Thrilled to clear PMP Today... My experience and lesssons learnt.

I am extremely pleased to announce that I have cleared PMP with around 73%.  It was a huge achievement for me , especially considering that I had planned to take this exam almost 15 months back.

What did I study ?

  • Rita Mulcahy
  • Rita's Pocket PMP Exam ( 200 questions )
  • Simulation Tests on ( 2 paid tests ), Headfirstpmp, crosswinds. Here is the list
  • Memorized ITTO to some extent and helped a lot.
  • Did NOT Buy Rita's Fastrak.

How did I study?

I first started with PMBOK, then i realized I was not getting much out of it, So I switched to Rita, read the book cover to cover and got a very good understanding of the concepts. Then i came back to PMBOK and read that. After that I read PMBOK and Rita 3 more times . This process took me 2 months.

After that I took Free test on, realized that I had too many gaps and I started filling those from PMBOK. All my studing mainly happened in last 15 days. When I used to take tests tried to fill gaps by reading the concepts.

and In my final five days I glanced it 2 more times and went through all the questions that I had marked tough 2-3 times.

Exam day.

My way of working is different so I read on the exam day, that gave me confidence, mainly trying to go over ITTO. But I was very relaxed, I was not trying to do it hard. The day before exam , I took good rest.

What was the exam experience like ?

  • I arrived at the center 30 mins before and they checked me in, I took 5 mins tutorial about the exam, and then i did brain dump. Basically i filled 1 sheet of paper with whatever I found difficuilt to remember. This helped me to ease out some tension. I wrote formulas, some tough ITTOs etc.
  • The first 2 questions I could not answers, I went on, when I finished 20 questions, I was not sure of 10 answers. That puts my score to 50%. When I completed 50 quesitons, I was not sure of 20 answers. that is still 60% score...... I went on to complete the test. When I completed 200 questions, I was not sure of 70 answers. That would still be 65%, so it was sigh of relief. I took full 4 hours , since I was trying to answer all questions.
  • In my case after 100 questions , there were some easy and straightforward questions.
  • I had marked around 30 questions for review and i must have changed 5-6 answers when doing it second time. Finally I decided to "End Test" when there was only 5 mins left. The screen went blank for sometime, I thought that the computer has freezed, but I waited paitently, I did NOT see congratulations, so for a second I thought I failed, but then i read, that it was asking me to take a survey. I skipped that and after few seconds I saw CONGRATULATIONS.... wow.... what a relief.

About the questions ?

The questions on the exam are somewhat similar to PM Study and Rita but they are a lot different. they are worded very differently. I was surprized, only few questions were like Rita's book. However i do agree that doing the simulation tests it prepared me for real thing. So when you are taking the simulation test, try to understand the underlying concept.

  • I would say around 20 questions were straightforward. Meaing asking ITTO or straight from PMBOK. Just Like
  • I had 4 calculation questions, 2 on EV, 1 on Point of total assumption, one on NPV but it was tough. EV questions were very easy. Like test
  • No Network diagrams for me.
  • Around 20-30 questions were very difficuilt to understand, I read it over and over again but could not figure out the right answer for sure.
  • There were many questions on conflict resolution.
  • There were 3 questions of Power of PM . like legitimate, referent. Because the referent power has conflicting explaination in books, i could not answer that question.

In the end I was glad that i cleared the exam without Rita's FASTRACK.

Things I could have done better:

  • There was 1 year gap after i took my classroom training and the final test. I could have just studied for 2 months straight after my class.
  • When reading PMBOK or Rita, I did not make notes, this consumed lot of time, during subsequent readings, I wish I had made my own notes. It would have accelarated my learning.

All the best to future PMP Aspirants.

Just Do it

T.K., PMP.


Helpful post. I had been struggling with trying to do it through self study (tyring to save some bucks!) but I was largely unsuccessful. I've been in Project Management for more than 5 years, but never got myself PMP Certified. I finally got it a few months ago, but it was with this training centre called Firebrand. That's why I posted, coz it was so different to the method you learned it from! I literally got certified in 5 makes me wonder though - does this mean that they kept out a lot of things and maybe taking it slow is better? Or just slogging your *** off 5 days and getting certified! What do you reckon?


How you come to know u scored 73% marks,as in PMP exam it is not possible to know how much we scored.

How you come to know u scored 73% marks,as in PMP exam it is not possible to know how much we scored.