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TOPIC: Passed PMP on 03/23 - First Try

Passed PMP on 03/23 - First Try 9 months 3 weeks ago #13765

  • Simeng Yang
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Passed on my first attempt yesterday and below are my take aways:
Study Material:
- Prepcast podcast
- Prepcast simulator
- Rita book (only focused on weak chapters after getting an idea what those are by taking the end of chapter quiz the podcast had)
- HeadFirst (read 2 chapters, found it not detailed enough, good for getting your feet wet and gain an overall idea of the material)
- PMBOK guide (read it for 30 min, got bored and confused and never opened again)
So really, all I used was PM Prepcast products
How I studied:
- Study time 3 months. 1hr each day listening to the podcast for the first month, 20 minutes a week for the second month (really busy and long hours at work), 1-2 hours on the weekends for the last month.
- Flipped through the official guide and found the organization of the guide extremely unintuitive, started researching alternative ways to study
- Found Prepcast, Rita's book and Headfirst to be the 3 recommended product, due to FOMO, I got all three ( you DO NOT NEED to purchase Rita and HeadFirst, they are expensive, Amazon US offers a cheaper rental option on them, you can rent them for 6 months for 60% of the cost of buying)
- I listened to the podcast on my commute to and from work, it's so awesome to have the PPT right there along with listening, I take screen shots of important concepts and formulas on my phone and flipped through them in my photo album MULTIPLE times during the course of my study)
- What solidified my understanding was the PMP EXAM SIMULATOR, it was absolutely critical to practice and go through both right AND wrong question like Cornelius recommended. Because you could guess right on a practice question without understanding why you got it right. The answer choices explanation at the bottom of the questions were amazing. Review each one, combined it is an amazing study guide in it's own right.
- Also important, these practice exams teaches you how to pace yourself, watch the completed number of questions against the clock, I know I can get through 50 questions every 40 minutes or so. But on average you have one hour for every 50 questions, so you should have plenty of time.
- Pinpoint your strong and weak areas as early as possible, so you can focus your efforts and get the best result given the time.

My simulator results, I did not have time to take the ITTO exam, and the 8th practice exam:
- 1st - 75.5%
- 2nd - 4th - 80%
- 5th - 80%
- 6th - 80.5%
- 7th - 78.5%
Actual exam:
- Don't drink too much water
- Eat before, but not too much (all that blood going to the tummy doesn't help you think). I had a crazy morning before my 1pm exam (flooded apartment), didn't have time to eat, locked the piece of chocolate I had in my locker so couldn't access it, literally felt faint after I finished
- Wear the noise cancelling headphone if offered, they really help you focus, there was this person that kept doing the finger drum while they took their exam
- Give yourself a break during the test, don't force yourself to take one if you feel like you are on a roll, take the break when you feel mental fatigue and every question is starting to feel like it's based on one domain and you are starting to doubt yourself.
- I must have gotten 5 questions on pareto charts , A LOT of questions on change management, communication and stakeholders management, math questions were a decent few, but nothing complicated, memorize the formulas and when each one is used, simulator helped here a lot too.
- I got overall above target, on target in initiation, below target in closing and above target on the rest of the domains.

The actual exam was a lot easier than the simulator, so thank you for setting up the material so well.

The Prepcast team also has amazing support staff and customer service, you know they really care about helping you. I intended to purchase the podcast and the simulator but somehow only purchased the podcast, when I realized I hadn't purchased the simulator and purchasing it separately would cause me to lose the bundle discount , I reached out to customer service. They refunded me my initial purchase and said I now can go ahead and purchase the bundle and obtain the discount (all done in two days with no interruption to my study)

Big hank you to Cornelius and the precast staff, and good luck to all future PMPs!
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