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TOPIC: Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!!

Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 3 months 3 days ago #18216

  • Ku2o
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So here I am, now doing my part to pay back, what I gained from this great community. Time for me to add my lessons learned to the repository and hopefully help others.

My story in short:

To start off I’ll say, that I consider myself generally a smart guy, with a fair bit of experience, and also one who doesn’t have to prepare too much to “pass” exams or courses. That being said, I knew that I should probably at a bare minimum memorize the 49 processes and formulas, which I did and then also took an in class prep course, and thought that that would be enough. I barely skimmed the PMBOK guide at best, and I didn’t even open Rita Macaulay’s book, and it was provided as part of the course I took.
I failed. Not by much but failed.

Then my one year of eligibility was coming to a close, so I figured I would write again, and without really changing anything except for the fact that I added the Udemy Joe Phillips course. I did also make sure I still had the 49 process names memorized and the formulas.

Also since I wasn’t too far off the pass the first time, I thought I had prepared “enough”, and besides I was running out of time with my eligibility so I felt that I had to write. I failed again. Similar results to the first attempt but actually slightly lower.

Key Tip: If you end up running out of time on your eligibility, and you still have an exam attempt remaining, contact PMI and they will usually extend your eligibility by 90 days, they did of me.

The Adjustment Required:

So then having failed twice, I FINALLY realized that this PMP certification was different than anything I had attempted in the past. I needed to face the fact that my experience and smarts weren’t going to cut it, not this time. The contents and the nature of the exam are unique, and the only way to understand it is well to understand it. No short cuts. Knowing the names of the processes isn’t enough; you need to understand the way that they fit, the flow if you will.
So here is my final plan that allowed me to achieve a pass with 5 ATs, yes 5 ATs across all domains, it is as follows:

First off I don’t want to discount the course on Udemy it was an easy watch and allowed for a good basic understanding, not enough by itself, however. This time, I purchased the Prep Cast System including the PMP Exam Simulator, but I knew that it by itself also wouldn’t be enough. I created an 8-week study plan and decided which chapters I was going to read in Rita’s book per week, and as a reference, I used the PMBOK Guide. I didn’t have enough time to read both. I also bought Rita’s flashcards… Did not do the end of chapter quizzes, as I just needed to get through the content first. This is imperative. Once in a while I would randomly do Rita's Process game, online: rmcls.com/process-chart-game-v9 , also a good resource to solidify process flow.

I was a man on a mission. Simply put I needed to get through the reading. Started getting up at @ 5 am and read the chapter as per plan, then throughout the day, I listened to the corresponding Prep Cast. When I could, I also reviewed the corresponding chapter flashcards. The key was I had to stick to the plan.

Key Tip: The Prep Cast videos are thorough but they are LOOOONG, so long in fact, that I wasn’t able to keep up with my schedule, I ended up reading ahead and then catching up with the Prep Casts when I could. I was listening to Cornelius, everywhere I went, to the point that I had my earbuds in at work all day and then in my car where ever I went.

Key Tip: Pulling it all together is a key piece. Ricardo Vargas’ process flow is great. I went as far as printing it off and taping to my wall at home, and as I read I would think about where I am and how the integration piece is working.

Key Tip: The PMP Exam simulator is the best tool. Keep in mind the first time you do each exam is the only true result, so don’t waste it, be prepared, have read the contents. After I had read Rita’s book, studied the flashcards and heard Cornelius, I started on the Exams. My last 9 days before the exam day was doing a 200-question exam a day. This allowed me to build up my stamina and better understand my pacing.

Key Tip: When doing the exams use the mark feature for the questions you aren’t sure about. Those you will need to cover and read about. But when you analyze your result, focus in on the ones that you got wrong but thought you were comfortable with ie the ones you didn’t mark, those are you real gaps. I analyzed and reviewed each exam on the average for 4 hours, using the filters in various ways. You need to obtain an understanding of where you are week, and this is why the simulator is hands down the best tool to assess where you truly are.

