how to pass the PMP ? How to become a PMP ? How to get PMP ?:
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#0 Lesson Learned
Passed PMP -How to prepare for PMP
Asked by radukc on 6/28/2009 12:10 PM
I passed PMP today (first attempt) after several months since I started to study. I would like to thank to everyone who posted PMP study ideas on this forum.
I would like to share few things too:
-I read PMBOK once and a half :).
-I read the Exam Guide by Joseph Phillips and another Exam prep book from a local library.
-I made about 1400 questions (exam questions from the 2 books, PMStudy and some other freely available: Head First, Oliver Lehman, techfaq360.com). I made Head First once more in the last days before exam.
-listened twice PMprepcast by Cornelius Flitcher
-it is a very good idea to register for the exam (let's say in 2 months once you feel you will need 2 months to be ready) - this will motivate you a lot and keep you on track with your study plan :)
Collections of Lesson Learned from PMPExamForum and pmpbest yahoo groups
#1 Lesson Learned
On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM, Janaki Krishnan
Passed PMP yesterday
Hello All -
I have been a passive member of this group for the past 8 weeks and wouldn't have passed my PMP without the help from this group.
I am a PM and have been reluctant about writing PMP for the past 4 years. Last year, I paid the fees and scheduled my exam for the first time in November. Work got busy and I kept postponing my exam from then on and couldn't postpone it any further than August 15th as my eligibility was expiring today. To make matters worse, the PMBOK edition changed as well and I had no option left.
What worked for me:
1. The first thing I did was to sign up for this forum.
2. I was already familiar with the process areas due to my PM experience; however, the PMBOK methodology is very involved and I had to retool myself to think the PMBOK way.
3. I bought Rita's PMP prep book as well the formula guide from Cornelius. On second thought, I should have invested in the PMP prepcast. Rita's book helped me understand PMBOK better, but I was not too crazy about the tone of the book. Also, at times, I found that she did not cover all the PMBOK material.
4. The formula guide gave me very good confidence about all the mathematical stuff needed.Cornelius has done a phenomenal job with it and I was amazed at how thorough it was. I highly recommend it.
5. Tons and Tons of thanks to Fai and Harwinder for their insights and valuable tips on everything. Special thanks to Harwinder's blog, I decided to buy the formula guide based on his rating. Please do not stop contributing to this forum. I was successful only because of you guys.
6. In my personal experience, I found the exam a little easier than the practice stuff I used. PM study free exam came very close to the exam format.
7. One thing to keep in mind is that PMBOK is the bible and any prep material should be considered as a tool to understand the PMBOK.
Practice Material used:
1. Google PMP Question bank. This was a little tough at times. Depending on what I did not know, I would go back and review the concepts.
2. Cornelius questions from the formula guide for all formulae.
3. Oliver Lehman
4. PM Study
6. Headfirst PMP 3rd edition practice exam
What I would do differently:
1. Try more sample questions.
2. I really wish I had spent less time studying the PMP prep material and had spent more time on the PMBOK.
#2 Lesson Learned
I passed my PMP certification exam yesterday.
I can comfortably say that my preparation were on the mark for the exam. I did
the following in preparation for the exam:
1. Became member of PMI as well as Huston Chapter
2. Attended 4 day PMP Exam prep course by PMI Houston chapter from June 22-25.
(Actually conducted by PMOTOGO)
3. Prepared my online application.
4. Purchased Rita Mulcahy PMP exam prep book, Flash cards and PM FASTrack
simulation package for $499.
5. Purchased PMBOK processes and terminologies audio (mp3 downloads)
6. Read Rita Mulcahy PMP exam prep book along with PMBOK first round, took one 4
hr test on simulation software. (Scored 68%)
7. Read Rita Mulcahy PMP exam prep book without PMBOK second round, took one 4
hr on simulation software. (Scored 78%)
8. Listened to audio files 2-3 times while driving and while working out in the
9. Read Project Management Institute, Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
10. Took the exam and passed with better result than I expected.
1. Rita Mulcahy PMP exam prep book, especially the 30-40 question tests at the
end of every chapter. This book really prepares you for the exam.
What did not help?
1. Flash cards (I did not find them easy to use, hence did not even use)
2. PM FASTrack simulation. At least 30-40% of the questions you would have done
from the book itself. Even after online update, I doubt there are enough
databases of questions to justify the price.
Overall, from Mid June to Aug 7th. I completed the entire process of becoming a
member to getting certified as PMP.
Hope my input will help.
Wish you all the best. Please feel free to write, if I can be of any help.
