Reply: Passed PMP Exam Online with AT Overall (AT/AT/AT/AT/BT) on the First Attempt

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Topic History of : Passed PMP Exam Online with AT Overall (AT/AT/AT/AT/BT) on the First Attempt

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4 months 1 week ago #21762

Elena Mekhanoshina

Elena Mekhanoshina's Avatar

No, you can't select how many questions you answer before the break. It is only the option after the first 90 questions, and once you take the break, you can't return to these 90 questions for review.
4 months 1 week ago #21746


's Avatar

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your experience on taking the exam.

I'm curious about the 10-minute break after 90 questions.
Is the 90 questions pre-defined as the first part of the exam before a break?
Or is there an option to set how many questions before you take a break?
4 months 1 week ago #21737

Elena Mekhanoshina

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I started preparation for PMP in mid-March 2020 and passed the online exam on June 12. It took me almost 3 months to prepare, with 1 hour of daily preparation on average. I believe this is an optimal preparation timing: less might be not enough while more will tend toward over-studying.

Believe it or not, I've never fully read PMBOK. I only read parts of it when I had specific questions on specific terms, conditions, situations, etc. PM Prep Cast videos, as well as multiple YouTube materials and practice questions available on different sites, were enough to realize my gaps and work on closing them out.
When I did the PM PrepCast pre-course assessment, I scored 40% on the first 10 questions. This is where I started my preparations back in March. I continuously studied and kept increasing my numbers and my confidence. During my last mock exam (Exam #3, took on June 5), I scored 86.5%. On the real exam, my overall score and the score for all knowledge areas except Closing was Above Target. For the Closing knowledge area, I scored Below Target - which is quite interesting, as I scored 100% (15/15) for questions in the Closing area on my last mock exam and felt pretty confident.

Exam questions were not easy. If you tried PM PrepCast Simulator, you can expect about the same or even more challenging. There were many of them that were quite ambiguous - I would even try to relieve my stress by thinking, "This must be one of those 25 experimental questions that don't count" :) Around a dozen questions were about Agile but quite strangely worded, too. Surprisingly, there were quite a few questions on the benefits management plan. There was only 1 question that required calculation.

Some additional notes on the online exam (Pearson):
  1. Be prepared that about 5-10 minutes of your total exam time can be easily spent on communicating with proctors. Several times I was contacted not to cover my mouth with hand (a bad habit of mine, to keep hands around my mouth - even COVID-19 couldn't help). Another time I was contacted that they need to re-launch my exam (and restart from where I left off) because they had issues connecting to my camera. Every time it takes seconds or sometimes even minutes of your exam. It is also a disturbance as you lose your concentration for a moment, and also can add up to your nervousness. When they contact you through chat, the time of the exam does NOT stop. Just be mentally prepared and stay tough.
  2. A 10-minute break after 90 questions DOES stop the clock of the exam. You can be assured that 240 minutes of the exam time is safe, and break time doesn't count towards these 240 minutes. Btw, it would be good to implement on mock exams - I tried to follow the same pattern when I practiced so I gave myself a break after 90 questions, but the exam time on PM PrepCast Simulator does NOT stop.
  3. The remaining time is clocked as mm:ss (starting at 240:00) on the real exam. In the simulator, it is hh:mm:ss (starting at 04:00:00). I found it challenging to adjust, as I had to recalculate the remaining minutes all the time during my exam. I wasn't prepared for that.
  4. Whiteboard is OK. Usability is not very convenient but at least you can switch to Text mode and start typing. You can even use it as a dump sheet after the start of the exam as whatever you entered will be preserved. I couldn't find, though, how to erase text, so by the end of the exam Whiteboard became cluttered. Anyway, you can move Whiteboard around, so that you see the question and whiteboard at the same time and can type in Whiteboard still seeing the question.
  5. Calculator is OK. It doesn't show the button during the tutorial but it is always available when answering questions.
  6. Strike-through works differently - you have to select the text, then press Strike-through button in the toolbar. To undo, you have to repeat the same steps. It's very inconvenient. I tried to practice it during the tutorial but decided not to use it at all during the exam. There is the same working feature for highlighting text.
  7. During the whole exam you will see a small window with yourself on camera with a red sign Recording. You can't close this window. It is quite distracting - I would prefer not to see myself during the exam.

The tutorial to fill in the PMP application was very helpful: . Just note that PMP application requirements ask for a minimum of 3 years of project management experience AND 4,500 hours spent leading and directing projects. It's not OR. Please pay attention that both conditions must be fulfilled. It's not highlighted in this tutorial, and I stumbled on this step when filling up my PMP application.

Good luck with your preparations for getting PMP certified!

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