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TOPIC: Passed on First Attempt - Study Guide and Tips

Passed on First Attempt - Study Guide and Tips 4 months 1 week ago #22380

  • KAYTI MCRUSSO-KEIM
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I completed the exam on 7/16 after studying for 3 months, including watching the PrepCast video course for my 35 hours.

One of my biggest tips is to schedule that exam as soon as possible. I really dedicated to studying the first two months and had difficulty maintaining motivation in the home stretch. Even if you can’t complete your application right away, set your timeline and pace your study guide to allow you to stay engaged all the way to exam day.

On to the study plan:
I spent about 3 hours a day moving through the PrepCast videos which were a good foundation for the material. I initially tried following along in the PMBOK but gave up on that, I don’t think it’s necessary reading for most.

The video by Richard Vargas was really helpful for organizing knowledge areas and understanding them in context, and I watched that through a couple times:

The Mainline video by Paizion was also helpful in providing additional context:


I downloaded the PMP study app for mini quizzes whenever I had some spare time and while it’s not a perfect tool, I definitely benefited from an easy way to answer questions and study explanations. I recommend something similar to stay engaged with the material even when you can’t carve out time at a desktop.

I did about a dozen PrepCast quizzes of 20-30 questions, some timed, some not, and scored an average of 75%. I did one full length exam with the PrepCast simulator and scored 79%. I do recommend more than one full length exam - building that stamina is a huge component of the exam. Studying why your answers were right/wrong is essential and more beneficial than just shotgunning quizzes.

I decided against the PMI practice questions after seeing so many people report being discouraged by their results. I figured keeping my nerves at bay would be more beneficial.

I really thought the PrepCast questions were a good representation of the real exam. The biggest thing is knowing what process group you’re in and what that means for your workflow - many questions will either explicitly state or make very clear what process you’re in and 9 times out of 10 you can eliminate half the answers based on that alone. ITTOs aren’t expressly important, but you need to know what other resources you will and won’t have available to you for a given task. For example, if you’re creating the quality management plan, you don’t yet have quality metrics.

On that note, my second biggest tip is to know the purpose and distinction of each concept, i.e., qualitative vs. quantitative analysis, control vs. manage quality, communications vs. stakeholder engagement plan. There are a lot of questions that are clearly testing if you know the difference between similar tools and processes, just knowing the key point of each will go a long ways. I didn’t need to calculate any formulas in my exam but you should know the relationship between variables and how to interpret them, I.e., the effect of earned value, the meaning of a CPI above/below 1.

I hope this helps, reading through others' study guides was immensely helpful to me in preparing and I'm thrilled to be able to contribute mine.

Passed on First Attempt - Study Guide and Tips 4 months 1 week ago #22392

  • Lisa Sweeney PMP
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Congratulations, Kayti!!

I agree with you on so many points:

• Yes, PM PrepCast simulated tests and quizzes are a good representation of the real exam.
• Yes, I also spent about several hours a day going through the PrepCast videos which were a good foundation for the material.
• And yes, this forum helped me immensely when trying to understand the best way to prepare, too.

Thank you for sharing your Lessons Learned and I wish you all the best, Kayti McRusso-Keim, PMP!

Passed on First Attempt - Study Guide and Tips 3 months 3 weeks ago #22639

  • Mariel Paige
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Great info in here! Thank you so much for providing! Congratulations on passing!!
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