#3 Lesson Learned
I passed PMP on Feb-28. I'm silent member of this group. I thank all PMP's who are guiding PMP aspirants.
1. PMPREPCAST- I got 35 contact Hrs through this. I highly recommend this. I gained a lot if benefit. I heard all the long till exam.
2. Andy Crowe- How to pass PMP on your first try. I highly recommend this book. This books makes PMBOK very clear and one can rely on this book for exam preparation. I read twice.
3. Head1st PMP. I highly recommend this book. The presentation in this book is really good. Couple of topics(Quality and RISK) I referred from this book for solid understanding.
4. Rita Mulachy PMP exam prep. I referred this book and felt that I�m not qualified to become PMP as it seems to very tough (It�s not really). I felt presentation in the material is bit complex. I recommend this book for bravehearts
I went through the chapter wise exams in the book and I really appreciate the book the way it makes to think answering from PMP exam point. I recommend PMP aspirants to attempt the chapter wise exams to get the way how PMI expects one to think to become PMP.
5. Last but not least PMBOK guide. I read twice. Don�t forget to read glossary. It�ll help you as flash cards.
1. Chapter wise exams of Kim Heldman and PMI from pmi.org (I�m a PMI member). To gain the understanding of concepts. Kim exams are tough though. They scared me.
1. I did not get any questions based on negations (except, not etc)as we see in sample questions
2. I got very less questions on earned value
3. Over all exam is not easy ..but not very tough.
4. I took 3:30 hrs to complete the exam.
5. End of Exam showed me Congratulations , which is the most happy and unbelieveable moment
Highly recommended Sample tests, I got really benefited
1. http://www.pmstudy.com/verifyLogin1.asp (free membership)
2. http://www.passpm.com/account/login (free membership..but expires in 2 or 3 days)
3. 200 Sample questions from pm-best.com
Best of Luck for all PMP aspirants.
#4 Lesson Learned
Thanks to everyone in the group.Please find summary of my experience for PMP Exam preparation.
6 months from inception of idea till I passed the exam on 13 Jan'09. It could have been done sooner (by at least 2-3 months) maintaining focus throughout.
HeadFirst - Started with this book before attending PMP training classes.
Subscription - Group email@example.com , it has good material and experience sharing.
PM BOK - Skimmed through the book, used pen/highlighter to mark areas in book to revisit and pay more attention to. Re-read it after started taking mock exams.
Training - Mostly theoretical but engaging in a discussion with some background knowledge from earlier readings is helpful in digesting some of concepts.
Rita M. - It's a good book. If I had gone through this book end to end , could helped me score little better.
- Rita's Fast Track
- Questions/Exercise from books available in Books24X7.
- PM Study, Olivermann's , HeadFirst, techfaq360 etc.
- Questions dumps from pmpbest yahoo group and other pmp websites.
Plan well around when to take full length exam and when to take smaller ones.Highlight the areas of strengths and weaknesses. Prepare notes after mock exam results.
- Memorize ITTOs , they are backbone of PMP exam: Mnemonics + Mind Maps + Story building + Making last minutes notes. Whichever one makes sense or used in college/school days. I used them all.
- Build patience of sitting 4 hours. Then review answers of correct as well incorrect answers.
- Earned value numerical questions would definitely be there in exam. Remember formulas!
Word of Advice
There is no single braindump exam which covers all the questions of PMP exam so prepare and understand well the concepts.
Revise , Revise , Revise! It's easy to forget or mix and match ITTOs. A good revising strategy would be helpful.
Studied quick notes prepared during prep, glanced at ITTOs.
Scheduled the exam in morning. Took two breaks. Maintained concentration throughout ....deep breathing and closing eyes for few seconds helps avoid strain.
Started the exam slow and picked up pace later. Completed the exam and 3 hours 15 mins and reviewed marked questions (appx 35).
All the best,
#5 Lesson Learned
I was a silent observer long time. Passes PMP.
study PMBOK book 3-4 times
study Rita Mulcahy's book 1 to 2 times
Don't practice too many questions, practice around 1000 qns good
Become PMI member ASAP. As the portal has lots of valuable stuffs
make use of it.
1. Go to > eReads & Referance : Lots of stuffs / sample questions /
books available for us to read . Make the best use of it
2, Go to PMI.org > Resources > Community Post Archive: Learn the
Every issue has one quiz learn it.
All the best
#6 Lesson Learned
I have been a silent memeber of this group. I was reading all the Q&A and the
useful tips that is shared in this group.
I passed my PMP exam on 13th march .
I thank you all for sharing the useful information on this forum.Now its my turn
to share the lesson learned
I read the PMBOK and Rita's book twice
I did a lot of online exams (techfaq360).
