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TOPIC: Passed First Attempt - 5AT's

Passed First Attempt - 5AT's 6 months 2 weeks ago #14277

  • Gary Coblenz
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Passed Exam today on the first attempt. Here are a few details of how I studied with full disclosure that my method is clearly not for everyone.

Prepcast Formula Guide: I did order this and used it primarily for the 105 sample questions. Having a finance background, I found the material and questions overwhelmingly easy, but it did give me confidence that any questions onthe exam with formulas would be a slam dunk for me. For those whose strength is not finance, this is probably a pretty good resource.

Prepcast: I watched every lesson through section 13. (I did not bother with the interviews) These lessons were my main focus of studying. The lessons are excellent and provide a depth of material that is more than sufficient for understanding the required material. I found the lessons match my learning style perfectly. I have been in operations and project managment for 25 years (yes, I'm probably older than the average PMP writer), but I found the quality of the video lessons and the way the material was presented were first rate. I'm sure the good people at Prepcast are already working on correcting the few errors in text and speech that first releases inevitably have. :)

Exam Simulator: I started doing practice quizes very soon after I started. I wanted to test my knowledge along the learning path and though one starts out slow (in terms of correct answers), I found it helped to ingrain the style of questions that I could expect on the real exam. I'm pretty sure the simulator also has an algorithm for generating the quizzes that matches where you are in the lessons so there were very few questions on material that I had not yet covered. I probably did an average of 30 questions per study day and probably studied about two hours per day, five days a week. I also started a full exam about 1 month in to my 3 month study program. I did this before I realized I could create quizzes with more than 10 questions and that the questions came from the same pool. I answered just over 100 questions before having to quit and go to a meeting. I scored about 60%, and keeping in mind that I was only about half way through the Prepcast lessons, I thought this was okay. I figured I needed to improve by 15% to be ready for the real deal. After about two months, I finished all the lessons and took my first full exam similation. It tooke me three hours and I scored 76%. Having another month before I was to take the real exam, I looked at the results, determined where my weaknesses were and went back to the Prepcast to review a few lessons. I then spent the next month taking quizes (10-20 questions) nearly every day. In all, I think I answered about 1000 questions. I also never took a second exam. Stamina was not an issue for me (I've written plenty of exams over the past three decades that were longer than 4 hours). The one thing I will say, is to never get discouraged by a quiz result. I continuously looked at the average of the last five quizes to determine how I was doing. Even in the last few days, I would get 80% on one or two quizes, and then get 50 or 60% on a quiz. It reallly depended on the questions that were drawn. Overall, video lessons and quizes were my key to success. On average, I think I was scoring between 75 and 80% on the quizzes. And toward the end, I only chose unanswered questions for the quizzes.

PMBOK Guide: I used this as a reference guide only. I never read the book cover to cover. I never even looked at the Agile section. Never even considered memorizing ITTOs. The only thing I did memorize were the Knowledge Areas and Processes. This table is extremely helpful in answering exam questions. If you know what process and knowlege area the question is referring to, the answer is often easy to determine. I created an acronym to memorize the Knowlege Areas (ISSCQRCRPS) and then just practiced reciting the processes until the table was burned into memory.

PMP Exam: I generally found the questions to be similar (perhaps even less ambiguous) to the simulator questions. Most were short (one or two sentences) and easy to understand. The answers, like the simulator often contained two options that could be immediately eliminated, and two options that were possibly correct. Read carefully. Very few formula questions (I wish there were more!) and just like when I was taking quizes, I wasn't exactly sure how I did. Clicking the button to end the exam was particularly nerve-wracking, so a big relieve when the word "Congratulations" came up. 5 Above Targets was better than I did on the simulator.

Prepcast was obviously integral to my success. I'm glad I found it and decided to go with it for my PMP preparation.

Good luck to all those writing in the future.
Last edit: by Gary Coblenz.

Passed First Attempt - 5AT's 6 months 1 week ago #14325

  • Anonymous
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Congratulate

Passed First Attempt - 5AT's 6 months 1 week ago #14336

  • leon
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Hi Gary,

Thanks for sharing this. I also ordered the prepcast formula guide. May I know this will be good enough to cover for real exam?

Passed First Attempt - 5AT's 6 months 6 days ago #14344

  • Ty Weston, PMP
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The PrepCast Formula Guide is an excellent resource for the test; I used it myself. As with any guide it is only a part of an overall strategy and information repository.
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Passed First Attempt - 5AT's 6 months 5 days ago #14346

  • Gary Coblenz
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It will be more than sufficient for the exam. There were only a handful (less than 10) formula-related questions on the exam when I wrote. Good luck.
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