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TOPIC: I passed my PMP exam first try!!!

I passed my PMP exam first try!!! 1 year 6 months ago #16777

  • Thomas LaRocco
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I would periodically check this forum to make sure I was on the right path for studying, and I wanted to make sure that I shared my experience for anyone needing some additional insight.

I passed my PMP exam yesterday March 12, and here is what I did to get there. Overall my journey took a little over two months, but I had no life outside of work and studying during those two months.
Initiate - Above Target
Plan - Target
Exec - Above Target
M&C - Above Target
Close - Above Target

First off, if nothing else, get the PM Prepcast Exam simulator. It helps to prepare your mind for some of the tricky questions that will pop up on the exam, and it makes sure you really understand how/why the ITTOs are used in the various processes.

Tools I used: PM prepcast, PM prepcast exam simulator, Dan Ryan 8 hour weekend bootcamp, and edward-designer(dot)com
Note: I also purchased Andy Crowe's, "How to pass on the first try," but I never got around to opening the book. Take that for whatever its worth.

Dan Ryan 8 hour weekend bootcamp
- This is a very high level 8 hour, 2-day, course where he goes over the entire PMBOK guide. I like the way he talked through some of the processes, and how he highlighted some of the key components to focus on. It was only $59 for the course, and that also includes 1 month full access to his prep course and other prep material. Easily worth it, but I never really looked at it other than the bootcamp.

- Check this guy out. I wish I found this sooner. It goes over a lot of the vocabulary and theories that show up in the PrepCast exam simulator that I was not able to find in the PMBOK guide. Use this resource, make notes, and review this.

- I passively went through the pm prepcast throughout my day. On my drive to work, when I was cooking, when I was cleaning, etc... Basically anytime I wasn't working or sleeping I had the prepcast in the background until I went through all of the lessons. I didn't really start paying close attention to specifics until after I took my first full practice exam and reviewed the ENTIRE THING. Once I identified some of my weak areas, I would go through those prepcast courses and take thorough notes. This prepcast is thorough and entertaining enough to keep you interested.
- Took my first exam, and I failed (barely).
- I then went through the entire exam and reviewed all of the answers. Not just the correct answers, but the wrong answers as well because the exam does a great job of explaining why the answer is incorrect and giving context.
- I had a notebook filled with contextualized vocabulary words and 1 or 2 sentence clarification sentences. E.g. "If a project has multiple phases with different teams for each phase, then you should do a kick-off meeting at the beginning of each exec phase." Just little ideas that I had misconceptions about, and I needed to make sure I had clarity in the future.
- I took an exam a week for the 5 weeks leading up to my exam. It fried my brain a bit, but it helped with training my body to sit and stare at a monitor for 4 hours. Also helped me to identify some of my other weaknesses in exam taking.
- I discovered edward-designer(dot)com about 2 weeks before my exam, and it was an amazing reference tool.
- He breaks down each lesson of the PMBOK guide into key ideas, vocabulary, and highlights key theories you should familiarize yourself with.
- Every day I would review my notes, and research some of the incorrect answers or unknown theories that were identified in the exam or Edward designer website. I also wrote out the 49 processes once or twice a day for 5 weeks prior to my exam. I did not actually do a brain dump for my exam, but I was able to quickly pull that information for when I needed it on the example. (Maybe a handful of times)

Overall, I want to say that you to this forum and to the PrepCast team for making a phenomenal product. The Exam Simulator was an invaluable tool, and I do not think I would have passed my exam without it.

Exam tip:
When you are taking your exam, use the highlighting function. Many of the questions have those one keywords or phrases that give you the clue to identify the only applicable answer. It saved me a bunch when I was reviewing my questions at the end. I made a lot of mental mistake during my exam that I was able to fix quickly because of this functionality.

My last practice exam score matched what I got on my actual exam.

I hope this information helps.

I passed my PMP exam first try!!! 1 year 6 months ago #16783

  • Ty Weston, PMP
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Glad to hear this.

I passed my PMP exam first try!!! 1 year 6 months ago #16799

  • Jenikka Ebias
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Hi Thomas,

Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam! Thank you very much for "paying it forward" so to say, posting about your experience to help other aspiring Project Management Professionals visiting the forum.

Best of luck on your future endeavors! :)
Jenikka Ebias
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