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TOPIC: Passed PMP exam with ABOVE TARGET score!

Passed PMP exam with ABOVE TARGET score! 1 week 4 days ago #17435

  • Ashish Patwardhan
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I am very happy to share that I passed the PMP exam yesterday in my first try with ABOVE TARGET score. Here are the lessons learned and experiences throughout the journey in rather a lengthy post.

Study plan and mock tests
I attended the preparatory course in Dec 2018. Starting Jan 2019, I went through the entire PMBOK and made my own notes. I also watched ‘Ricardo Vargas’ video and a few other videos on YouTube.
My application was selected for audit and I went through an entire audit process twice. Yes, you read it right - twice - because my experience entered in the application was not in the expected format.
Around the last week of March, I started giving mock tests. I was scoring around 70% in these tests. Initially, I used all free resources – Oliver Lehmann, Edwel, Simplylearn, and Greycampus to name a few. While browsing the internet, I came across pm-prepcast simulator. I read a lot of reviews, appeared for 3 free short tests and then decided to purchase the simulator package.
My decision was proved so correct. Simulator helped me in getting familiar with the questions and explanation of correct and incorrect answers proved very useful. Also, I learned how to identify important keywords/cues to eliminate the wrong answers and arrive at the best answer.
I did all 8 exams and scored 82% overall. Here are the scores (attached).
I practiced last 3 full-length tests in an exam like environment with no breaks in between and at the same time as my actual scheduled test.

Family support
My wife, who has already earned her PMP credentials 5 years back, was my sponsor.
I pasted process chart, important formulas on my wardrobe and revised it every day. My 8-year-old daughter helped with my studies often correcting me whenever I was wrong. She got used to this so much that after few days she could memorize all process groups, knowledge areas and almost all of the processes, their sequence and also few formulas 
I often used to discuss with my wife my study plan, progress. For the last 2 months, I was thinking only about PMP and often sacrificed family life, social life, and friends. I prepared a TODO list with everything I want to do AFTER I pass the exam which kept me going.

Actual exam
I was quite nervous before my exam. I had prepared really hard and left no stone unturned and consistently scored 80+% in the mock exams so I was kind of confident to pass the exam with ‘above target’ score. At the same time, I also had negative thoughts - ‘what if the actual exam is very tough and I fail’? I decided not to think about the result and enjoy the next 4 hours by solving 200 questions as if I am sitting at my home and practicing yet another simulator exam.
Questions in the actual exam resembled the simulator. Most of the questions were very short and at times ambiguous, unclear. There were very few lengthy questions spanning 3-4 lines. Most of the questions were scenario based and often with 2-3 correct answers. Initially, I really had a tough time arriving at the ‘best’ answer and marked many questions for review. Then I realized I cannot mark each and every question for later review hence I took some extra time in eliminating all the wrong answers and I could arrive at the best answer. At one point, I thought once I finish the exam I can read the explanation which is the correct answer and why; this was because I had solved all 8 exams in the simulator plus some quizzes and was I was so used to this process of reviewing the explanations later.
I finished 200 questions in 3 hours 25 minutes. Then I reviewed all marked questions and then clicked on Finish button with 10 minutes to spare. Quickly finished the survey and then closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I saw CONGRATULATIONS message on the screen! I felt relieved and then felt happy.
Here is the quick break-up of questions:
EVM questions: hardly 5-6 questions - including interpretational questions and only 2-3 where the direct calculation was required.
Network diagram/float related: only 1 question.
Agile: 0 questions.
The exam was heavy on change requests, procurement, risk, stakeholder and many questions with multiple knowledge areas combined together.

I thank Cornelius and team for amazing simulator package; Stan Po for responding to my questions with detailed explanation. This really helped me to develop that 'thought process' for the actual test.
I would suggest incorporating a highlight feature in the simulator which would come very handy to identify the keywords/cues in the questions.
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Passed PMP exam with ABOVE TARGET score! 1 week 4 days ago #17437

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

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. 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.

Thank you for your insight into the highlight functionality. We will add this feature to our product backlog. We highly value your genuine feedback. Ideas like yours help us improve our products for all our customers.

Congratulations again and good luck in all your future endeavors.
Regards,
Stan
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