Cleared PMP on 02/18/2011



I am happy to inform that I have cleared PMP yesterday 18-Feb-2011. I was a silent observer of this forum. So it is my responsibility to give back my experience for future PMPs.

It is a big story but whoever going to start newly, it will be helpful for them to get micro details.

Materials I have used

1. PMBOK 4 (Read three times)

2. Head first PMP (Very nice book to understand the basics)

3. Andy Crowe (Coming with one week access to Velociteach which is really excellent)

4. PMRoadTrip(Just quick glance)

5. Rajesh & Chowdary notes from PMZilla

My Preparation

Actually I started by October 2010, I was in low speed at initial. Read the head first, answered the question on every chapter.  Applied for PMP by December first week, same time started reading PMBOK also, now I able to understand some concepts and bought Andy Crowe book. It is really nice book explained the concepts at basic level. Finally decided to stick on only andy and HF.

By Jan 2011 second week, I just took risk; even without taking any sample test I scheduled my exam on Feb 18, Basically after scheduling my exam only I started reading seriously. I have one month and i started taking mock exams. “OOOHHHHH” shocked with my score, its rolling between 50 to 60%. I read PMBOK again and again with glossary, underlined the important points. Draw my own diagrams. Until Feb first week I revised Andy PMBOK & HF. I have taken below Mock exams

1. Head First

2. PMStudy free exam  

3. Oliver lehman

4. Techfaq

5. Andy velociteach


7. Simplilearn

All the mock exams my score between 60-75% only. I was frustrated not even getting 80%, so thinking of rescheduling exam, but my mind is not accepting to change the schedule. Last week before the exam I revised 6-7 hours every day, Corrected all mistakes from the Mock exam. To avoid confusion I stopped taking mock test before a week of exam. My exam was scheduled on Feb. 18 afternoon 1 PM. So I stopped my preparation exactly Feb 17 evening. Just gave rest to my mind for some hours. I did not think of anything, did only my regular activities. Don’t want to confuse anything in last minutes. 17th night I was plan to take full rest. But my mind disturbing and fearing about exam, invested so much of money,efforts blah, blah.......

Slept only for 3 hours, Could not able to sleep. On Exam day, got a remainder call from PMI Prometric center. So I started from Home by 11:15. My exam center is at Nungambakkam, Chennai, India.  Reached the center by 11.45, and center manager asked if want to take exam they can arrange it immediately, said ok. They gave locker key asked me to put all my things. If you have eatables, drinks and snacks. You should not put that into locker. During exam time they will not allow to open locker. They gave separate open table where you can keep your snacks. So I kept my snacks there.

They gave one rules sheet to read. It is prometric rules. They checked me fully. Even I need to take out cloth out my pocket. Even they checked with metal detector. I did not expect this much of security check. They accepted my driving license as id Proof.

I entered exam hall with following items

1. Four Yellow color sheets stapled

2. Two pencils

3. One eraser

4. Locker key

5. My id proof

6. Ear Plug

A guy came with me and opened the exam screen. I had ear plug due to typing sound of some GRE candidates, There is start button shows message “Press the button within a min else exam will be closed”. Just I clicked. A self explanatory tutorial contains 9 pages, Completed the tutorial in 3 minutes, Wrote PMBOK 42 page and formulas in the work sheets.

About exams

1. I do see real good quality of questions. The exam questions are really very high standard when comparing to the entire mock exam I have taken

2. I got many questions on quality, risk, procurement

3. I read many people’s lesson learned like most of the questions are one liner and formula questions are simple. In my case both are false. I got around 50 paragraph question and no straight forward math questions, need to mix 2 or 3 formulas to get the answer

4. I got few questions with diagram on time management. But it’s simple

5. 80-90 questions are very straight forward. So make use of this question to pass the exam. I mean if you read the PMBOK guide 2 or 3 times you can answer this

6. 30-40 questions are really tough. Even we use elimination strategy but I can eliminate only 2 options. Remaining 2 or very close, like one is 90% and other 100%. We need to select the best. Sometimes I got continuously 4-5 questions like this so I frustrated. So every time I feel like this just take deep breathing closed my eyes for 2 minutes

7. I took 4 breaks totally, first after completing 70,120, 170 and before review.

8. I marked around 30 questions

9. completed the exam in 3 hours, started reviewing the Marked, and changed few. Completed all before 30 minutes

Want to revisit all the questions. But my heart saying, don’t confuse. So decided to end the exam, clicked the end exam blank white screen for 2 minutes. I know center survey will come, to avoid tension. I read slowly and answered all the questions. And click end. Again 2 minutes white screen. What a painful minutes. Saw the monitor without any expression

. Oh boy Mission accomplished saw the Magic Word CONGRATS, you will receive certificate in 4 weeks. What great moments. Hard work pays many sleepless nights and tension. I had many technical certifications. But PMP is most challenging one which will test your hard work and patience. I got MP in all the areas. I don’t care

PASS is a PASS, I AM PMP now.


1. Don’t read too many books. Have 1 or 2. But PMBOK is mandatory, in my exam only 5-10 questions out of PMBOK.

2. Don’t take all the mock exams in the net. Take only quality mock exams. Some of the mock exam are not up to PMI standard and confuse your preparation, example. In one mock exam I see options like A & B, all the above like that which real exam will not

3. Read the options from the bottom. Read the questions 2-3 times even if it is simple

4. Don’t mark too many questions

5. Try to utilize the full time of exam, at least 3 and half an hour

6. Be prepared for paragraphs questions

7. Many questions will have trap. So be careful before answer. Don’t believe just one word in a paragraph and answer. They may be telling several things in the paragraph. But question may be different. Take only relevant information for the question.

8. Many questions are like scenario based. So think like Project Manager applying PMBOK

9. Take regular break.  We have enough time

10. I did not have good sleep, while going to exams due to tension violated traffic rule and paid fine. Cool drinks I taken in the break was expired one. All are affected my exams, basically my concentration. So try to avoid tension. Be cool

11. Stop your preparation before a day. Allow mind to think. And stop taking mock exam before a week. If you get low score in mock don’t worry. Real exam is totally different than the mock

12. Every time you take break you need to under go all the security process again.

13. I am not good in memory. So I did not memorize ITTO. But for my exam it is not needed, I do get questions on ITTO. But it’s straight forward. If you good in memory you can memorize, nothing wrong.

14. Overall, Exam is not tough. If you have good understanding you can easily clear.

Thanks to

1. PM Zilla Forum and PMP Groups, people who gave their lessons and discussions, are really useful.

2. Rajesh and chowdry, what an excellent notes. You people really Rocks. I did not take any handwritten notes, just used your notes. Thank u very much both of you.

3. PMROADTRIP, what an excellent material coming as free version. Thank you very much ALEX

4. To My wife and my kids for allowing me study for 3 months without them definitely I cannot achieve

I am closing this with happiest moment. Future PMPs, you will also get the same happiness. Don’t take PMP study as pain. Enjoy the journey.


 Mani PMP

admin's picture

Congratulations Mani on this achievement and thanks for sharing your LL

Great Accomplishment !!

admin's picture

I agree with all your suggestions. I think this LL should be taken as benchmark. Most people doing what you did will be successful in their PMP. THe only exception is that if you had PM experience for 5-7 years and have handled 15+ projects then you may need much less preparation

Congrats on your PMP .