Cleared PMP on 06/18

Hi Folks,

I'm glad to say that I obtained my PMP today. I got 4P and 1MP(Closing group).

Prep Books

  • PMBOK - 2x and multiple skimming

  • Rita Mulcahy - 1x and 1x skimming

Practice Q&A

  • Rita Mulcahy Chapter-end questions

  • Christopher Scordo and Kim Heldman Q&A

  • Simplilearn 5 Mocks (got my 35h PDUs from Simplilearn)

  • 1 PMStudy (free)

  • 1 Headfirst (free)

  • Farndales Q&A

  • Oliver Lehman Q&A (could not cover all)

Prep Schedule: 40 days; Average 4 hours per day

Trade-offs: Since my prep duration was tight, I kept myself away from social activities; it was just my job and PMP prep for me in the last 40 days.

The penultimate 5 days: Practiced ITTO and weak areas thoroughly

The ultimate 4 hours: Really tough test in terms of establishing and maintaining concentration for 200 questions. Mock tests did provide a lot of concept coverage but real exam was different in the sense average sentences was 6-7 lines per question (one had nearly 20 lines and a table!!). None of the questions seemed out of context and there was hardly any that touched professional responsibility areas. Lots of n/w diagrams and EVMs. I could take just one 2 mins water break since time was running out and not for a single moment I had the idea how the results would pan out.

Lessons Learnt: I tried keeping my preparation simple. Devoted 75% of prep time for PMBOK. The simulated tests I took did not require more than 2.5 hours, including revision of marked questions, and towards the end of prep I scored more than 85% in couple of them. However I completed my 100th question in 120th minute in the real exam !! I used memory retention of ITTO as a measure for my exam readiness.

Key takeaways: Strength in ITTO and Calculation related areas are the primary requisite for the 4 hours and clarity in PM concepts is a pre-requisite for starting those 4 hours :)

Finally Thank you all PMZillains, for the consistent blogging that always kept me my toes and provided a health check whenever I need to have one.

admin's picture

Congratulations on your PMP. Thanks for posting here


Hi Sathya,


Congrats on your Success.

I also need some help and guidance. I am preparing for PMP from last 3 months but not able to get the confidence. I have completed Rita (once), Head first (once) and PMBOK (once).

I gave Head first exam and scored only 63%. also tried pmforsure 50 Q free test and failed. I am not able to relate question with what i read from the books. Where i am failing and what shall i do to improve myself.

Moreover...I am not understanding Cost formulas. though i read the chapter twice but not able to solve most of the questions from COST and EMV.

I am studing 1-2 hrs daily.

Please guide me and let me know what and where i am doing wrong ? Am i not seriously studying??

Thanks and Congrats once again..

Apprecitae if Admin also give his thoughts.




Hello Kirti,

Good that you know few of your weak areas. Its better to take guidance from someone who has mentored multiple and variety of individuals.

However, from my experience, I can say that keep reading PMBOK, definition of processes, artifacts, tools and techniques; keep scribbling what you learn on a piece of paper. For weak areas, try googling or may be Youtube could help. Keep referring to PMBOK, Headfirst and Rita when correcting your mock exam questions. If you plan to take the exam in the near term, I personally feel that 1-2 hours of prep per day is not sufficient. You could try taking a week off from your work if you can concentrate for 7-8 hours per day for the entire week; this might provide the much required momentum. 

Thanks Satya!!

I will look for some good training courses also.

Thanks once again for your advice.