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TOPIC: Passed PMP on 1st Attempt with 4 Above Targets + 1 Target (Timeline: ~2 Months)

Passed PMP on 1st Attempt with 4 Above Targets + 1 Target (Timeline: ~2 Months) 2 years 10 months ago #12251

  • Adam
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Hello,

This is my first time posting but I wanted to share my experience preparing for and passing the PMP exam. Coles Notes version – passed the PMP exam in ~2 months with 4 Above Targets and 1 Target.

I also want to state that the PM Prepcast was very helpful in explaining the content in the PMBOK in layman terms, as well as providing better explanations for many of the concepts in the All-in-One CAPM / PMP Exam Guide. But, after going through both materials, I found I was able to read the PMBOK and fully understand what I previously thought was gibberish. *** Pro Tip: Read the PMBOK guide AFTER going through the PM Prepcast or whatever study materials you are using (of course, ymmv). *** Also, the Exam Simulator was indispensable for getting a feel for the actual exam as it very closely replicates what you will see on d-day. I also felt that the level of difficulty was, for the most part, comparable to the exam although as you will read below, I had very few calculation-type questions on the day of which I feel are “give me points” whereas the Exam Simulator seemed to churn out at least 10 if not more such questions for me.

Materials Used
1) All-in-One CAPM / PMP Exam Guide 3rd Edition – Joseph Phillips
 Comes with a helpful chart summarizing all of the ITTOs (I used this more so to help pull everything together and really visualize how all of the processes overlap and come together)
2) PM Prepcast Podcasts + Exam Simulator
 Did a total of 5 practice exams before the big day (scored 78% on the first one and then progressively went up to 89% - each time I completed the exam in less than 2 hours)
3) Chapter Summary Notes from Edward Designer
 Mainly as supplements to 1) and 2)
4) PMBOK 5th Edition
 I didn’t read the PMBOK in full – only went through the chapters I felt I was weak on and / or which I felt were not adequately covered by 1)~3)

Timeline
1) Slowly read through the All-in-One CAPM / PMP Exam Guide 3rd Edition during the month of Sep-17
2) Signed up for the PM Prepcast the 2nd week of Sep-17 and started to go through the Podcasts (on average, I went through one to two lesson modules a day)
3) Passed the online test for the PM Prepcast to get my completion certificate before Canadian Thanksgiving (~27-Sep-17)
4) Submitted my application on the same day as 3) and received a positive response from the PMI to proceed with payment on 3-Oct-17
5) Booked my exam for 21-Oct-17
6) From 4-Oct-17 to 20-Oct-17, studied 4~5 hours a day using the materials mentioned above

Exam
1) Right up until the time that I was seated at my terminal, I was wrestling with whether or not I should bother writing a brain dump sheet or not as I was pretty confident I had memorized all of the different formulas but also didn’t want to potentially blank out due to text anxiety
2) In the end, I decided to go through the first few questions of the PMP to get a feel for how difficult the questions appeared before making my decision
3) …good thing I didn’t do a brain dump because in total, I had maybe two questions which required calculations (CPI and PERT)
4) There were maybe ~5 other mathematical questions where I was given CPI / SPI information and was asked to interpret what they meant
5) The rest of my questions were 98% situational / scenario-based, with the remaining 1% being “give me points” like “What process is the Project Mgr in if (s)he is aggregating cost estimates received from the project team and SMEs?”
6) I did not have a single question asking for Inputs or Outputs although there were a handful on Tools + Techniques
7) I noticed that there was a significant focus on: (a) Change Control; (b) Stakeholder Engagement; and (c) Closing
8 ) I was able to complete the exam within ~1.5 hours and in total, spent another 1.5 hours first reviewing all of my marked questions, going through the exam once again in its entirety, and then doing a second check of any questions that were still marked at that time
9) I decided after 3 hours that I had answered everything to the best of my ability and pushed the “Next” button for my results - …after having my heart stop for a second after pushing, I was prompted to fill in survey regarding my testing experience that day before I could get my results!
10) End result? Above Target for all areas except for Closing where I scored at the Target level!

Exam Tips
1) The exam has two features which I did not notice on the PM Prepcast Exam Simulators – (i) the ability to highlight text by holding the left mouse button and dragging across the desired text (I didn’t use this); and (ii) the ability to cross out answers by clicking on the radio dial button with the right mouse button (I used this extensively!)
2) I found it very helpful to use the cross out function to first eliminate the two answers which stood out as being blatantly wrong, and then choosing the BEST response of the two that remained
3) As many people have posted (as well as was mentioned many times in the PM Prepcast podcasts), you will be faced with questions where there is one no clear correct answer but I found it helpful to read through the question carefully to pick up on key words and then choose the answer that seemed to best relate

Other
1) For those with middle names, do not worry if your test date confirmation from Prometrics does not include your middle name – I definitely keyed mine in when picking my exam date but both of their emails (at the time of booking as well as two days prior to the test date) omitted my middle name so I called the centre in advance and was told that they will only be checking the spelling of your first and last name to see if it matches with your government-issued ID
2) I would recommend drafting your PMP application well in advance (you will also need to get sign off from your references regarding the content and proposed hours in the event of an audit) as I found it very difficult to fit in all of the required content within the 550 character limit – I would say it took me one full Saturday to get it right
3) For what it’s worth, this is the format I used:
Objective:
Deliverable:
One sentence on my role in the project. One sentence for each of the process groups describing what my specific actions were, followed by (I), (P), (E, MC) or (C) before the period.
Outcome:

Best of luck! (Woohoo, freed from studying!)

Passed PMP on 1st Attempt with 4 Above Targets + 1 Target (Timeline: ~2 Months) 2 years 10 months ago #12255

  • Scott Gillard
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nicely put together. I like the other section. Some good newly suggested items! Congrats!
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Passed PMP on 1st Attempt with 4 Above Targets + 1 Target (Timeline: ~2 Months) 2 years 10 months ago #12276

  • Stan Po, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
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Dear Adam,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and detailed lessons learned. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Thank you for the improvement suggestions for our products. Valuable feedback such as yours is an important source for us to continuously improve our products for all our customers. Actually, we do have a feature that allows you to cross out answer choices. Like as in the real exam, you can just right-click the choice you consider an incorrect answer, and it will have the strikethrough line across it. Right-click again, and the line is gone. Furthermore, while reviewing your exam report, you can apply multiple filters, including showing the questions that have answer choices with a strikethrough. This helps you in analyzing the thinking pattern that you employed during your simulated exam to determine how to improve your exam performance.

I hope this helps to all those who use the simulator now and/or consider using it in the future.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
Regards,
Stan
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