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TOPIC: Thank you Cornelius and PM Prepcast Team!

Thank you Cornelius and PM Prepcast Team! 8 months 3 weeks ago #19433

  • Edward Andrews
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I passed the PMP exam on 12/21/2019 (All AT) on my first attempt.

First of all, I have to thank Cornelius and the entire PM Prepcast Team.
The prepcast walked me through the entire process from application to test day.
Cornelius is now quite the celebrity in my household.
I also want to thank my wife and two sons for all their support.

I have 20 years of experience managing agile software development projects but all at the same company.
So originally I decided to pursue the PMP as a way to externally validate my experience and further my career.
Once I realized how much work was involved I nearly changed my mind but resolved to go forward with it as a personal challenge.

My journey started 300 days ago when I first started planning.
To get the support of my wife I promised that my studies would never interfere with planned family events.
So my approach was similar to taking a two semester class with a final exam.

My study materials included:
PMBOK Guide (with Agile Practice Guide),
PM Prepcast (Videos, Formula Guide, Exam Simulator),
Rita Mulcahy’s Exam Prep,
The Internet,
Quizlet,
PM Sheet iOS App,
PMBOK Process Explorer (acethepmpexam.com),
Exam Content Outline,
Code of Ethics, and
PM Lexicon and Glossary.

I wanted to get my application accepted ASAP so I first listened to the Prepcast videos everywhere I went to fulfill the training requirement.
The application process was a project by itself (even without getting audited). The Prepcast was a huge help for this also!

With my application approved I then broke the material down into 14 “chapters” following the PMBOK guide along with Ethics and Agile.
For each chapter I would study the equivalent section in PMBOK, Rita, and the PrepCast.
With my very busy schedule this took me between 1 to 3 weeks per chapter.
Each increment concluded with a quiz from the Prepcast and a test from Rita. My combined average score was 88% +-12.

Once I covered all the material I entered a testing phase.
I took the Prepcast Pre Assessment test (in my case a Post Assessment) and scored 85% which gave me the confidence
to schedule the real exam 40 days out.
Over this time I took all 7 of the “normal” exams from the Simulator (87, 90.5, 86, 91, 88, 89.5, 86.5).
Between attempts I would spend more time going over the results than I did taking the exams.
Other than that, I just tried to quickly review all the material as a refresh.
I also focussed more on the ITTOs based on my test results.

The downside to taking such a slow and steady approach is the pressure I felt as the exam date approached.
I don’t know how I would face my family, friends, and colleagues if I didn’t pass.
I can’t remember the last time I was so nervous, despite feeling well prepared.

My Pearson Vue testing center was in Boynton Beach, FL.
I definitely recommend driving to the test center a week ahead of time to help stay relaxed on test day.
The staff were professional and friendly, but the testing conditions were not ideal.
You are seated right next to other test takers who come and go with only a desk divider as separation.
Be prepared for lots of distractions. I used the noise cancelling headphones which helped with the sounds but not the smells.
Also after a few hours the headphones started to give me a headache.
I was explicitly told that a Brain Dump was not allowed during the tutorial.
didn’t use any of my test time for one nor did I take any breaks since I knew I would need all my time.

The PMP exam itself is very unique.
Almost all the questions I got were situational and vague: what should the project manager do next or what is the best resolution to a problem.
It forces you to apply everything you learned. I received a lot of Integrated Change Control Questions and Risk related questions.
The Closing questions are very tricky.
In general, it helps to assume you are the project manager for an international multi-million dollar project
working in a matrix organization that follows the PMBOK guide like it is a bible.
The Simulator tests do a great job of approximating the experience
except the real questions are even more confusing and I only used the calculator once.

The Simulator will also help you determine what testing approach works well for you.
I prefer to not rush and not expect a lot of time to review marked questions.
This nearly backfired as I finished the exam with 10 seconds to spare!
At this point I was emotionally spent and wasn’t feeling confident in my result. So I just watched the time tick down, took a deep breath,
and clicked continue. I think I reread the congratulations message five times as a few tears ran down my cheek.
Based on the Exam Result Report you get via email it appears I performed as well on the real test as the simulated exams
which is further evidence for the quality of the PrepCast products.

Good luck to all you aspirants!

Thank you Cornelius and PM Prepcast Team! 8 months 2 weeks ago #19523

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 5
  • Thank you received: 39
Congratulations!
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Elizabeth Harrin
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