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TOPIC: PMP Certified on First Attempt

PMP Certified on First Attempt 2 months 2 weeks ago #16944

  • Pieter Nauta
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I took the certification exam yesterday and passed it on my first attempt. I definitely credit Cornelius and the rest of his team here at the PrepCast. Here's what worked for me.

For background, I read the PMBOK Guide and watched all of the PrepCast videos taking copious notes, then used the Exam Simulator, which was absolutely crucial to my preparation.

I took two full practice exams along with a few timed quizzes with the Exam Simulator (hard to set aside 4 hours for the full run throughs). I used the results from those to target my final studying to improve my weak areas. The timed quizzes were great because I could work in a quick set of 20 questions when I had a break, focus on a given weakness, like 10 questions about Quality Management, and do a final 50 question run-through the night before the exam. These were all critical to my preparation.

I did get a bit annoyed that a number of Simulator questions seemed to focus more on specific terminology than the general concept, but it aligned well with the actual exam so it was exactly right. The real exam was a pretty good mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. The Exam Simulator seemed to be more of the medium and hard variety, meaning that the full exam felt a bit easier than the practice tests, which was good.

Working through the simulator questions helped me devise my own strategy, which included:
  1. Reading closely enough to get all of the key details, including distinctions like "project document" vs. "process group" in both the questions and the answers.
    2. Not overthinking. This was a critical item I found running through questions the night before the real exam. I got to the point of thinking "what do they want the answer to be" and not trusting my own knowledge. Seeing where that was causing me to get wrong answers when my initial inclination was correct was important.
    3. To help with not overthinking, I didn't let myself spend too much time on any one question. If I wasn't sure, I would mark and move on (selecting one of the possible answers).
    -a. It took me about 3 hours to get through the first pass of the exam--faster than I expected--and then another 30 minutes to go back through the marked questions.
    -b. They're not joking about picking the best of the available answers, either when none of the answer choices are good or when they all are. And a few times it felt like I was picking the least bad answer.
    4. I did not do the brain dump; when practicing during a timed run-through it left me feeling quite frantic being 15 minutes behind just to start. I needed to be in a more relaxed state from the beginning.
    -a. However, I did practice what my brain dump would have been--Process Group table (Table 1-4) and the key formulas--most days for nearly a month, so it was pretty well hammered into my head by the day of the exam.
    5. I was glad I added on the Exam Formulas lesson/PDFs. In particular, the practice questions helped me contextualize the formulas so that I understood them and was able to recall and use them when it came time for the exam.
Thank you, PrepCast team!

PMP Certified on First Attempt 2 months 1 week ago #16986

  • Scott Gillard
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Congrats!
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PMP Certified on First Attempt 2 months 1 week ago #16991

  • Stan Po, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
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Dear Pieter,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

I remember the valuable inputs that you submitted through our simulator’s Live Feedback™ support feature. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
Regards,
Stan
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