Congratulations! Let us know your lessons learned and how our products have helped you prepare.
Please remember that you are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that you encounter on the exam.

TOPIC: Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 3 months 5 hours ago #21839

  • Tales Prado Thomaz
  • Tales Prado Thomaz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 8
  • Thank you received: 1
Lessons learned about whole PMP exam experience

1-) Application process:
read this link: www.project-management-prepcast.com/how-...-the-pmp-application
I used it to fill my application and it has everything you need to know with examples. What I would add here is that I didn't realize I would not need to add all my project experience (I had it everything typed and ready to be added). See below one of the projects that I used in my project experience (and to note that this is a real PMP experience example so that you can get an idea of the way to phrase your own experience to best show off your skills)

Initiating the Project 178.00 // Planning the Project 891.00//Executing the Project891.00//
Controlling and Monitoring the Project1247.00//Closing the Project 356.00//
Project Role Project Leader
Objective: Implement upgrades associated with environmental requirements in coal fired Power Plant.Outcome: New installations will avoid downtime of critical equipment.IN: Identified risks and opportunities, documented assumptions. PL: Detailed and developed schedule for outage activities, integrated subcontract schedule. EX: Negotiated contracts, procured equipment and materials. MC:Controlled construction production, scope changes and monitored risks. CL Obtained final completion certificate of acceptance, updated lessons learned

Once you click to start your application you will have 90 days to finish it and submit, so it's recommended to have your experience summary and records ready before starting it. I submitted my application on 3/14/2020, and on 3/16/2020 I received an email saying my application was accepted.

2-) Studying:
Once my application was accepted, I decided to give myself 3 months to prepare (based on what I read in blogs about how much time would be needed). It's definitely possible to be ready for the exam earlier than that, depending on how much work experience you have with the exam content and how much time you have to study.
Did the self-assessment provided by the pmpprepcast, scored 52%. So this gave me a baseline and an idea that several questions could be considered common sense and I also noticed my knowledge gaps.
It’s very important to look at your own experience and be critical and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. I work in the Construction industry (large, heavy industrial projects) and almost all my experience comes from working in projects that were required by another organization and we are executing. I knew that I already have a strong knowledge in scheduling and cost control, rolling-wave planning for example but very little knowledge in Agile and some of its practices. English is not my first language, but I believe this had no impact in my study process or in the exam itself. If you are curious about my experience, or want to ask any questions you can check my linkedin profile and send me a message @: www.linkedin.com/in/tales-prado-thomaz-pmp-6a287621

Developed a study plan that involved having contact with materials every single day until exam day:
First 6 weeks I did the video lessons and their follow-up tests
7 weeks on Rita’s book creating my own notes, with time on forums checking content, and the other materials mentioned
Planned to do 1 full exam every Sunday and checking my answers during the week
Time studying: 1-2h hours from Mon-Thurs.3-4h on Fridays, 4h Saturdays, 4h Sundays for about 3 months. I don’t think I would have any further significant benefit by having studied more time, there is a point that you have to test yourself as you are not really learning much more.