I have been preparing for last 3 months but efficient time was only when i took
10 days off otherwise for the last 2 months it was more of an effort juggling
office work and studies
I would say that I did not find the exam to be easy or too straight.
Reading PMBOK line by line is necessary but still there were question when you
had to think and use your own judgement
So this is all from my side.
Wishing good luck to all the aspiring PMP's
#7 Lesson Learned
I'm glad to inform you that I passed my exam today.I'm sending this note to encourage any potential candidate to go for the exam if they did not make at first attempt, because I did not pass at 1st attempt due to the reasons i will itemise below in my lesson learnt.I will not forget to thank my friend all the way from pakistian that kept calling me and encouraging me in Africa when I failed in my 1st attempt.Thanks Baaqri SRA, he is a resourceful member of this forum.Thanks once again you have exhibited one of code of condut of PMI very well.
My Lesson Learnt
1 Never 'crash' PMP exam due to your tight schedule--I took PMP in my 1st attempt like any other exam that I had done in the past.But I was dazed when I saw my performance. I read Cross WInd ,Tony Johnson from cover to cover like Novel.It was not enough.
2.I discovered that Tony Johnson's book is a good book but it's not enough to pass the exam.Rita approach is the PMI approach and PMI style of wording the questions.Read Rita book and understand it.If you don't have money to buy more of Rita's questions and answers, those ones in the book are sufficient.
3.Never cram any of those input,output, tools and technique, you only need to know what each of these ITTO will do.They willl hardly come simple.They will come in a scenario like form.Just know what they do.
4.Calculation questions are bonus, they are not complex.Just know the relationship and be able to substitue the right value.
5.You can't be inconsistent in your preparation. I took some time off official work to really Identify what I did wrong.And I was able to discover that I concentrated in more in some procees area than other.
6.Goodnews if you don't know before, if you're a member I think you will only pay $275 for your resit.I paid $275.
8.Remember 'almost' and 'I will' can't hit the target.Take the bold step with adequate preparation you will make it.
Feel free to ask me for more information, I will be glad to share knowledge.
#8 Lesson Learned
After dilly dallying for about 6 months, I finally took the plunge yesterday. I will let you know my experience and some of the types of question that I got as well as as some tips.
1. Direct and indirect questions on Earn value - You HAVE to know this very very very well. (The 3 'very's is intentional). There were about 7-8 queries which either were direct or had the terms mentioned in the options.
2. I think there were 2 direct questions on T&T. However a few questions were indirect.
3. A few questions (I think there were 2) on the types of "Power" of the manager.
4. Questions on Motivational theories.
5. Questions on different organizations - matrix, composie balanced etc. There were some direct questions as well as some indirect ones. You need to understand with what org what power does the PM have.
6. 1 question on critical path with calculations.
7. 1 or 2 situational questions on communications.
1. I read through PMBOK and Rita in and out. But still then ended up making some mistakes.
2. I referred 3 books apart from PMBOK - Rita, Kim Heldman and Headfirst. I though Headfirst is the easiest to read. I read it twice that too 2 months before the exam. However the questions mentioned in Headstart will probably fall in the "easy" category. I read Rita throroughly along with the queries. Kim Heldman - I tried the questions that came along with the CD. Also I tries lots of tests that appear in different websites.
3. A booklet of total 8 pages was provided to me. There was some instructions at the top of the first page. I did not even read it.
4. I took a break after answering about 80-90 questions. The next break was after I completed answering all the questions. I finished in almost 3 hours 10 minutes. The rest of the 45 minutes (the break was of 5 minutes) I thought I will revise. However, after 30 minutes I could hardly manage to keep myself going. I clicked the "End". The application asked "Are you sure ?" - or something similar. I clicked "Yes".
5. Then came the most painful part. There were some 9 questions asking for my experience withe exam. I was just eager to know the result. I just kept clicking the first option.
6. Then the most blissful part. It said I PASSED :> The guy over there congratulated me and gave me a printout.
Tips for the exam:
1. SLEEP WELL THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EXAM. I could not sleep during the night (although I tried). I could hardly concentrate looking at the screen after 2 hours. I believe I could have got at least 5 more questions right had I slept well the night before.
2. Read the PMBOK thoroughly.
3. DO NOT MISS THE DIAGRAMS of the PMBOK. Understand them and try to memorize the ones specially in chapters 1-4.
4. Understand which process interacts with which other processes in what way, along with the diagrams, that way you will understand the ITTO questions more easily.
