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TOPIC: Passed On 1st Attempt Online Exam(Sort of)

Passed On 1st Attempt Online Exam(Sort of) 1 week 2 days ago #21984

  • Alexander Martin
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First, PrepCast and the Exam Simulator was essential to my success! Thank you to Cornelius and the team for putting together great material.

I learned so much about my study habits while studying for the exam. As I kept studying the material, I would realize better ways to understand the material. I'll give you the tips that helped me prepare and then get into my 1.5 attempts at taking the exam.

Study Tips in this order:
1. Read the PMBOK - The dictionary could be more interesting but power through as much as you can stand and take notes. It will be interesting to compare your notes as you progress through your study plan.
2. Read Head First - PMP, 4th Edition - It's a little cartoonish and goofy but I found that's what helped me remember and put the PMBOK into context. Compare your notes to your PMBOK notes.
3. Start your PrepCast Modules and take a practice Exam or quizzes once a week. When you use the simulator for quizzes, I suggest including content from Exam 8. I regret waiting until the end of my study plan to take the 8th exam. You want to get those ITTO down right from the beginning!! So important.
4. Review notes, exam questions you got wrong, and reference the PMBOK while doing it. When going back to PMBOK after going through PrepCast and Head First, the PMBOK didn't seem like that hard of a read. I realized I had missed a lot of important material.

Online Exam Experience:
Scheduling it, no issues. Email correspondence leading up to the exam, reminders and instructions on how to test your computer for compatibility, easy and helpful. THE DAY OF, I was the Mayor of Stress City. I checked in 45 minutes early to submit room photos, ID information, etc. It starts recording me and the online proctor comes on my audio to say he's going to check everything and will load my exam. At this time I'm "under the rules" of taking the test, that means no phones, stay in view of the camera. I sit there for almost AN HOUR and nothing happens. Then an error screen comes up and says to reschedule the exam. Panic.

I call PearsonVue, super long hold so I get on the online chat. PearsonVue tells me to contact PMI so they can reset my authorization code. I finally get through to PMI, they ask if I have a case number, I didn't. He says it will take 10 working days to reset. This was a Friday. On Sunday I get an email that says I never showed up to the exam and I'll have to pay another fee to retake it. More Panic. (I later learned that was just an automated email)

I decide to call PMI that Tuesday to check on the status of my new authorization code, fully expecting them to tell me to be patient. After 21 minutes on hold, some nice gentleman resets my code within a few hours!! I was able to reschedule my exam that day for the following week. Lesson here - FOLLOW UP with a phone call. Don't wait on them to contact you.

Took the exam a week later. No issues checking in or loading the exam. The question structure was slightly different from the exam simulator. Be prepared to read quickly. It seemed like the questions and answer choices were very long. Barely had any time to review my answers. The 10 minute break was nice.

The "Congratulations" screen came up so fast after I clicked finish, I didn't even know what happened! I was expecting a delay for calculating my answers. It all worked out in the end but everything happened for a reason. I used that extra week of studying to tighten up my Tools & Techniques.

Hope that was helpful. Best of luck to everyone out there.

Alexander Martin, PMP

Passed On 1st Attempt Online Exam(Sort of) 1 week 1 day ago #21993

  • Gabriella Dellino, PMP
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Great job, congratulations on passing the PMP exam... even more after so much struggle!
And thanks for sharing your lessons learned.

Gabriella Dellino, PhD, PMP
PMPrepCast Community Moderator

Passed On 1st Attempt Online Exam(Sort of) 1 week 1 day ago #21994

  • Thiago França, PMP®
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Hi, Alexander,

Congratulation on this great achievement! 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.
Thank you for your recognition of PM PrepCast materials and simulator. Our team will celebrate your success.

I would like to ask some questions for you:
1) How many exam tests with 4 hours duration did you take before the real PMP exam?
2) How you studied and improved your exam results? Did you consider wrong and flagged questions?
3) What was your trigger to understand that you are ready to schedule your PMP exam?
4) Did you have any memorization tip that was helpful for you to memorize the PMBOK?
5) Did you follow any strategy to control the race clock in the PMP exam and your answering pace?


[email protected] 5 days 5 hours ago #22061

  • Anonymous
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Happy to help!

1) I took all 4 hour practice exams on the Exam Simulator (8). After I finished all 8, I took 2 timed quizzes of 100 questions. All of this 2 months before the real exam.
2) I first studied the answers I got wrong and went back to review those areas in my notes and the PMBOK. I then went back to the the answers I got right and were flagged to make sure I didn't just make a lucky guess.
3) My trigger may sound strange: I was starting to over think the right answers and get questions wrong in areas that I had previously had no issues with. Almost like analysis paralysis. I was studying my mind numb.
4) My personal opinion, PMBOK is very difficult to memorize and don't recommend that folks dine in expecting to be able to do that. I focused more on understanding the "why" and "how" of the PMBOK. Although, the most helpful diagram to memorize is the Project Management process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping. I still have it on my wall!
5) The strategy I had was trashed once the exam started. I honestly didn't expect the questions AND answers to be so long. Best strategy, if it's a long question, read the last sentence of it first, then start from the beginning of the question. And you just have to train yourself to be super focus, pick out key words that identify what Knowledge area and process group you're in.

Hope that's helpful,
- Alexander
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