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TOPIC: Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 1 of 4: Study Aides

Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 1 of 4: Study Aides 1 week 17 hours ago #18510

  • Lisa Sweeney
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My Lessons Learned are lengthy, so I posted them as separate topics:

Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 1 of 4: Study Aides
Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 2 of 4: Driving to the Exam & At the Exam Center, Pearson Vue Experience
Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 3 of 4: Exam Interface & Answering Questions, Pearson Vue Experience
Passed PMP, first attempt, 9/5/19 – Part 4 of 4: Exam Question Types & PMI Shaming
  • PMP exam results (below) were handed to me in Pearson’s reception area by the Test Administrator after completing the exam, 9/5/19.


  • Passed PMP exam on 9/5/19, first attempt, AT/AT/T/T/NI

Here’s Part 1 of 4: STUDY AIDES

In order of importance:

1) Kevin Reilly, PMP Exam Coach
Kevin W. Reilly, PMP, ACP, CSP
  • wouldn’t have passed the exam without him
  • assessed my entire application and helped me submit it
  • developed a daily study plan, Mon–Fri
  • critiqued each completed simulated exam and taught me how to read test questions
  • explained differences between concepts like: Enhance vs Exploit, Analogous vs Parametric Estimating, Project Requirements vs Project Scope
  • helped me stick to the study plan (this was key)
  • ask him about the green sky vs. blue sky theory
Cornelius Fichtner interviewing Kevin on PM Podcasts:
PMP Exam® Special: How to pass your PMP Exam with Kevin Reilly, PMP
Episode 268: Six Reasons Why You May Have Failed The PMP Exam Three Times (Free)


2) PM PrepCast’s Online Video Lessons + Exam Simulator + Lessons Learned Forum, $299
Project Management PrepCast Elite
Includes video lessons, exam simulator, and forum (Kevin recommended Cornelius’ package)
Hands down!

—PM PrepCast’s Online Video Lessons
Very detailed, but very helpful. Listened to 50 hours or about 75% of them.

—PMP Exam Simulator
Compared to Andy Crowe’s and Rita Mulcahy’s exams, the PM Exam Simulator consistently stuck to PMBOK-specific language and concepts. It also exceeded in explaining EACH answer in depth (A, B, C, and D) and why it was right or wrong, in addition to a general paragraph about the question. I took all the full simulated exams (1 each Friday) and also took 40 question quizzes (M–Th, per weekly knowledge area).

TIP: In any practice test, if you see acronyms outside of WBS or contract types (CPIF, etc.), it’s a red flag and quite possibly a poor practice test. I saw no acronyms on my exam, other than those 2.

TIP: Take simulated tests at a library or somewhere in public where people are walking around, not in the comfort of your home or office. You’re going to be a little uncomfortable at Pearson’s testing centers, so you want to be a little uncomfortable in a public place to practice.

TIP: Do a brain dump at the beginning of each simulated test while the clock is running. Mine included the Process Group/Knowledge Area table plus 22 formulas. It took me 15 minutes.

TIP: Stop using the Strikethrough feature in the last couple of simulated exams you do. Strikethrough wasn’t a feature on my exam. I got used to using it and it took me longer to sort out the answers without it.

TIP: I couldn’t finish all the simulated exams. I took a screen shot of each unfinished question just before an exam ended so I could go back and answer them after-the-fact without the answer showing.

—PM PrepCast Forum
PMP® Exam Lessons Learned was my go-to forum category. I am grateful for it. I’m sharing what I wish I had known before starting preparation for the exam.

3) Andy Crowe’s book, $63.74
The PMP Exam, 6th ed.
Read the entire book.

4) BrainBOK ITTO Explorer, $69.99
BrainBOK ITTO Explorer
SELECT: PMP, Premium, 120 days
Used frequently to understand the connections between the ITTOs and processes.

5) Rita Mulcahy’s book, $76.00
PMP® EXAM PREP, 9th ed
Used only for reference.

6) PMBOK® Process Explorer, FREE
PMBOK® Process Explorer
Interactive ITTO and Process tool. Love it!

7) Aileen Ellis videos, FREE
Aileen Ellis: PMP® Certification
90 videos, 2-5 minutes long, with good instruction. Subscribed for free to see all 90 videos. Watched more than half.

8 ) PMBOK® Guide and Agile Practice Guide, $49.99 + $12 shipping for PMI members
PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition
I downloaded the free pdfs from PMI, bought the paperback versions from PMI, and used them only for reference.

PRO: Free pdf download of the PMBOK and Agile Practice Guide for PMI members.
CON: Free pdf is password protected, so you must enter a password every time you open it. I added my password to the file name in case I forgot it.
CON: Free pdf is secured, so you can’t copy and paste text from it.

9) Flashcards
I made my own flashcards. When a concept was new and when I missed a question on the simulator, it was an automatic flashcard. Made 300 in all.


End of Part 1 of 4: Study Aides
Last edit: by Lisa Sweeney.
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