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TOPIC: Finally I passed!

Finally I passed! 2 years 3 months ago #14669

  • Cynthia Lim Louis, PMP
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I passed my PMP exam on Saturday (July 14). I was relieved when I saw the word “CONGRATULATIONS”. Woohoo!! :D

Here’s my PMP journey that I would like to share with you.

This is my 2nd attempt. My 1st attempt was a disaster and it was totally my fault because I didn’t pay attention to the clock closely. I took my exam in the afternoon. At the start of the clock, I did my brain dump and then had to take a small toilet break. These 2 incidents took away about 30minutes of the exam time. Not good! In the end, I did well in all process groups but failed M&C process group.

LESSONS LEARNED: (1) Try to reserve for a morning slot so that I won’t drink too much water on the actual day before the exam (2) hydrate myself as much as I can the few days before the actual day (3) eat supper (which I don’t normally) the night before the actual day so that I won’t feel hungry in the morning.

So, I signed up to retake my exam but due to bad weather, the exam center had to close. Bad luck! :( With a disheartening heart (almost gave up), I took a few days break and rethink of a study plan based on version 6. The PMBOK version 6 was a pain; I cannot print and it is expensive and not worth buying due to the bad reviews on Amazon, however, the search button still work on the online version, and so this is what I did using the search button to make my own notes on ITTO:

(1) Tools & techniques (T&T): I used Appendix X6 (page 685) as a guide to understand all the T&T. I used the search button to search each T&T, understand how they were used in each process.

(2) Input & outputs (I/O): I made my own table; for each I/O, I had one column indicating whether it is a project doc or PM plan, one column define the I/O with its elements, one column indicate the output processes and one column the input processes. The key things I remembered were the elements of each I/O, what the key differences were (e.g., project schedule vs. project calendar vs. resource calendar vs. milestone list) and how they were used in each process.

In addition to self-study, I also used Cornelius’ exam stimulator. I highly recommend it. The stimulator helps in practicing the situational questions and reinforce my learnings on the ITTOs. The stimulator has a learning mode for each knowledge area (and by process groups as well), so I would encourage that you don’t wait but start practicing each time you finished studying each knowledge areas.

I also attended Dan Ryan’s 6-weeks live coach classes. You can check out The PM EXAM COACH at to find out more. If you are struggling for the big day, I highly recommend that you take his class. He provides easy to read workbooks and his classes were recorded. Because the classes were recorded, I could listen attentively in class and then revisit the recordings again for anything I missed in classes.

As for the actual exams, it was difficult sitting on that chair in front of the computer for 4 hours. This time I paid extra attention to the clock and I finished 15 minutes before the time was up, so I revisited all my marked questions. I think there were a few agile questions since it mentioned “adaptive”, I think I got about 5 questions on EV, a few EMV and lots of situational questions. Dan taught us to read all the answer choices, then read the question carefully to pick the best (not right) answers, I did that and it did helped filtering out the “noise”. I practiced that on Cornelius’ exam stimulator.

So... that’s my journey . For all PMP aspirants… Hang in there! Don’t give up! Winners don’t quit! You will get there eventually! :)

Finally I passed! 2 years 3 months ago #14673

  • Jenikka Ebias
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Hi Cynthia,

Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam! Thank you very much for sharing with us your lessons learned.
Jenikka Ebias
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OSP International LLC
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