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TOPIC: Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's)

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14403

  • Franklin Seabrook
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After a little over 4 months of nonstop studying (including over 300 hours and 9 practice exams) I passed the PMP exam this week, with above target's in all categories. This was a roller coaster ride to say the least. I've historically never been a good test taker (below average on SAT and GMAT); therefore, I knew this was going to be a challenge for me. I wanted to make sure I was well prepared for this exam, so I developed a strict study plan. My goal was to study at least 15 hours a week. Here are the steps I took:

1) Read the PMBOK from cover to cover. This took about a month as I wrote down notes as I was reading through each chapter. I have to admit that I didn't learn/retain much during my first read as I didn't fully grasp the flow of processes or understand how each knowledge area related to each other.
2) I read the outdated Andy Crowe book, "How to pass on your first try". Although this book was outdated (based on the 5th edition) I was able to understand a lot of the concepts and tools/techniques that were still applicable. I also read the PMBOK again as I was reading through Andy Crowe's book. This took another month.
3) PM PrepCast podcast - The last few months I utilized the PM PrepCast as much as possible. My commute to work is about an hour an a half in total. Therefore, leading up to the exam I listened to his podcast, sometimes even repeated them. I did this to utilize my time as effectively as possible and to assure I would continue to retain this information throughout my studies.
4) PM PrepCast Practice Exams - I took a practice test each week with 6 weeks remaining in my studies. I scored between a 60-70% on all 6. These exams helped tremendously in building stamina and really paying attention to detail, as a lot of the questions could easily be improperly interpreted.

Those were my steps leading up to the exam now here are my recommendations on how to pass the exam:
1) Understand the PMBOK from cover to cover. I probably gave this a read 4-5 times in total. Now this is a little excessive for most; however, I have trouble retaining information so this was absolutely necessary for me in order to develop an in depth understanding of each knowledge area and process mentioned in the PMBOK.
2) Take quizzes in increments, as opposed to taking full exams each week. This will help build stamina in increments, and I believe it can be more useful. For me finding the time to take a full practice test was difficult enough. Also, I took a 20 question quiz each day for the last week leading up to my exam. This kept my mind sharp in answering questions.
3) Don't get discouraged when you do poorly on a test. It's extremely hard to measure whether you're ready to take the real exam or not. Therefore, my biggest takeaway is to gauge your readiness based upon your understanding of the material NOT how well or how poorly you do on a practice exam. I stressed over my practice exam scores way too much. It was frustrating because I got to a point where I thoroughly understood each knowledge area and how they related to each other; however, I was still not getting the results I was hoping for on the practice exams.

Anyone is capable of passing this exam if you put the time and effort into studying. Good luck to all future PMP's!

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14411

  • leon
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Wow! What a tremendous effort.
Congrats!

Did you only practice with Prepcast ? While you are studying did you also take Prepcast test too? Or only after thorough study of My Prepcast?

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14412

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Wow! What a tremendous effort.
Congrats!

Did you only practice with Prepcast ? While you are studying did you also take Prepcast test too? Or only after thorough study of My Prepcast?

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14434

  • Franklin Seabrook
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Thanks.

I relied mostly on the actual PMBOK book; however, as I mentioned in my initial post I listened to all of the Prepcast Video Lessons, which was extremely helpful. I also read Andy Crowes book "How to pass on your first try"., as a second resource to help me further understand certain concepts that are also in the PMBOK book. I started taking the Prepcast Practice Exams as I was going through all of the Video Lessons. I've already read the PMBOK book a few times, as well as Andy Crowe's book so my understanding of the material was pretty good as I started the PrepCast lessons. Let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck!

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14441

  • Augusto James
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Congratulations.. and thanks for the tips

Passed the PMP on first attempt (5 AT's) 2 years 5 months ago #14453

  • Jenikka Ebias
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Hi Franklin,

Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam and thank you for sharing your lessons learned :)
Jenikka Ebias
Customer Support
OSP International LLC
www.project-management-prepcast.com
Last edit: by Jenikka Ebias.
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