out the best answer for these marked questions.
6) The questions were mostly situational (What PM should do FIRST, NEXT, BEFORE, TO PREVENT). About 10 questions requires calculation (6 EVM, 1 PERT, 2 Network diagrams, 1 communication channels).
7) A lot of questions on Change management, Project Charter, Project Closure, Project Stakeholder Mgt, Project Risk Mgt, Project Communications Mgt, Project HR Mgt.
8 ) 2 questions on Tuckman Model based on situation of the team
9) 4 to 5 questions on Estimation Techniques (Analogous, Parametric, Beta Distribution)
10) About 3 to 4 questions on 7 Basic Quality Tools (Control Chart, Pareto)
11) 3 to 4 questions on direct ITTOs.
12) For the exam, I requested for the ear plugs so that I could focus better and not distracted by other test takers.
13) Be sure to test your physical calculator before entering the cube. Mine ran out of battery even b4 the exam started! I requested to change the calculator.
14) I didn’t go to the washroom during the 4 hours. I fully utilize all the time I had.
14) Once the time became zero, I waited anxiously and was happy to see the “Congratulations” message. That was such a huge relief.

My advice to PMP aspirants are the following:
1) Plan for your studies and cover every page. Don’t skip any pages on your 1st cycle of reading. Use a study material in parallel with the PMBOK. Also do go through the Exam Content Outline from PMI to check the changes that was made into effect on 11th January 2016 exam onwards.
2) Practice a lot of mock exams. This is vital, you will learn the most here and will uncover your gaps for further improvement. I personally solved over 2500+ questions before the exam.
That’s all I have. If you have any further queries, please drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or add me in Linkedin.
Thanks to all of you who have offered your help and encouragement and good luck to all PMP aspirants.
Ganavel, MSc, PMP.
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Passed My Exam on 2nd Attempt (2P & 3MP) 2 months 5 days ago #8500

  • Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Ganavel,

Congratulations on passing the exam! Happy to see that all your hard work has paid off. Thank you for taking the time to share your lessons learned and exam experience on the forum. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Cheers,

Mark
Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Passed My Exam on 2nd Attempt (2P & 3MP) 1 month 4 weeks ago #8545

  • Ganavel Dorai Rethinam, MSc, PMP
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Thanks Mark. Your advice and encouragement helped me a lot. I would like to find out regarding the 60 PDUs maintenance. Which links would you recommend?

Passed My Exam on 2nd Attempt (2P & 3MP) 1 month 4 weeks ago #8553

  • Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Ganavel,

I am glad I was able to help and encourage you on the journey. Regarding PDUs, One of the best ways to earn PDUs that I've found is by attending various PMI meetings / presentations. Going to these not only provides an opportunity to learn something new and earn PDUs but it also gives you the opportunity to network and meet other project managers. Do you have a local PMI chapter where you live? If so, check their schedule. We had a PMI conference in Houston back in June and that is also another good way to earn PDUs. Maybe there will be a PMI conference nearby that you can attend?

You should also consider webinars. Check out the PDU PodCast. It is a good value and an easy way to earn PDUs at your own pace. www.project-management-prepcast.com/pdus/the-pdu-podcast You can also check out the PMI.org website. Of course, you can earn PDUs by volunteering for your local PMI chapter if you have one but you are limited to the number of hours you can claim for volunteering. Just check out your dashboard on PMI.org which makes it easy to report and keep track of your PDU status.

I just passed my exam on June 1st and already have earned 15 PDUs by doing the above activities. So, earning 60 PDUs in three years really isn't as hard as it might seem.

Cheers,

Mark
Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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