Cleared PMP Exam on 20-Apr-09

Hi All,

PMZilla helped me in preparing for the ITTO Study Tips & Formula.  No body can give them that simple. 

company has started conducting series of managerial sessions and PMP
preparatory sessions. I thought of fulfilling my old dream.

I have registered myself for the examination on February 10. It took me little over 2 months to complete the examination.

My two cents:
1) You definitely need a plan to complete it. Of course, being Project manager you would definitely know it.
2) Think positive. "You Can" & "You Will"
Plan to dedicate consistent timing for the preparation. I would suggest
2-4 Hours on weekdays & 4-6 Hours on Weekends for a period of 2-3
months. Based on your comfort with the Knowledge area you can fix up
the period.
4) Complete your 35 PDU for eligibility
5) Become PMI member and apply for the examination
6) Fix up your exam day.
7) Suggested Materials: PMBOK, Headfirst Labs, Rita Mulachy, Kim Heldman
Above list is given with my order of importance. PMBOK is ultimate.
Please ignore suggestions of reading only other study materials without
it. Headfirst series is excellent starter. If it was not that book i
would have taken much more time to think about preparing for this
examination. Rita's book is good on the questions in the end of the
chapter. Kim's book will help you to look into the subject based on
process area. Remember, exam assess you based on process area.
8) Suggested StudyPlan:
a)Go through Headfirst PMP once, just like any fiction book :wink: Just understanding the content.
b)Start with PMBOK covering one process at a time, Closely covering the same process in Rita
c) Try solving the questions in Rita's material for the same process
d) Start and complete your study with integration process
e) Go through KIM as suggested for Headfirst. Try to resolve questions in end of the chapters.
9) Suggested Mock Exams: (The percentage will indicate that you are ready for the actual exam)
a) PM Study Practice Exams(70%-80%)
b) Headfirst Practice Exams (80%-90%)
c) Oliver Tests(60%-70%)
d) Rita Fastrack(70%-80%)
Except for Rita all other exams are free. Headfirst is extremely easy.
Spare it for trying when your confidence level is down. Oliver is on
the other end.. extremely difficult spare it when you are
over-confident. Other two are really close to exam. Please don't forget
nothing is similar to exam. PMP Exams are exclusive in their own style.
Start taking your examinations once you are done with the study
materials. Based, on the area where you are scoring low you can start
looking into PMBOK/RITA/Kim Material.
11)Week before the exam:
Start looking into notes like Rajarani, Don Kim, JimBOK etc., They will
really help you to wrapup for the examination. Please take 3-5 days off
before the examination based on your office priorities. This time is
extremely important for getting confident about your preparation.
12) Common Pitfalls:
a) Just start preparing. You can do it. If you think about it a lot, you will never do it.
b) Don't get scared about memorizing ITTO. It is not mandatory. (If you
are the one who can memorise a lot.. you can.. nothing wrong :wink: )
c) Don't follow all the free materials available on net. Just check the
authenticity of the materials with sites like PMhub. You can get to
know about them by just browsing through the forums.
13) Suggestion for Exam Day:
a) Have a good nite sleep.
b) Have your food before going to the exam. My exam centre has not allowed me to access the food in locker :(
c) Reach the exam centre 30 minutes before schedule.
d) Stay calm before starting exam
e) Take your memory dump for formulae & page 70. (Really, if you
have prepared well you will never even look into them)
f) Take breaks (No. of breaks can be planned in your mock exam time)
g) Hurray!! You Cleared it.. Don't forget to distribute sweets and write lessons learned.

the examination i had a sense of emptiness that i will not look into
this study materials again too often. It's that love which you will
develop with PMBOK in preparation.

Let me sign-off giving special Thanks to my wife and daughters. They tolerated with my kranky behaviour while preparation :oops: and forego few weekend outings for me.

Those who are preparing please remember that PMBOK is changing from 1st July and start preparing.

All the very best for your examination.



Please read Point No. 4 as 35 contact hours itz not PDU.

Warm Regards,





Thanks , you have provided a lot of information Siva.

I just registered and submitted my application for PMP 3 days ago.

I am hoping to take up the exam for third edition.( By June 30th).

 Since I cant schedule the exam until my application is approved, I am worried about the timeline.

Is anyone else in the same position as me ?  I really want to finish before June 30th, since I started studying the 3rd edition of PMBOK.




I have also submitted my application 3 days ago and hoping to make the exam by 30th June. How is your preparation going on ?

We can be in touch as we are in same boat.

All the very best to both of you.

 It takes 3-4 business days for the approval to come.. Immediately register for examination after the approval.  I would suggest to book the examination a week b4 30th.  

Do a backward planning by making a preparation schedule from the exam date.

Do revert in case you have any questions to me.


Thanks, my application was approved by PMI and I have scheduled my exam for early June..I just got started with Rita's book and hoping to read PMBOk next..I am racing against time , since I have a couple weeks left ...How is your preparation going ?

admin's picture

Siva Congratulations !!!

This is a very good and detailed writeup , giving valuable tips to the aspirants. Even though people may not be commenting on your LL and Tips I can tell you that it will be read by many users and well appreciated.

 All the best for your future plans



I have scehduled my exam for June 2nd. Have completed studying PMBOK, Rita's book once. Hope to read thru two more times before I take the exam. I have seen many people mention RajaRani notes. Could you please let me know where I can find it. It will be of great help.


Thanks a Ton.


you can refer to Rita's chart at



While trying out the questions, it is important to examine the validity of the questions (answers with explanations are usually the best).

And Rita's chart helped me to frame the entire process into something understandable. 

There is a useful website (free) with about 300-400 reference questions from the PMP exam. Definitely worth taking a look. There's the Rita chart for reference there too.