Passed on my 2nd Attempt!!

I passed the PMP on my 2nd attempt Monday June 17th; so relieved and thrilled!! It was a rough ride.

The long journey began in January. It took approx. 50 hrs. to complete the application thoroughly. Next in mid-Feb. I purchased RMC’s FASTrack (FT) exam software and book then began diligently working through the book answering all the end of chapter questions. After this I had to take a one month break to close on my house and move into an apartment. I picked back up my studies in early April and took all knowledge area quizzes twice in FT. I didn’t do that good in the FT quizzes averaging around 70% +/-  so when I took my 1st full length 4 hr. timed practice exam was thrilled I scored 77.5% and thought it was all starting to come together. When I took the 2nd full length FT practice several days before sitting for the real exam I maintained that score plus a little higher at 79.5%. With these results I felt pretty confident going into the real exam until I got about 30 questions into the real exam then realized something had horribly gone wrong in my preparation. Halfway through I had a bad feeling already that I was not going to make it and I did not. That was on May 6th.  After a few days I began general searching on the web and came across PMZilla thanks God then started studying even more focused for attempt #2.

In Monday’s actual exam #2 I didn’t think the exam questions were overly wordy or long however not easy to crack either. I had to read most questions twice to narrow down to the 2 best options. I skipped trying to solve 3 long network diagram questions as I knew they would take 3-5 min. each and instead saved that time to get thru all 200 questions before time ran out which turned out to be a wise strategy. I took just one 5 min. restroom break with a little over an hour left then with just 3 minutes left I made a quick check that all Qs were answered and they were.

I never had time to make an official “2nd pass” but that was ok because I did the work to the best of my knowledge the first time through like Crosby says. So my 2nd pass effectively was combined with the 1st.  I did not have time to solve the 3 network diagrams plus two other simple looking EV calcs. where something seemed astray. Hence my mark was the lowest in MC however overall this strategy paid huge dividends as I brought up my IN, EX and CL scores so I overall cleared the exam!!

I was going to post some more info. but having difficulty with text editor I will create separate posts.

Key lessons I learned:

1. To not rely on any single exam prep. system no matter how well regarded it is. I only used RMC my first go round and like another thread in here I failed. I added Crowe’s Velociteach as my second reference book plus consulted the PMBOK heavily in my second go round.

2. Take a variety of mock tests. I took 6 in my second go round and wanted to take a couple more but ran out of time. It also started becoming cumbersome when I almost had too much info. to review when it was all said and done. Key is to figure out which exams work best for you try not conquer the world unless you have the time. If you do then all the better. 

3. This site very extremely helpful especially all the posts on taking a variety of mock tests from different sources and knowing cold pg. 43 of the PMBOK (4th edition) plus ALL important EV formulas for the brain dump. I also added my own “ITTO box” as described below in item

4. 4. ITTOs. I didn’t even know what this acronym meant while studying through RMC and during my first attempt. I did not dwell too much on them in my 2nd effort however I did create a “Master ITTO box” derived from the process explorer exercise from Velociteach as well as RMC’s book section near the end where they talk about ITTOs. I also mapped out all the key processes Crowe/Velociteach points out in his book. This helped a lot see how the big picture ITTOs fit together. The process explorer exercise and some other tools were available after I paid for Velociteach Practice A. I received a discount as they happened to offer a 40% discount the weekend I needed to take Practice A. Total cost $27 but well worth it esp. when I also received process explorer exercise for free which helped me considerably.

My mock exam results, thoughts on level of difficulty and some additional notes:

RMC PM FASTrack full mock 1: 77.5% (1); medium

RMC PM FASTrack full mock 2: 79.5% (1); medium

Scordo Lite Mocks 15, 11, 7 and 3 taken together as a 200Q exam: 62%, 80%, 78%, 74% in that order; medium except 15 was difficult (3)

Lehman 175: 72%; difficult

Velociteach paid for Practice A: 68%; difficult (4)

Velociteach free exam: 71.5%; difficult (4)

PM Study paid for exam 2: 79.5%; medium to difficult PM Study paid for exam 3: 75%; difficult

PM Zilla Tough Qs Set 1: 56% (2); difficult

(1) Gave me the false impression I was ready for the real thing when I wasn’t. I also had an issue with RMC stating in their book that you shouldn’t have to study more than 35-40 hrs. after their 40 hr. course, total 80 hrs. so I stopped at 85 hrs. prior to my first attempt. In the end it took me nearly 200 hrs. total study time to clear the exam. Bogus info. IMO however I have read others pass with considerable less time, others on par with me.

(2) Only had time to work the first set

(3) I read another thread where the higher numbered Scordo mocks are more challenging which was true in my case with Lite Mock 15.

