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TOPIC: Online PMP Exam - Passed AT on May 22, 2020

Online PMP Exam - Passed AT on May 22, 2020 3 months 3 weeks ago #21270

  • Charlotte Chandler
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I took the PMP Exam online this past Friday May 22, 2020 and here are my takeaways.

First, I passed the exam Above Target (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Closing domains- Above Target, Monitoring & Controlling domains - Target)--I was very relieved to see the Congratulations message at the end of the exam!

Exam Application
- Exam Application took me several weeks to complete- definitely more time intensive than I expected.
- Make an Excel document of your experience and hours and split out hours by the different domains by project -- this is the process that takes the most time
- Make sure to describe your PM hour experience using PMI terminology
- I was not audited, so I cannot speak to that process.

Exam Prep
- I started studying back in January 2020 with an original exam date of March 27th, 2020. My exam was cancelled due to COVID twice (April 24th was my rescheduled date) before online PMP exam was an option. I finally scheduled my online exam for May 22, 2020
- I purchased the PM PrepCast and Exam Simulator.
- I started by listening to the PM PrepCast as a podcast on my commutes and watching lessons on my lunch break
- I also downloaded several PMP question apps for my iPhone (Pocket Prep was one of them). I found that in the first few months I was more likely to study in small increments (e.g. 10-15 questions on the app, a lesson on my commute, etc.). This helped me become more familiar with the domains, knowledge areas, key ITTOs, and terminology.
- I took the pre-test for Prepcast to gauge my knowledge and then a full Exam Simulator test in the first month and scored 69%
- My study plan got derailed slightly by my dad having several surgeries and COVID rescheduling my exam multiple times, so I did not use the Exam Simulator as much as I would have liked since I did find the exams very valuable. I wish I had used the learning quizzes more often since these were super useful and less time consuming than a 4 hour full length exam. I think if these learning quizzes were in an iPhone app, I would have done these way more often since using a phone app seemed more accessible to me than pulling out my computer sometimes.
- I did not read the PMBOK other than the process diagram and glossary.

In my last two weeks of studying I did the following:
- I watched several Youtube videos that were suggested in this forum including the Vargas process video which I found very helpful and practiced writing out the processes/ITTOs (I did not memorize ITTOs but I did end up memorizing the process diagram in the last few days)
- I took the PMI sample exam (200 questions) which was made up of past exam questions- I found this exam to be comparable challenge level to the PM Simulator questions but it did indicate to me that the questions may not be exactly like the simulator and may be more ambiguous / open ended at times.
- I took another full length Exam Simulator in the last few days and scored 84% which gave me confidence for the exam. It is crucial to do several full length exams since half of the challenge for the PMP exam is how exhausting/grueling four hours of timed concentration can be. It also helped me with time management for the exam.
- I used the Rita book in the last week of studying as well and wish I had used it more during my studies. I found how she broke down concepts to be very useful, especially for reviewing some of my weaker areas (indicated by the practice exams)
- I memorized the key formulas (EVM, float, CPI, SPI, CV, SV, etc.)
- I believe 6-8 weeks is all you need for studying and exam preparation. I found that having the prolonged schedule due to COVID hurt my preparations/motivations.

- I ran the system test a few times before my exam.
- Make sure to prep your space / clear out your room (turn off / remove extra monitors, remove study materials, etc.) before you log on 30 minutes prior to exam (I didn't want to feel rushed before starting the exam)
- You will have to take pictures of all four corners of your space, have web cam access, a quiet room and your driver's license. I found the system test/check in pretty straight forward.
- Practice using Paint for questions such as critical path, etc. to prep you for using the Whiteboard in the exam (you can't have scratch paper) - this was challenging to use during the exam. I did use it to draw out something for one question and other than that I just did a brain dump of the formulas as a text box
- The proctor is available via a chat box which was helpful. They were aware of the mandatory 10 minute break included in the online PMP. They did tell me to uncover my hand from my face at some point which was interesting but other than that we did not interact very much.
- You will have a chance to review your questions after question 89 before you start you 10 minute mandatory break. You have to click End Review to begin your break. You cannot go back to these first 89 questions so make sure to leave some time to review your answers before submitting and taking your break.
- I encountered a system error when I came back from my break which really freaked me out but the proctor said it happens all the time and they restarted my exam from where I left off. This was nerve-wracking and took about 5 minutes. I wondered if I would lose that time, but they were able to restart it with the same remaining time from before my break.
-I found the first half of my exam to be way harder than the second half, but this may have been caused by nerves. Second half, I felt much more prepared for based on my exam preparations/exam simulator questions, etc.
-Read questions carefully--I found that good test taking skills and critical reading/thinking can help a lot with this exam in addition to typical preparations
-Have confidence in yourself! If you have prepared sufficiently, you will be successful.

Thank you to the PrepCast team since their material really was the cornerstone of my studies. I definitely think it fit my study style / schedule more than any in person course would have.

Happy Studying!

Charlotte Chandler, MHA, PMP
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jessica Maitte, Shreeraj Pawar

Online PMP Exam - Passed AT on May 22, 2020 3 months 3 weeks ago #21291

  • Yolanda Mabutas
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Hi Charlotte,

Congratulations on your great achievement!
Yolanda Mabutas
OSP International LLC
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

Training for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®