5. Try as many practice questions as you can. Even if you know that none of them will appear in the exam, practice the sample questions as least 10 times. These practice questions will guide you to quickly answer the easier questions. There will be longer and harder queries in the exam which will take longer to answer.
6. VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION - Remember the terms as defined in the PMBOK. I think Rita also says that. There WILL be terms which are very close or mean almost the same thrown in along with the terms mentioned in PMBOK. So be careful.
7. During the exam, DO NOT THINK OF CHEATING. Some of the questions you will not be able to answer even if you are allowed to take the PMBOK with you. Most of the questions are meant to test your understanding not your memory (only about 10% of the questions test your memory).
If you have any queries, do not hesitate to shoot me an e-mail.
#9 Lesson Learned
I took and passed the exam on 1/27. I've been a silent observer of this group where some conversations were useful. I used PMBOK & Rita for preparation. I did questions from Rita Fastrack and some online questions, including HeadFirst 200 Q's.
Here's my LL -
Prepare your own notes
Understand PMBOK as much as possible
Do several questions (but not more than 1000)
Understand ITTO (not necessarily memorize)
In the exam -
There were many straight Procurement ITTO questions
Not many problem-solving questions (contrary to popular belief)
Quite a few Quality tools questions
Quite a few Risk chapter questions
Some questions from Rita (only a few)
Many questions I've never seen anywhere
The exam was evenly divided with easy, medium & tough questions - prepare for the worst
I hope these help. Let me know if you need any other information.
#10 Lesson Learned
Passed PMP today
I cleared PMP today.
Thanks to the contribution of this group in making it happen.
I have been preparing for this exam for sometime, though my prep has been on and off. I started last year Oct, and was scoring over 75%, when I had to drop since I couldnt get the clearance to take the exam on time from my company (I work for IBM).
Once my company cleared me, I appeared for the 40 contact hours at PMTI Bangalore last year in April . Again, I couldnt schedule exams since I had to travel onsite. Project commitments pushed the date and I finally scheduled exam on Jan 12 2009.
Even though I started a while ago, I prepared from Dec 20 - spent upto 3 - 4 hours a day initially, stepping up the time in the last couple weeks to upto 6 hours a day.
I used Rita to prepare - her process chart helped me a lot. I tried to order the process chart multiple times, to get the hang of the sequence. I also used Kim Heldman, PMBOK and Head First for reference exercises.
I took lots of tests, online and paper based. Scored 75 in Oliver Lehmann's 75 questions, and 74% in pmstudy. 66% in passpm and 157/200 in PMTI.
In the exam:
At the center I was asked for two forms of ID, asked to sign in. Calculator is part of the exam (online calculator). You are not allowed to take any thing inside except your ID. All your personal items go into a locker. Would recommend keeping some mint and water handy in your locker, in case you need it. You cannot leave the test center, and no mobile calls / referring notes when you open your locker, so plan accordingly.
There is a 15 minutes of tutorial, I used the time to do a brain dump. Didnt use much of it except CV, SPI, CVI and SV. It nevertheless acts as a refresher. I also wrote down the key sequence (like Ritas process chart) or all the phases.
I finished the first pass of all questions with 2 hrs 15 mins to spare. I marked all sums for review (my sums were only CV, SV, CPI and SPI). There were calculations of EAC using BAC / CPI formula multiple times. I also marked additional questions which I wanted to revisit.
When I completed one pass, I went over all the questions again, including the marked and unmarked ones, paying special attention to the marked questions. I completed this with over an hour to spare. I changed the answers for a few questions.
After the second pass, I took a break - you have to sign out to take your break.
Once I resumed the test and submitted the test, and voila - after s few tense moments and a survey later, Congratulations appeared on the screen.
What kind of qs I got:
I got a lot of situational questions covering the width and breadth of PMBOK. Several qs were from QC area. There were qs from Risk as well. In some cases, I was unable to judge whether qs belong to professional responsibility or another area.
There were also a lot of straight forward and definition questions.
What I did:
I was off work from Dec 20.
Concenterated and focused on at least 5 - 6 prep hours a day, in the final weeks.
I prepared my own flash cards and practiced writing a lot of the flow charts / pictorial information in the PMBOK and Rita book. It reinforced my concepts.
Did lots of tests - about 10% of the questions I got today in the exam I had already seen in one paper or another.
Understand PMBOK thoroughly. PM experience is definitely a plus, but the knowledge of PMBOK is very important.
Practice, practice, practice - you need to not only know the material, but also how to apply it.
The last two days, I took three to four full lengh tests - to get an idea of the time, and situational questions, and mainly to condition myself to sit down for four straight hours.
I hope my LLs will be useful to prospective candidates.