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TOPIC: Question Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016

Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016 1 year 7 months ago #8506

  • Julie Anne Leggett, PMP
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Hi everyone,

I passed the PMP exam today on my first try with 4 Ps and 1 MP. I have to say that I was so relieved/excited that I almost burst into tears when the word "Congratulations" appeared on the screen. Since this forum and the exam lessons learned were so important to me in my preparation that I wanted to share some of my lessons learned with you fellow aspirants.

Here is what I did:

1. Made a study plan - Based on my schedule (full time job, 2 kids, busy husband) I made a study plan to ensure that I was making enough time to study in anticipation of taking the exam in early October. My plan was 6 months of gentle study (readying, lectures, etc.) at my leisure amounting to 10 hours per week. Then I kicked up to high gear and studied harder for the last 3 1/2 month at the rate of about 20 hours per week.

2. PM PrepCast - Truly instrumental in my passing the exam. I learned so much from the 50+ hours of lectures in the series that I managed to get through. I still cannot believe what a great value this product is.

3. Head First PMP - I like this book as it explains the PMBOK in real life scenarios and in a light-hearted tone. I read the corresponding chapters as I studied the PM PrepCast lectures. I also did a full length online mock exam from them (note that it is for the PMBOK 4th Ed) and scored a 78%.

4. PM Exam Simulator - Purchased as part of the PM PrepCast bundle. I did 4 full length mock exams (80%, 80%, 85%, 80%). I also did another 500 or so questions in mini exams, learning quizzes, etc. I used the learning quizzes at the end of each study module to make sure that I had the content down well. I also reviewed each wrong answer and read the explanations, etc. and used this information as a platform to create my study revision plan.

5. Other reference material - I had copies of Rita Mulcahy and Andy Crowe but these were 4th Ed. I did not rely on them much but when I wasn't sure about a concept I found them both useful.

6. Udemy/Coursera - I took targeted courses on Udemy (exam questions and EVM) and Coursera. I found Coursera quite useful (got my 35 contact hours from that and not the PMPrepCast). Udemy not so much. In retrospect I would not have bothered with either.

What I didn't do:

1. Read the PMBOK - GASP! I could not read the PMBOK for the life of me and I really did try (it reads like the tax code and if there are any among you who suffer from insomnia, I recommend the PMBOK is an excellent cure for it!). Instead, when I needed to dig into a subject further, or didn't understand a concept, or just wanted to solidify my understanding I would read that particular section.

2. Take a Boot Camp - I felt like the PM PrepCast and my many, many mock exam questions had prepared me well.

3. Memorize the ITTOs - Gosh did I really stress out about these. I just couldn't make the ROI work out for the hours and hours it would have taken to memorize them all. As it turns out, it was not necessary.

4. Feel confident - Despite my hundreds of hours of study and multiple full length mock exams, I was not sure that I would pass. Why? Because this test is hard but it is supposed to be. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of success going into the exam.

My advice to anyone who is started to study would be to make a study plan and stick to it (hey - we are project managers, right? This is what we do!). Also do LOTS and LOTS of exam questions. These really helped me to get used to the type of questions that are on the actual exam. I would note that the PM Exam Simulator had the best questions in terms of quality and similarity and I highly recommend them.

Best of luck to all of you.

Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016 1 year 7 months ago #8507

  • Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Congratulations on passing the exam! Great story of perseverance. Thanks for taking the time to share your lessons learned. Much appreciated. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors.


Mark Wuenscher, PMP
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Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016 1 year 7 months ago #8511

  • Julie Anne Leggett, PMP
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Couple of other things I forgot to add:

1. Make the questions personal - One thing that I found useful when taking the exam was to substitute the words "the project manager" with "me" or "I". For example, if the question ended with something like "what should the project manager do next?" in my mind I would ask "what should I do next?" This really helped me to frame the questions in a more active, personal way (if that makes sense) and I think that was very helpful to me.

2. Exam center visit - Please, please, please visit the test center in advance of your exam day. I visited on Tuesday and found that the GPS on my phone had me walk 6 blocks out of the way when the center was literally one block straight up from train station. I also noticed a parking lot during my walk which I made a mental note of. When I woke up this morning, I found out that my city was experiencing a partial public transit strike which could have caused me a lot of stress. Instead of freaking out, I realized that I knew where I could park if need be so I just went about my morning. As it turned out, I decided to take transit and left 15 minutes earlier than planned. I arrived at the centre 40 minutes before my exam and all went well as described above.

Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016 1 year 7 months ago #8514

  • Mohamed Fathy
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Congratulations, Its realy Great Job
Wishing you all the Best

Passed my PMP on my first try today - October 7, 2016 1 year 7 months ago #8528

  • Kevin Nason
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Julie Anne

First off Congrats on passing the Exam!

I agree with your statement about making the questions personal. I found this to be very helpful during my exam prep. I found myself getting stressed out about the question because It was not personal. Once I learned to take the situation and make it more of my own world, did it make things easier.

Congrats again!

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