(4) If you take these make sure to use your own countdown timer. Velociteach’s computer countdown timer gets grossly out of whack (slows down) giving lots of extra time which is unrealistic.

My results from both actual exams are as follows:


First (failed exam) breakdown:







2nd successful 2nd test breakdown:

IN – P (2 level incr.)


EX – MP (1 level incr.)

MC – BP (1 level strategic decr.)

CL – MP (1 level incr.)


Other comments:

1. Many recommend reading the PMBOK cover to cover and more than once yet I just couldn’t stomach this especially in the beginning stages of my learning. I see the PMBOK as a living document that I read more and more of and consulted more frequently as I began taking practice tests and progressively elaborating my exam prep. I also wanted to note that when I did get into the PMBOK RMC did me another disservice with the laminated card they provide “unique” only to those who purchased their material. This card de-emphasized certain sections of the PMBOK however when I went back to check PMBOK after taking the practice tests I had to print out many of the sections RMC said to leave out.

2. I paid extra for Velociteach’s laminated quick reference guide which was great to have the key items in a protected layout that you can take anywhere. I liked his layout and with graphics to help learn!

3. Start studying early. For each 4 hr. practice exam I spent near twice as many additional hrs. cycling up for it plus reviewing wrong questions afterwards. I had to “cycle up” before taking each practice which consisted of reviewing my note summaries of key items in each knowledge area, Raga’s 355 points, my master ITTO template, a more detailed ITTO template based on Crowe’s book I made for myself plus all wrong Qs from previous practice test. Problem was as I took more and more practice tests the volume to review for each subsequent practice test kept growing. In the early stages I could do all in one day however near the end I had to first review all practice test errors the night before (3 hrs.+/-), then self notes the next day 2-3 hrs. plus the actual practice test = 4.25 hrs. Then the day after the exam in order to review wrong questions and make a record for future review I had to make screenshots (2 hrs.)) of all the Qs I missed from some of the exam simulators. All told for a single practice exam I invested upwards of 13 hours (a real time sink)! It really adds up so start early and have realistic expectations on how many practice exams you want to take. You could take them serially not doing all the prep. and follow up I did and they may work best for you.

In summary I am no PMP guru however I wanted to share my experiences and insight to those who are now in similar situation I was to demonstrate it can be done with enough dedication and smart study!

Keep charging and think about the video on Velociteach’s site where the drill instructor (PMP student) defeats the Cyclops Monster (PMP exam). It can be done!

Many thanks to all those posters before whose contributions I benefitted from. 

> R3HAB2, P.E. | PMP

naeem.farooqui's picture

Congratulations for passing PMP.

Your article is very much useful to the PMP aspirant.

Please share your ITTO tool.



Give me the links of Scordo's for my second attempt.. which would help me out....



cnppmp's picture



CN Patil


Thank you sanskrit and CN Patil!


Rashmi dr,

If you log-in to the PMI web-site simply search "Scordo" and it will pull up eReads & Reference link. Enter this and you will see about 10 pubs. from Scordo. The Lite mocks are all in the lime and kelly green colored book by SSI Logic dated 2012. You can access and print out the Lite mocks from there.

Best of luck!



I would like to also mention that the Saturday before my 1230P test on Monday less than 48 hrs. to go I began feeling physically ill and witnessed my temperature move from 100 to 102 in just two hours! At this point I had already completed the bulk of my studies however if I felt like I did on Mon. like I did when I got sick on Sat. I would not have been able to perform.

So immediately upon learning of my rapid temp. increase I went to Urgent care where they prescribed tamilflu which I have taken before is miracle drug for the flu especially when you need to get better quickly. It must be administered quickly though after learning you have the flu with biggest telltale sign the high temp. Again thanks God I felt good enough to sit 4 hrs. and pass PMP without having to lay down and rest!!!

Very inspiring ...could you please share your ITTO template/chart, if possible ? Thanks.

I just took all the ITTOs flagged as key in Crowe's book and made my own list. Was easy to do and helps understand by putting them together. I tryed to memorize as much as I could but difficult. Slowly piece by piece I saw where some of them fell in place but in the end for the exam as others have posted here not a large # of ITTO questions, not enough of them for me to spend additional hours trying to memorize them all.


The Master ITTO box that I did write on the back my brain dump sheet to jog my memory was as follows:


- EEFs (I did not list all out for the exam, just this acronym)

- OPAs (same as above)

-  15 Proj. Mgmt. Plan Components (I did list these out but in another column alongside my pg. 43 brain dump)

- Work Performance Info.

- Constraints & assumptions



- Expert Judgement




- Updates to EEFs, OPAs and PMP components

- Updates to Project docs.

- Change orders

- Schedule which is a key input to the cost estimate



 Dear Friend,

          Congrats and thanks for sharing your LL.