Material used: PMBOK 6th edition, pmpprepcast videos (I also used the pmpprepcast to fulfill my 35h of contact required to sit for the PMP exam), Rita Mulcahy’s book, PMBOK® Guide 6th Ed Processes Explained! By Ricardo Vargas:
, free exam prep package from www.projectprep.org/ (used to refer back to the ITTOs, not much though), this website to check documents contents etc www.acethepmpexam.com/ppe/project%20documents.html , PMPprepcast exam simulator, PMPprepcast forum about lessons learned(there are some great ones) and forum w/ questions, www.reddit.com/r/pmp/ has more lessons learned and discussions, PMP exam outline (yes read it as it clarifies what the PMI is actually evaluating), I also downloaded an app to do some free question before sleeping, but they were too easy and for that motive I will not recommend this app, Created my own notes with a summary things that I believed I had to remember about each chapter. I read quite a few lessons learned from the pmpprepcast but at some point I stopped reading them because I felt like most of the ones that I was reading actually overkilled the study process apparently, and the fact that a lot of those people seemed to have studied way more than I was proposing to myself it wasn’t going to help my confidence.
My use and about the materials (this is my honest opinion, I’m not trying to be pretentious, and I’m not trying to sound like I know more than the authors or be ):
PMBOK -did not read it fully, but is the best source for definitions, end up using the pdf(ctrl+f feature makes life easier) quite often, to circle back on definitions, check ITTOs, read and understand Agile, as I don’t have the experience in using it. I also used it to follow the prepcast video lessons and read more about each topic. Even though this is an excellent, precise and solid book I would like to see a clarification on either page 38 or 39 when EEFs and OPAs are defined because at this moment in the book I was not able to understand that not all policies are OPAs, yes you read it correctly: not all policies are OPAs, on page 339 “ human resource management policies regarding hiring and termination” are cited as EEFs and input to Develop Teams. Anyway, for me they could improve these 2 pages to better define and or provide more examples or show exceptions/ explain exceptions.
Rita’s book: this is book is recommended by a lot of people and I can see its value but it’s amazing that this book is on it’s 9th edition and it’s completely plagued with typos, and it has some actual content errors. And just to prove my point here is the biggest mistake I saw in this book and from that point on I did not trust it anymore: the book presents a couple examples of Projects Charters, and in both example the Business Case is shown in the Charter which is incorrect, Business case is an input and it not added to the Charter itself, please check page 81 of the PMBOK to see the Charter content. The value of this book for me was in seeing the content through another explanation and this can be helpful to understand better each chapter and it great tables comparing Plan Quality Mgmt vs Control Quality vs Manage Quality or Plan Procurement vs Conduct Procurement vs Control Procurement
Ricardo’s video: very useful to understand how the process happen in the project, as the PMBOK has to be written in a sequence of chapter this video shows how the process are tied together and maybe shows a suggestion of how the PMBOK could be organized if it was organized in a tentative of chronological sequence
Exam simulator: as everybody here say, this is a must because of the whole experience of having a timed exam, and provides great feedback as you can see what areas and process you are scoring better or worse. Furthermore, the explanations to each alternative are detailed noting which page of the book you should refer to, this helps to obtain a greater and deeper understanding of all the content, and every time I would make a mistake it helped me to improve upon it. There are a few questions that I think are a bit to deep in the weeds, but it was all a part of my learning experience. It was a great tool also to bring back my “testing mentality”, sustaining focus for a long period of time, reading everything with attention etc… I would also recommend marking all questions you would like to take a second look regardless of your belief if you are selecting the correct alternative or not, this helped me go back and read what comments the prepcast team had added to the alternatives of that interesting question.
Simulator results:
Exam 1: 81.5%//Exam 2: 74.5% // Exam 3: 76.5% // Exam 4: 73% // Exam 5: 77%// Exam 6: 80.5% // Exam 7: 80%// Exam:8 did not do it, as I felt it could affect my confidence and I believed memorizing ITOOs would not help.
I will not comment if the simulator is similar to the exam or not.
Please understand that you will need to agree to the 4 terms from the Candidate Security Acknowledgment noted in the PMP handbook ( www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public...7d-aeca-c6efd2667494 )
One of these paragraphs reads:
“2. I understand that PMI exams are confidential. I will not discuss or disclose the questions, content, or answers from my examination to any person or company, including other candidates, education providers, or exam preparation services, at any time.”
3-) PMP Exam experience: First of all I had decided to do the exam at the exam center because I wanted to minimize the risk of have a power outage or connection issues, and I also wanted to have access to a sketch page as I thought it could help me in some question (yes I did use it), but I also had to consider that the VU Pearson Center was requiring candidates to wear a mask all the time, which end up not being a big deal.
I had to take of my glasses to be inspected for hidden devices (I guess) I was not allowed to take anything to the testing room but a pen, my id, and a couple of plastic sheets to write on.
I felt stressed and did not know if I would pass or not until I actually received the result after submitting my answers. I had not planned to review my answers and as such I knew I needed to answer in average 50 questions per hours. Remember that now there is a scheduled break after you submit your 90th answer, you can’t go back to review those first 90 answers and you can take a 10 min break or resume your test immediately I believe.
I used every minute and had almost no spare time when I finished the last question.
My result:
Passed my first attempt with: Initiating: BT / Planning: T / Executing: T / M&C: AT /Closing: AT

