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TOPIC: Passed PMP exam on March 23 at 1st attempt!

Passed PMP exam on March 23 at 1st attempt! 2 years 6 months ago #13759

  • Sue Vandinh, PMP
  • Sue Vandinh, PMP's Avatar Topic Author
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Thank you Mr. Fichtner and PM PrepCast for helping with my PMP exam. I just passed today, on my first attempt with most domains above target, except closing below target ☹. I spent more than 3 hours for all 200 questions (no ITTO, few EVM, several critical path and majority in change management) during the first path. I then reviewed more than 20+ marked questions regarding the closing process group where I changed about half of the answers (now I wished that I had not) and finally went through all questions again till the end.
Below are my preparations:
• I attended the online PMBOK Guide Review at UCI Continuing Education last summer and the PrepCast videos helped me to understand the PMBOK easier.
• Right after finishing the class, I read the PMBOK 5 then created an excel file (a tip from PMP expert Pablo Simmonds) based on PMBOK table 3-1 page 61 with separate tab and color coded for each domain with all the process groups, including ITTO.
• I started the PM Exam Simulator late September last year but I could only finished the first 3 exams in the 75% for my first attempt more than 3 hours each.
• After each exam, I reviewed the incorrect answers and referred back to the excel as study guide and PMBOK as needed.
• After a 3-month break until middle of this February, I took my 4th exam and failed at first try with 73%.
• I took the rest of the exams, including ITTO, since it helped me to understand how the processes are connected together, and averaged about 76%.
• After that, I took 4 timed quizzes pooling from my incorrect answers, still average 76%.
• Not feeling confident yet so I took all the exams again, spending more than 2 hours and getting more than 90% the 2nd round.
• I spent total 52 hours in taking all the 9 exams including the ITTO twice and 5 timed quizzes and about the same amount in study the past month.
What I learned from taking the first few exams in the simulator was that I marked too many questions then I felt overwhelmed during the review process. I started to kept track of the question # on scratch paper so I can refer back when reviewing all answers and only mark those that I don’t know the answer at all.
I did start the brain dump with all the formulas before taking the 1st exam and toward the end of the 8th exam, I remembered all of them and stopped this practice.
I also forgot a lot during my 3-month break so I would recommend taking the simulator immediately after finishing the PMBOK Guide review and go for the real exam right away.
The simulator really helped me to study and gave me more confident in taking the real exam. I also appreciate the detailed emails from Mr. Fichtner regarding the type of questions to expect as well as the exam day preparation and lessons learned from other experts.
Hope this helps. Best of luck to everyone!
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