Pearson experience:


It was different that Prometric in the following ways:
- They allow you to do a brain dump while you are still in the 10-minute tutorial, use this time.
- No paper, but a 8 page laminated paper book.
- There is no ability to strike out, but you can mark, but I think that is known now.
- At Prometric at the end of the exam you were asked to complete a survey, and after that, it would “calculate” you results. Which took like 3-5 mins.
- At Person that is not the case. As soon as the exam was over, I was expecting the survey, it didn’t happen, and my results were displayed right away, in a blink of an eye, I had a prayer ready to go and didn’t even get the chance. After that, you are asked to do the survey.

Moral of the story:
Do not do what I did, well after the adjustment part sure. I wish I had done that for attempt 1. Give this exam the respect that it deserves off the bat… It took what it took for me to pull up my socks up and actually prep. In fact, I now believe that the exam is written to challenge people like me, had I passed on one of my prior attempts, I would not have the knowledge that I gained, nor would I have the respect for this exam and certification that I now do.

Sorry if I rambled on, but I wanted to pay back to this great community…

Simulator results for reference were:
PMP Exam 1 76%
PMP Exam 2 77%
PMP Exam 3 75%
PMP Exam 4 76%
PMP Exam 5 76.5%
PMP Exam 6 77.5%
PMP Exam 7 82%
ITTO test - didn't do - I felt that I was comfortable with my understanding of process flow.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Victoria Gonzalez, Conor Dowling, Noori Abidi, Sharon Horvat, Shivendra Sidharth, P W, Kamaldeep Singh
Last edit: by Ku2o.

Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 3 months 3 days ago #18217

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Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam! Pleased to hear that the PM PrepCast and Exam Simulator made a difference with your exam preparations.

Best of luck with your future endeavors!
Donald Terry, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP
Independent contractor at OSP International LLC
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 3 months 15 hours ago #18238

  • SUSHMIT SINHA
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Congratulations!
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 4 weeks ago #18275

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Congratulations Ku2o! Thank you for your post. It was encouraging . I have failed twice. First exam, was so BAD, & I bought PM Training then. I improved so much on the 2nd exam that it was like a giant leap from the 1st, I was almost there, & it was w/ PrepCast, I failed BUT it was proof that Prepcast gave me the right way to think & it's the closest to the actual questions. I'm continuing my journey to take the 3rd exam with Prepcast & I will have your "Key Tips" in mind. Congratulations again & good luck!!!
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 4 weeks ago #18280

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Good luck to you too! One Additional Key Tip I forgot to mention is the following: When answering the questions, for each one, first think to your self, which process group and knowledge area are being referred to. What is the starting point for the question at hand? Not only will this help in narrowing down the correct choices, but it will typically right off the bat eliminate at least one if not two incorrect choices.

I chose to draw out the PG/KA grid and had it as a reference to refer to, which helped me visually "point to" where the question had landed me. And from there the best choice became much easier to navigate to. This is great for those questions that aren't so obvious.
Last edit: by Ku2o.

Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 3 weeks ago #18292

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Congratulations, You Passed! Thanks for sharing your test-taking techniques & tips for passing the exam.
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 3 weeks ago #18327

  • Anshul Agrawal
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Hello,
Congratulations and thank you for sharing your lessons learned. Quick follow up question - I was under the impression that brain dumps are no longer allowed during the tutorial. Can you please confirm that you were allowed to do a brain dump during the tutorial? Just want to make sure it was not a typo. I am taking my exam next week and just doing last-minute preparations.
Thanks,
Anshul
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 3 weeks ago #18332

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For the record, you weren't with Prometric, however on my final attempt with Pearson, I asked the proctor specifically before entering the testing room, after checking her documentation in regards to the PMP Exam, she said: "for this exam, you are allowed to start using the notes paper right away, as there are no restrictions noted." As such, when you sit down there are two short tutorials one for 3 mins and one 7 mins. Let them run to there max, that gives you 10 mins to do your dump.
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Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 months 3 weeks ago #18334

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Awesome. Thanks!

Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 weeks 2 days ago #18857

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Can you help me with the process on extending the eligibility date to extend the exam. I have just 7 days to expire my application. I have given my exam on 25th Oct which i failed. Kindly respond urgently.

Passed third time with 5 ATs!!!! 2 weeks 2 days ago #18858

  • Bindu
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Want to know the process you followed to request to extend your eligibilty. I have 9 days to go and failed my last attempted 2 days back.
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