Passed on First Attempt Today - 4 Ps, 1 MP - Lessons Learned Included

Hey All,

First off, I want to thank everyone on this forum. I didn't use this forum a whole lot until the last 20% of my studying time, where I referenced this forum alot. I feel the need to give back, and will remain on this forum for at least another month responding the questions, etc.

Exam Experience: I spent the first tutorial period (15 mins) writing equations down and the 42 processes. I'll be honest; I don't think I referenced it more than one time during my exam. I'm not saying that you don't need to know the equations or processes, but they were so engrained in my head that I didn't really need to reference it. With that said, it's probably a good practice to write them out. When the exam started, the first question I thought was a bit confusing and I got alittle anxious. Then as I went through the next 25 questions, I really built confidence. After the first 50 questions I said to myself, "I got this". I really thought the exam was fair. I didn't think it was easy, but I didn't think it was as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think I was also really prepared for it. I seemed to get a fair amount of HR, Cost and Procurement Questions. My 1 MP was in Closing, and to be honest, as I progressed through the exam, I knew that was going to be my areas of weakness. I had 10 minutes of time at the end of the exam to go back and review stuff I marked

Although I have posted about my issues with the website and the server going down, while doing practice exams, I must say that I found their questions and level of difficulty to be close to the real exam. The one main difference though is that PMStudy does not provide much network diagrams or Earned Value Management Questions.


Study Plan & Lessons Learned:

I started studying for the PMP on May 20th, 2013 and took the exam today on July 17, 2013. I had quit my corporate job months back and was running my own business with a friend, but was able to devote at least 6 hours a day to study. There was about 10 days where I couldn't study due to sickness and vacation.

- I read Rita's Book two times. I took the end of chapter tests about 3 times. I thought Rita's book was pretty good at explaining things.

- I put off reading PMBOK, but after reading through this forum, I  felt the need to read it. I read it one time about a week before my exam. I definately didn't read it in as much details as Rita's book.

- One thing I realized about two days before the exam was that I didn't have the greatest idea of how the Iniating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing tied together. I think this is partly because Rita's book and PMBOK go through each process group individually (integration, scope, time, etc). It would be great if there was ab ook (and maybe there is) that teaches: Initiating, then Planning, then Execution, then M&C, then Closing. I did spend a day just studying the ITTO chart. Trying to understand inputs, outputs, tools and how everything flowed.

- I took the following exams in the following order:

1.  CMF Solutions Exam #1 - 73

2. Lehman 175 - 78

3. Lehman 75 - 69

4. PMStudy #1 - 74

5. CMF Soultions #2 - 84

6. PMStudy #2 - 78

7. PMStudy #3 - 82

I felt like Lehman 75 was probably the most difficult. I think PMStudy was  the closest to the real exam.

- I also made my own study notes during for the exam.

- I didn't get a chance to look at Raga's 355 or any of the other notes posted on this site.

I think alot of people are anxious about this exam. Anxiety is normal, but honestly, it was really not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITIES AND YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. 

 Congrats Nish...I have been seeing your posts since sometimes..good to see you passing the exam...

Hope I clear it soon as well

Thanks for sharing your LL

I took only 1 pmstudy test, do you recommend taking one more? I have only 2 days left, i was thinking to read PMBOK on some areas again...suggestions?


 ppalkonda - I think it would be beneficial to take one more exam. try taking it 2 days before your exam. study the PMBOK the day before your exam. I've been seeing your posts as well and it appears that you have really been putting the time into studying. To be honest, I think you'll do just fine on the exam. EVM calculations were pretty easy. Spend alittle time looking over inputs , tools and techniques and outputs. you don't have to memorize them, but there are some easy points on the exam to gain that ask questions directly about ITTO.

All the best

 Thanks for the tips Nish..i will take one more PMstudy exam tomm and last day with my notes and PMBOk 

You are right with ITTO.....i cannot memorize but tough to put logic to all of them...I will spend some more time on it...

Thanks and congrats once again....:)


Congratulations, Nish, on your PMP success!

All the best with your future plans.




ramzy's picture

Congratulations Nish - i couldn't agree with you more on your comment about having a guide which relates IPEMC closely together.

I started my revision with Kim Heldman and found it too wordy with loads of bizarre and ambagious sentences. I then switch to Rita and did not turn back.

My exam is scheduled end of this month - as much as i agree with you on PMStudy questions being closest to the exam, i am not sure if i should spend more money to take up PMStudy # 3 and # 4 as i've did PMStudy #1 and PMStudy #2 [Paid] with huge 'lag' time gap in between due to connection issue.

Last but not least, congratulations.

 Ramzy - I def felt that way about IPEMC. With thats said, I was still able to do pretty well on the exam, so I think Rita's book and PMBOK are enough. 

I think you're fine with just doing two exams from PMStudy. I would just spend a couple hours reviewing all the answers from those two exams and familiarizing yourself with them. I think it helped me alot to do that.

All the best.

admin's picture

 Congratulations on your PMP.

Congratulations, a great achievement.

Wish you all the best and flourish with these acquired concepts for your flourishing business.



cnppmp1's picture




CN Patil

Hi Nish,

I knew you would clear it , your contributions to other blogs and your mock results were indicative of that. My exam is on 22nd and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Currently going thru RITA and PMBOK as the last minute browsing. Planning to give PMStudy 3 and 4 on Sat and Sun.

Mock results appeared in since 07/12, last being the latest exam

RITA Super PMP : 71%

PM Study 1 : 77.7%

PM Study 2: 82%







 Subinoy - Those are some pretty impressive mock exam scores. you are going to CRUSH this exam.

As a side note, i didn't take PM Study #4 ( I ran out of time). I did look over the answers though. For some reason I felt like it was a bit more challenging than the three other mock exams. Although, I was looking at the answers around 1am after studying all day, so my brain was very tired.

All the best!


Congratulations Nish!  Well done and thank you for adding to the betterment of us all.  I passed back on July 6 on the first try.  Used notes from a 4 day boot camp by Becker in 2012 and a Rita book camp back in June.  Used the PMBOK as a reference and used the ITTOs brom Becker and Rita.  But, anything that makes you pass is worth the effort.

Congrads and good luck with your new business!

 Many congratuations! 

I totally agree with your input.