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TOPIC: Passed PMP on 04/13/19!!!

Passed PMP on 04/13/19!!! 1 year 7 months ago #17083

  • Natalie Chu
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Happy to report that I passed the exam on my first try! Got overall "Above Target" score with 4AT & 1T. Please see below my lessons learned:

I spent a little over 2 months studying for the exam and used the following materials:
1. Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep 9th Edition
2. Joseph Phillips PMP Exam Cram Session on Udemy
3. PM Prepcast
4. PM Prepcast Exam Simulator
5. Edward Chung's personal website on PMP (Google Edward Designer)
* Note that I actually didn't really read the PMBOK Guide; I referred to it only when I needed better clarification *

Comments on the Above Study Materials

1. Rita's book is very easy to read; reading it would give you a good foundation of all the knowledge areas and processes. However, I don't think her book covers everything, so I highly suggest adding another source to compliment your study.
2. Please note that this is a cram session in which Joseph goes over the content really faster; it is meant for those who already have a good understanding of the 49 processes. I bought it because it was cheap and I could probably manage without getting this cram session.
3. PM Precast is an excellent exam prep course! It covers a lot of details with easy-to-understand explanations. Just know that the course is loooong, so be prepared to spend time going through it.
4. The Precast Exam Simulator is a must-have! The questions in my actual PMP Exam had similar format and style as the simulator. If you do well in the simulator consistently, I think you are ready for the real exam.
5. Edward Chung's PMP website is invaluable; I think he should get paid for sharing the info! Make sure to download his notes on each of the knowledge areas, they are like gold!!!

Mock Exams

I answer over 1700 questions from different sources with 3 full timed exams. Here's my results:
- Oliver Lehmann 200Q - 68% (this is my first mock exam)
- Prepcast Simulator 200Q (timed) - 82%
- Free Precast Online Exam 120Q - 77%
- Simplilearn 200Q - 81%
- Grey Campus 200Q - 74%
- Prepcast Simulator 200Q (timed) - 80.5%
- Prepcast Simulator 200Q (timed) - 82%
- PMP Lite Mock 50Q - 78%
- Prepcast Simulator (50 questions each time) - 80%-85%

I guess the rule of thumb is that if you can consistently scoring near or above 80% for the first time, you have a high chance of passing the PMP Exam.

Actual Exam

- The format and style of the questions are very similar to the Prepcast Exam Simulator (just for this reason I think you should give the simulator a try)
- I read that most people said their actual exam questions are shorter than the simulator's questions (about 2-3 sentences long); however, that's not my case at all! I would say 90% of my questions are 3-5 sentences long.
- In all of the timed exams I took, I was able to answer 60ish questions in an hour. So, I gave myself up to 1 minute to answer each question in the actual exam. Since the length of the questions in the actual exam was similar to the simulator's, so I was able to stay within my 1 minute per question target
- Majority of the questions are situational (just like the simulator). They are all "what should the PM do next", "what should the PM have done", etc.
- I got 5 - 7 EVM questions; they were easy and straight-forward except for 1 of them
- I got 3 critical path questions, quite easy
- I didn't encounter any agile-related questions
- I got tons of change-related questions

As far as time goes, I had 20 minutes left after answering all the questions. I didn't use any restroom breaks but did get some stretching here and there. I then spent 10 minutes reviewing all my marked questions and submitted the exam with 10 minutes left.

To Brain Dump or Not

I did spend 12 minutes doing brain dump... writing down all the formulas and process flows. I only referred to the formulas and didn't look at the other stuff. So, I literally wasted a good 10 minutes of those precious exam time! My advice to you is just spend 1-2 minutes writing down the formulas, that's all you need!

So, that's pretty much it! I hope you will find this post helpful and I wish you all the best of luck in passing your exam!

Natalie =)

Passed PMP on 04/13/19!!! 1 year 7 months ago #17085

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

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Natalie Chu

Passed PMP on 04/13/19!!! 1 year 7 months ago #17087

  • Vijay Garudeswar
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Hi Natalie
Congrats on passing the exam
How long Did you study each day and how much time did it take for you to complete Rita Andy and pm prepcast individually.


Passed PMP on 04/13/19!!! 1 year 7 months ago #17114

  • Natalie Chu
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Hi Vijay,


I spent a little over 2 months to study for the exam. For the first month, I leisurely went over Rita's book. I didn't really set a schedule, I just studied when I was free (that's why it took me a month). Then, I switched to study mode when I started the PM Prepcast. I spent a total of 3 weeks going through it and about 2-3 hours on weeknights and 5 hours on the weekends. For the last 2 weeks leading up to the exam, all I did was mock exams and reviewed all the questions I got wrong.

Hope the info helps!

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