Passed PMP on 24th April 2013 with 5 Ps

It gives me immense pleasure to write here that I passed PMP yesterday with 5 (wonderful) Ps. And while I am still high from this BIG achievement I would like to thank everyone who made it happen. DG and associates from for the wonderful learning experience in the PMP workshop. It was after so many years that I appeared for any professional certification and the best part is that I loved the learning. And so much so that today I am missing going through PMBOK.

I would also thank my 2 year old, he was really cooperative the whole time and understood that mamma is available only during break times J

Also a big thanks to PMZilla where I have been a silent participant for couple of months but some of the trips and tricks here and lessons learnt really helped me. Seeing all those posts motivated me!!

My Tips and Lessons Learnt!

The Exam: The exam must be one of the best professional certification exams ever. It really tests your knowledge and understanding. Most of the questions are situational, but they are straight forward situations unlike Rita who mostly gives very lengthy situations and the details are sometimes misleading.

Difficulty level is good and you need to be thoroughly prepared.

Direct Questions: There were few direct ITTO questions.

Numerical: There were quite a few numerical from Time and Cost. Some were pretty direct and some were tricky. A couple from Estimation also.

Keep your calm: Seriously my heart was doing all kinds of stunts during the whole exam and during the actual exam I couldn’t even take a guess of what my result would be.

Take breaks: I took 1 break post 125th Question where I munched a 5 Star and gulped Tang. I needed another after 200 Questions but decided to finish the exam.

Tutorial Time: You can utilize the tutorial time like how everyone suggests.  I didn’t or rather couldn’t as I went with the Tutorial and when I said end, it took me to the exam. L But that was okay, if it’s in your brain it’s in your brain J

And Read Questions and Answers carefully – during my mocks I was making some silly mistakes and had decided to read extra carefully all the qs and options. I took more time in exam than I took in mocks (2.5 hrs) as I read questions properly. Usually seemingly lengthy situation is asking something simple which u realize once u read the options.

What I followed –

Well before this let me tell you that I am a software professional for 11 years and a project manager since last 6-7 years. I tried studying for PMP since last 4-5 years!! But everytime there was some sort of break!!

And finally this year in Feb I attended workshop by DG from and that really clicked.

Books: PMBOK (Bible), Rita Mulcahy mainly for Integration, Procurement (this covered the project initiation and closure), Head First (initially just after workshop cos like all other techies I love the Head firsts)

Practice: Mock- Rita Fast Track v6, Knowledge Area questions and Mock, ExamCentral, PMStudy and other paper based – Oliver Lehmann 75, 175, Andy Crowe, Head First, Christopher Scordo Lite Mocks 13 to 18

My Study Pattern – I read PMBOK a lot (don’t know how many times) and everytime I took longer than before. The reason I will tell you. After each pass of PMBOK, I would go for one exam mock or Paper and for all questions I got wrong I would find answers from PMBOK. This pattern made me realize that there are interesting details given in PMBOK and each and every line is like meaningful and there for a Reason. So in the following pass I uncovered more details and it took longer than before but each time I respected PMBOK more and more.

Another Tip: Before starting study for the day, go over the overall summary page 43. That would help you to keep the strings together and you know pulling which string would pull which other strings (read String as Process). I mean how the processes are talking to each other and for this you should just remember all the workshop learnings.

I also listened to the Kim Heldman and Rita Audiobooks a lot. Infact most of the re-enforcing of my learning happened while driving to work or from work!!!

Make personal notes!!! I made and it helped during the final revisions. I had also got all the Knowledge area ITTO charts from PMBOK printed out back to back. So I had like 5 pages covering the ITTOs of all 9 Knowledge areas. And my revision consisted of closing my eyes and trying to go Knowledge  Area by Area in my mind or sometimes process group by group. I downloaded and printed out Abhishek and Rajesh Nair note into A3 but I could rarely use it.

Final Tip: do not try and memorize the ITTO at all. Try and understand logically and follow what we learnt -à understand what the Process does –> What are the O/P -> what would u need achieve that- I/P -> and Tools and Techniques

Finally people, prepare well and practice some and have confidence and you can make it. I would be glad to guide anyone who is not so sure and need some help or push.

