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TOPIC: Passed my PMP exam on 1st attempt

Passed my PMP exam on 1st attempt 2 years 8 months ago #13095

  • Sowjanya Dasika
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I passed my PMP exam on Jan 26th, on my first attempt.
Above Target Overall.

First of all, I would like to say that I wanted to write PMP, not only to obtain the certification to add it to my resume, but also, out of interest to understand the concepts of project management. Memorization is not my thing, I have to understand the concepts to answer any questions.

Preparation time:
I started preparing for the exam since mid-September, so I prepared for about 4 and a half months.
I studied for about 3 to 4 hours a day, and 4-5 days a week. I was working full time and juggling between work, family and preparation for the exam.

The materials I used for the exam:
1) PM Prepcast
2) PMBOK guide
3) PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy

The best things I did, that worked well for me were:
1) I started out with Rita’s book, and the 1st 2 chapters were fine, but once I came to the knowledge areas, I got confused. I felt like it was not structured properly. The concepts and tools and techniques were explained clearly, and elaborated well, but there was no structure, as the tools and techniques were not categorized well. So I started listening to PM Prepcast, reading PMBOK guide and Rita’s book simultaneously. It took at least 3 and a half months to complete the 1st reading, as I was doing all 3 at the same time, but it was worth it.
2) I highlighted important points in Rita’s book, which made revision really easy.
3) I also made flash cards on my own, which was really helpful, as I would skim through the flash cards whenever I wanted, and that helped me revise. Especially the day before and the day of the exam.
4) I printed out the tables 3-1, 4-1 etc in the PMBOK guide, which were really useful, to get an understanding of the ITTOs and process groups.

Analysis of the study material:
1) PM PrepCast:
  • I listened to all the videos in PM prepcast. These were really useful. Cornelius did a wonderful job explaining the concepts. Especially confusing concepts like CPM or EVM.
  • The Simulator was good. I took about 15 quizzes and got more than 80% in the last few quizzes. I also took 3 tests and passed all of them. I got 73%, 75% and 79% in them. I wish I had more time to do the other tests.
2) PMBOK guide:
  • I read the PMBOK guide end to end.
  • I mainly liked the PMBOK guide only because the ITTOs were well structured, and easier to understand, when compared to Rita’s book.
3) PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy:
  • I read Rita’s book also from end to end.
  • I mainly liked Rita’s book because the concepts were explained in detail. Although, it could have been structured well.

Main exam:
  • I did not do a Brain dump. I would say it’s a waste of time.
  • The main exam was much more tougher than the Simulator exams. 90% of the questions were logical questions, and were long and needed a lot of reading.
  • I had only 5mins left to review my marked questions, and I didn’t get to go through all of them.
  • I did not take any breaks during the exam.
  • I felt that many of the questions had more than one right answer, which made it very difficult to answer. I had to use my best judgement to select the right answer.

I hope my lessons learned will help you prepare better for the PMP exam. My only advice is, to not just memorize the concepts, but to understand the flow of the processes and what each tool and technique does, also to read the questions clearly before answering. Don’t be nervous as you are going to do great!
Good luck to everyone who is preparing for the PMP exam!

Special thanks to Cornelius Fichtner and the PMPrepCast team for all your help!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Guillermo Tapia Garcia, Brittany Tyrrell

Passed my PMP exam on 1st attempt 2 years 8 months ago #13097

  • Ty Weston, PMP
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Excellent write up, thanks for sharing!

Passed my PMP exam on 1st attempt 2 years 8 months ago #13098

  • Mark Lacattiva
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Nice work Sowjanya!
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