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TOPIC: Passed 1st attempt

Passed 1st attempt 2 weeks 2 days ago #18698

  • Randy Tan
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After 4 months of putting life on hold while I studied my a$$ off I took the PMP exam on 10/5 and passed! I had to postpone taking the test about 1 month because we bought a house and had to do all the requisite packing and moving.
It’s such a relief – I literally have not seen a movie or a tv show during this time.

Here is what I did to prepare:
1. Read Andy Crowe’s book and took the quizzes at the end of each chapter. I didn’t retain much, reading dry material (although much less dry than the PMBOK guide) doesn’t work for me.
2. Took the NC PMI PMP Prep course using the Crosswind manual.
3. Had 2 sessions with a tutor from the Prep course which helped clarify the material.
4. Purchased Andrew Ramadayal’s PMP prep questions book. This helped but I felt the questions were too leading. The book had too many typo’s and missing answers for me to recommend.
5. Purchased Scordo’s book and went from scoring ~65% to ~85% over after about 600 questions. I still felt like the correct answer was a bit too easy to pick out and many of the questions were wordy – not like the lessons learned descriptions from the people who recently took the test.
6. After reading the PMP prep and lessons learned on Reddit, I saw many people recommending PM Prepcast. I tried the free 120 question exam on the Prepcast website and scored 62%.  This convinced me to purchase the test simulator access. Overall this was the game changer – the questions and feel of the simulator were similar to the actual exam. The exam looked and felt familiar after using this simulator for ~ 1600 questions. In the end I was scoring about 75% – 85%.

The Exam:
1. Overall experience at Pearson was good. I went the week before and verified I was on the list. I was given good hints like leave my cell phone in the car, have clothes with minimal pockets, no collared shirt, etc. They provide 3 large dry erase sheets, marker, calculator and ear plugs or ear muffs. I elected to use ear muffs even though I knew they would be more uncomfortable because they are better at blocking sound.
2. The questions are short – most are 2 sentences with a few 3 sentences. About 5-6 calculations (fairly basic SPI, CPI, TCPI, etc).
3. I marked and skipped any 3 sentence questions or more complex equations. The thought is get to the questions I should get correct and put difficult questions at the end.
4. Overall the test felt medium difficult with a fair amount of ‘tricky’ questions. There weren’t any ‘what is the least likely’ questions. I don’t remember any agile questions – as other lessons learned posts also mention.
5. A lot of questions were vague with ‘what should the PM do first’ or ‘how could this have been prevented’.

In the end I finished with 4 AT’s and 1 BT (initiating – strangely one of my strongest KA’s). When I clicked ‘end’ and got the ‘congratulations’ statement I was so tired that I read the sentence 3 times thinking it was another trick question. Many thanks to all the lessons learned posters and PM Prepcast!

Randy Tan, PMP
The following user(s) said Thank You: Binh Tran, ROYSTEN DSOUZA
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