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TOPIC: 2nd Attempt Passed! Lessons Learned

2nd Attempt Passed! Lessons Learned 7 years 7 months ago #8962

  • Michael Thompson, PMP
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I passed on November 21st! All Moderately Proficient and 1 Proficient in Planning. I had approximately 20 minutes remaining (will elaborate below)

Simply put, on my first attempt I was not prepared.
First attempt:
- Went through all questions and then came back through to answer the remaining questions. Bad idea. The first exam every question seemed to be 2 paragraphs long and took a lot of reading. With 40 or so minutes left I had nearly 70 questions remaining. I ended up giving up as I was frustrated and guessed on the vast majority . If I managed my time better I believe I would have passed as I finished with all Moderately Proficient and 1 Below Proficient.
- They are not lying when they say 90% (honestly, it's probably more) of the questions are situational. You absolutely 110% need to understand the processes, not memorize them. This cannot be emphasized enough. I think for both exams I had less than 10 questions relating to EVM and Critical Path.

What I Learned:
First, I identified my gaps. Failing the first attempt and allowing me to see the exam in real life showed me exactly what I needed to work on.
What I did personally was understand how everything worked together. I knew previously the processes inside and out but was a little fuzzy on how it all pieced together. I looked for trends in major processes, specifically Outputs and where they were an Input. That lead me down a very beneficial trail as one thing lead down another path.
For example:
Deliverables from Direct and Manage (Integration) fed into Quality Control and then fed into Validate Scope.
Another one was: Estimate Activity Resource Requirements generates Activity Resource Requirements which then feed into Plan HR Management which then feeds into Acquire Project Team.
I would draw out the processes for each until I knew them.

This allowed me to A) understand how everything worked together and B) gave me an understanding of the inputs/outputs. When I saw questions about where or when did this occur I could answer them almost immediately, because I had built that process mind map.
This was without a doubt the most beneficial thing I could have done.

What I learned for Managing my Time:
I extended my trial for PMPrepCast and took a bunch of exams (generally 60 questions) 200 (4 hours) was not realistic. I averaged between 71%-87% on 40-60 questions.

When I took my PMP and Exam Simulator I never "marked" questions. I answered everything the best I could and would make 2 notes on my scratch paper. That way if I was out of time, or behind schedule I didn't have to back track and still give a "best attempt" answer.
1) I would write the number down on my scratch pad. If I was 50/50 I would shorthand a description, usually 2-3 words. That way if something came up later that triggered the right answer I could instantly back track to find it.
2) If I had no clue what the answer was after 15-20 seconds I would write it down and then CIRCLE the number but I would still select what I thought was the best choice.
3) I also wrote down questions to memorize that were tricky and I KNOW I knew the answer but due to the wording, it threw me off. That way if I failed again, I could understand those differences.

I ended up taking two restroom breaks (probably 3-4 minutes a each) and finished with about 25 minutes left. I went back through some of the answers I wrote down, changed a few but then got really nervous as some of them I was beginning to double guess myself. I stopped at that moment, crossed my fingers and hit END. During my study I kept mental statistics on my first guess/choice success rate and decided to go with what I had.

Additional notes:
What I would do as I drive home from work or had nothing to do I would watch construction crews on the side of the road and apply PMBOK processes to where they were at and where they had to come from.

I threw this together pretty quickly but time was passing and I wanted to make my contribution. I apologize for any errors.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Mark Wuenscher, PMP, Henry ILO

2nd Attempt Passed! Lessons Learned 7 years 7 months ago #9114

  • Giuseppe Digeronimo
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I passed on last year 2015, December 7th! Was the second attempt. The first time I tried 5 months before.
All Moderately Proficient and Proficient in Executing. It reflects exactly my skills and experiences. I am a practitioner that worked a lot in managing and handling projects on the fields.
I decide to take the certification, since I have more than 25 years of experience on fields. On my career life I never need to have such kind of certification. All was based on the experience and reference from the employer. But when I start to work in the ME, I realize that in this area it is very appreciate the PMP certification.
First of all, I want to thank Cornelius. I saw the prep-cast by podcast and is very clear, easy and complete. I had the right picture of all the themes and the perspective to achieve the certification.
First attempt:
At the first attempt I felt to be prepared to pass the exam. And I was prepared.
I studied upon the bible of the PMP ( PMBOK) and also upon the second very important book: Rita (PMP® Exam Prep 8th Edition - Rita Mulcahy).
Both of the books are very useful to understand everything. In special the exercises contained in the Rita’s book and the prep-cast simulator.
I was trained to answer in a fast way using the PMPrep-cast simulator ( my rate was about 85% doing group of 50 questions in 22-24 min) I choose 50 in order to have a right timing for the real examination ( 200 question).
I followed my plan to take a pause every 50 questions. Exit from the examination room. I could not imagine having to suffer every time perquisition and time lost. Bad choice.
Anyway I answered as per my rate to all questions and I marked 40 question to review. These was situational. I didn’t have the time to review these questions, and also I if I had time, I might not have been able to respond.
What I Learned:
After one month, I review and examine the failure. The 40 question on the situational area means for me that I had a specific knowledge on the specific Process Group, but I loss the integration view and the point of the process in which we are at certain point.
Failing the first attempt and allowing me to see the exam in real life showed me exactly what I needed to work on.
Then I ask to the Director of the local training center (Mr. Louai, and I thank also him) to suggest my how to improve my knowledge on the integration of all process.
He suggest me to read the Kim’s Book (PMP Exam Study Guide, 7E- Heldman, Kim).

I was very bored to read and study one more book. And almost I wanted to give up.
But after two months of rest. I started to study the Kim book. It was interesting. The approach was horizontal with almost no reference to the 10 Knowledge Areas. I absorb myself in reading in an easy way. I took a different vision of the situational topic.
This was without a doubt the most beneficial thing I could have done.

Second Attempt:
I was very skilled and smart to handle my time. This time I choose to take only one time break in after one hour (I had reply about 120 answers).
1) This time I had a clear picture of all the questions. I knew and understood every question.
2) During the exam, I just "marked" 20 questions to review
3) I finished 20 mins before the assigned time.
Reviewing the 20 questions I discovered that my first (intuitive) reply was the best one.
Few second that seems endless and on the screen appear PASS.
Wonderful, it already done

Additional notes:
I spent almost one year to prepare the exam. During all the studying period I wrote and produced a lot of diagrams, schemes and materials. I create a like dictionary of all the acronyms and important topics related to the PMP exam. And also a reviewed version of all the processes and their communications and integrations between each others.

I hope that someone can take advantage from my experience.
If anyone desire to have this huge quantity of material, please I share it with pleasure.
Pippo :)

2nd Attempt Passed! Lessons Learned 7 years 7 months ago #9117

  • Henry ILO
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Hi Mike, concerning your maps and process flow, please i need your help asap.I'm so so having difficulties in ITTOs even though i kindof understand the processes to some extent. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. How may i reach you? Thanks for your hopeful reply.

2nd Attempt Passed! Lessons Learned 3 weeks 3 days ago #31532

  • Anonymous
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Request you to share the material you prepared .thanks for help
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