 (PS: Excuse me if this was a bit lengthy but I had to share what worked for me)



Ranjeeta Gadkari, PMP

Congrats Ranjeeta!!!




Congrats! Can you pls send me the free online exam links? Thanks,

 Fist, Congratulations!! How many months or weeks of preparation before you took the test.

You seem to have been highly impressed by this experience. The real time is very much subject to your own absorbtion ability which is developed over a life time. Take your own pace and time.. Everyone's experience is different.

 You are right Tenacity that it depends on individual capacity of absorption. I took 2 months 1 month to go over the whole topic from PMBOK and Rita and another month serious preparation. I also started taking mocks past the one month. It was like every weekend one or two mocks. This time migt vary as I have 2 year old. And a hectic schedule at work which must be true for all.

 Fist, Congratulations!! How many months or weeks of preparation before you took the test. wording of the qns are more matching to PMstudy and scordo (13-18) than Rita, is that what you meant to say?


I found Rita's quizzes worthwhile, as they helped me learn project management in a way I would likely apply to real world projects. But, I agree that their style is unlike the actual PMP exam. None of my exam questions were very wordy, like hers often were. Also, PMP questions focused more on inputs and outputs, and when in a project each process occurs, than Rita's did. While most PMP questions were situational, they were not often as complicated as Rita's. I had the same opinion - Scordo (13-18) and PMStudy are closest, especially PMStudy.

I totally totally agree !! Rita superPMP and Knowledge area questions are worthwhile. It really gives you the practice you need to understand all the processes.

So, even when you come across a very lengthy, wordy Rita Question, attempt that by understanding the right question in the long descreptive situation. That should do the trick to crack the real exam.

On the real exam I cannot recollect any that was so lengthy. On an average they were 4 to 5 sentences and also stright forward situations. Now that might also depend from set to set. So, practice practice and practice.

BEST of luck to all who are preparing to appear

admin's picture

 Excellent Ranjeeta, Congratulations on 5P.  Do help folks here with your fresh PMP knowledge. 

 Hi Ranjeeta,

Congratulations on this achivement! 

It is always feel good and  when someone share the success story and Lesson Learned!

God Bless You.



Thank you to all of you. It feels really good.

Hi Ranjeeta,


Congratulations on passing this tough exam. If it is not too much of a problem, can you please send me all the links that you used, preparing for this exam? I will be writing this exam sometime in the middle of May and would appreciate it very much with any help that you can offer. Please send any information that you have to my email address:-

One thing I must say to you is that having 5P'S is very impressive and again, I think that you did super well on the exam.


Happy achievement Friend !!!!



Congrats Ranjeta! And welcome to the 5Ps cult!

~ Diba

Congrats on this amazing feet of passing with 5PS. Thanks for taking the time to jot down your lessons learned for all future aspirants.

Can you share your scores in the practise tests before the exam, esp the following ones

  • Christopher Scordo Lite Mocks 13 to 18
  • Rita Fast Track
  • PM Study
  • Oliver Lehman

I'd be taking my exam in the next 2 weeks. I attempted Scordos Lite Mocks 17 and 18 and that made me little jittery on how prepared I am. If you could share your scores, that would help us all to compare against your baselines to evaluate our readiness.

Thanks in advance !





Hey Tom, Here are my scores


Rita superpmp 65%
Head first 79%
Oliver Lehman 175 73%
Oliver Lehman 75 72%
Exam central 89%
Andy Crowe 89%
Scordo 13 64%
Scordo 14 86%
Scordo 15 78%
Scordo 16 84%
Scordo 17 84%
Scordo 18 80%
You can see that at times I scored low on mocks but more then how much you score it is more important to revise. I think you will do well if you just go over all questions u got wrong and make notes of those imp points.


 By the way when I took superpmp a couple of weeks later I scored 95%. That does not count but I thought  I should take it again for confidence 

 Congrats Man! Excellent performance!!

Ranjeeta Gadkari,


Congrats .....:)


I am trying to take exam in next month or so.....:)


Could you give me u r contact details ,so I that I can share some info on my prep...







@ i'd be happy to be of any help