4- ) After test: There is a survey that demonstrated/suggested to me that the PMI is possibly concerned about wording the exams questions in a clear manner and maintaining a basic level of evaluation
Exam center provided me a exam report with my pass result and level of performance as shown above.
Did my exam on a Friday morning, 6/12/2020. On Tuesday 6/16, I was able to see another exam report with more details about my performance and download a pdf of my certificate
On 6/18 PMI sent me an email to claim my electronic pmp badge to facilitate third parties to verify my PMP credential.

Good luck
Attachments:
Last edit: by Tales Prado Thomaz.

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 2 months 4 weeks ago #21845

  • Thiago França, PMP®
  • Thiago França, PMP®'s Avatar
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 1
  • Thank you received: 36
Hi, Tales,

Congratulation on this great achievement! It is excellent to see another Brazilian getting the PMP.

Now, it's time to celebrate this remarkable certification.

Thanks for sharing your massive list of tips with our PMP aspirants. I am sure that you are going to help many students in the world.

I have some questions for you:
1) How many exam tests with 4 hours duration did you take before the real PMP exam?
2) What was your trigger to understand that you are ready to schedule your PMP exam?
3) Did you have any memorization tip that was helpful for you to memorize the PMBOK?

Regards,

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 2 months 4 weeks ago #21846

  • Tales Prado Thomaz
  • Tales Prado Thomaz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 8
  • Thank you received: 1
Thanks Thiago! Yes, let's go Brazil! I just checked your Linkedin and we are both Electrical Engineers :)

1-) I took 7 4-hour duration tests (only prepcast tests).
2-)Tricky question, because we don't have access to actual exams to know for sure. I believe once I noticed I wasn't learning anything else new (maybe I would forget something I had read, but I could recognize the topic etc), and my simulator scores were not improving much as well. On top of that after that I had reviewed the whole content and my notes were ready, I felt ready. In summary the trigger would be finishing a second review of the whole content and having my notes ready
3-) My recommendation would be: once you are reviewing the content for the second time take your own notes. In my notes I would not have anything that I felt I knew from experience but I would have everything that I felt was critical to know for the exam (i.e. content of a Charter, elements included in the baselines , etc).For EV formulas, I started writing everything down a couple times a day during my last week before the exam (there aren't many, specially if you realize that Estimated To Complete formulas are equal Estimated At Completion - Actual Cost. In summary note taking helped me memorize those critical things.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Thiago França, PMP®

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 2 months 4 weeks ago #21850

  • Deepan Shanmugam
  • Deepan Shanmugam's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 5
  • Thank you received: 0
Hi Tales,
Congratulations for becoming a PMP, I have a question - Are they providing work out sheets., i heard they stopped providing work sheets and candidates were requested to use the online whiteboard integrated with the system. Please clarify.

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 2 months 4 weeks ago #21853

  • Tales Prado Thomaz
  • Tales Prado Thomaz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 8
  • Thank you received: 1
Hi Deepan,

at the VU Pearson Center where I took the exam(in the US) they provided a couple of plastic sheets with a sharpie style pen and the Exam coordinator even said he could give me more sheets if I needed. I'm not sure if this varies between countries. You can probably call your test center to clarify what policy they are required to follow. I also had access to a on-screen calculator.

Lessons learned - Passed Exam 6/12 at Exam Center 2 months 4 weeks ago #21886

  • Thiago França, PMP®
  • Thiago França, PMP®'s Avatar
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 1
  • Thank you received: 36
Hi, Tales,

Yes, we are both electrical engineers. :-)

Nice to meet you and have your friendship on Linkedin.

Thanks for answering the questions. I am sure that many PMP candidates would love to read your tips.

Regards,
Moderators: Yolanda MabutasMary Kathrine PaduaJohn Paul BugarinKyle Kilbride, PMP

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

Login