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TOPIC: Passed the PMP all Above Target

Passed the PMP all Above Target 1 year 5 months ago #17501

  • Ashish Shah
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I passed the PMP with all 5 AT’S yesterday May 19th and wanted to share some lessons learned as a way to pay it forward.
I used both Rita’s and PMBOK but eventually completely switched to PMBOK. Rita’s is a really well written book and might work for a lot of people, but there are a lot of subtle details that the PMBOK has that no other book covers. In my humble opinion, PMBOK should be read cover to cover at least twice if not more depending on your knowledge retention. I read the PMBOK 3 times and found that every time I re-read it, I discovered more nuances, patterns and things made better sense.
ITTO’s: No need to memorize ITTO’s; here is my way to bypass memorizing the ITTO’s
• What I did instead is, remember all the outputs from all 49 processes. Assuming that you already remember the 49 processes in the right order.
• I created a sheet with all the 49 processes on a large piece of paper as a template, made copies and practiced writing out the outputs for all processes twice a day for 3-4 weeks until I started remembering the outputs of each processes just like the 49 processes themselves.
• You are just remembering the outputs for each process; your knowledge of the processes and tools and techniques will guide you back all the way to the inputs. Absolutely critical with this method is to study the processes themselves, the tools and techniques involved, & how they produce the output.
• These two elements brought everything together for me.
Prepcast Simulator:
So, I started taking 10-20 question tests about a month and half before the test. I started in the 40-50% correct range and made me very nervous. After a few cycles of studying and tests and some more studying, I took the full test every weekend and here are the results
Test 1: 69.5%
Test 2: 69.5%
Test 3: 76%
Test 4: 72%
Post Test Studying:
I kept trying very hard for the elusive 80 % but only reached it a couple of times with 20 question tests. In hindsight, while taking the tests are the key, it’s just the beginning to a process. The follow up work is critical to improving your knowledge. What helped me tremendously was; going back to the tests, reviewing the questions I got wrong, understanding the logic, and then writing it out for future reference. I have a notebook full of handwritten notes that I reviewed every day. These are all the questions I got wrong on the simulator. When I had time, I would also go back to correctly answered questions and review them to reinforce my knowledge and logic.
Actual test:
• As mentioned by others before, the first 25-30 questions were disjointed and at times illogical. Some questions, I couldn’t figure out what was being asked. I am guessing those were the “test” test questions. I did not let that bother me and kept going.
• I had about 4-5 calculation questions mainly EV, SP, CP, EAC and couple of situational ones asking what it means, or what corrective actions should be taken. These were all straightforward.
• Rest of the questions were all situational. What should the PM do first, what could have been done to avoid the situation, etc.
• There were a lot of questions asking directly and indirectly what data can be found in what document, where would one look for to figure out the next step, what document should the PM refer to for information etc.
Knowing all the documents listed on page 89 and their contents is very important. It will help you tremendously.
My opinion is that the actual test, while tricky, is slightly easier than Prepcast. But, remember as Cornelius says “your mileage might vary”

I have covered everything that I was curious about when I was preparing.
Best of luck to all of you!!!
In parting I want to thank Cornelius and his team for the simulator. For the value it provides, the prepcast simulator is an excellent investment and extremely reasonably priced.
Last edit: by Ashish Shah.

Passed the PMP all Above Target 1 year 5 months ago #17503

  • 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. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
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