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TOPIC: Passed PMP exam on first attempt – achieved “above target” overall

Passed PMP exam on first attempt – achieved “above target” overall 2 years 10 months ago #12681

  • Robert Hutcheson
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Hi everyone,

Last week I thankfully passed my PMP exam on my first attempt. I achieved “above target” overall, and “above target” on all domains, except Planning, for which I achieved “target.”
I have a busy work schedule, and 3 young children. So, I could only study late in the evenings and on weekends, and ended up focusing most of my study time on and off over the course of around 6 months. I’d recommend not spreading it out so long, though.
Here are the materials I focused on, in order:
1. PM Prepcast videos
2. PMBOK Guide: I read once through, and then skimmed through highlighted areas
3. “Achieve Pmp Exam Success” prep book by Altwies and Preston: I read once through, and then again to refresh on specific topics
4. PM Prepcast Flashcards: I got through about 800 of them… there are so many!
5. PM Prepcast Exam Simulator: I did 2 complete 4-hour exams, and then did several small exams focusing on specific knowledge areas and process groups.
Of all of the materials above, what helped me most was the prep book by Altwies and Preston, and the PM Prepcast Exam Simulator. The prep book showed me what is “must-know” material, and the simulator allowed me to test my knowledge in a realistic environment.
Despite my passing grade, during the exam, I didn’t feel like it was going well. First of all, the test center didn’t allow me to create a “brain dump” sheet during the tutorial (they said it’s against the rules), which put me off track. I drank too much coffee beforehand, and needed to take 2 breaks and go through the whole security process. Although I could complete my full practice exams in 3.5 hours, during the “real” exam I nearly ran out of time and had to answer the last 20 questions in about 10 minutes. So, I’d suggest taking every precaution to keep a good pace.
I focused too much of my study on memorization of people’s names, and formulas. If I had to do the exam again, I’d focus more on the relationship between processes, the purpose of specific documents, and the flow of ITTOs. Now that I’m revisiting the Prepcast website, I see that Cornelius has materials that focus specifically on those topics. I wish I had explored further and had known about that earlier, since I would have possibly spent less time trying to visualize Table 3-1 from the PMBOK guide to answer the questions (many of which seemed quite vague).
Overall, I’m happy I passed, and I hope that these lessons learned can help others improve their chances of success.

Best regards,

Passed PMP exam on first attempt – achieved “above target” overall 2 years 9 months ago #12725

  • Jada Garrett
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Hi rob. thanks for sharing your lessons learned. I experienced the same situation in the testing environment, with almost running out of time.
Jada Garrett, PMP
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