I Failed PMP Twice

Hi Guys,

I failed PMP twice. My first attempt was on 12/26/2013 and I did not study much. I took a bootcamp, 2 exams and that was about it. I got 4BP and 1 MP. BUT...

This time around, I studied for 2 months, Read PMBOK twice (I went ahead and tore PMBOK chapters and then binded it separately according to the knowledge areas, knew ITTO's inside out. I still failed the test with 4BP, and 1MP. So basically all my efforts produced nothing!!!!

I used Aileen Ellis: PMP EXAM Simplified-5th Edition And solved chapter end questions from Rita Mulchay and Read the PMBOK. The only thing, I didnt do enough was to solve a lot of practice exams. With that being said....

Exam experience: I finished the test with 1 hour to spare, I tght I was breezing through a lot of test questions, because some of them were really pretty simple. There were a lot of communication channel and EVM questions which looked straight forward. I also got all ITTO's right! When I finished the test, I was shocked to see that I failed, but what really made it miserable was that I still received 4BP and 1MP!!! Did I get all the situational questions wrong? I verified my answers to some of the questions which I remembered after the test and I had got it right!

Other than solving a lot of practice questions, I really don't know what else to do? Can someone here help me out? I really feel dumb and miserable.

Thank you


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Hello 'smarathe',

I am able to help you (with paid 1:1 tutorship at nominal hourly rate) so please don't feel bad the you are feeling.

Weak areas in understanding the concepts as a whole I believe is the cause.

Please let me know, thanks in advance,
PMPBOY who earned his PMP Credential in first attempt itself in July 2011

Firstly ignore the idiots giving you advice and then wanting to be paid for it. This is a forum NOT a spot for advertisements.

I see you have read the pmbok a few times memorized ITTOS but that is not required. What is needed is understanding of the concepts to a point where you can actually figure out the inputs/outputs because of your understanding. Some tools and techniques is fine to memorize and you can use mnemonics for that.

Apart from that - study the pmbok... Studying Rita's side by side is not a bad idea....they All say the same thing but Rita's does help you with tips on answering some of the questions. I found Pm study quite helpful especially answering their end of chapter questions.

'dbhattachary' hopefully u know the definition of "... Firstly ignore the idiots giving...".

Seems 'dbhattachary' has been graduated from dime a dozen... who always look for a free lunch.

I see someone who is down on himself and wants to succeed and I try to help him - I don't look to make a fast buck....Fortunately, I don't need to and maybe you do...good luck to you.

Anyways Sid, Have you planned out your schedule? I will be posting a 'Lessons Learned' shortly and hopefully that will help you.

Hey Smarathe,

I cleared my PMP last week. Dont worry.. you will be able to make it. I used HeadFirst as my primary source of study and PMBOK as a reference. I am preparing lessons learned and will share soon.


Thanks for your reply. I am using headfirst this time around.

I agree just study from the PMBook again , you have to try and keep your best until you succeed. Also practice practice practice , and use real exam questions , there are tons of pdf of simulated exams. I used this one one for example but there are many more . http://www.cert-guide.com/test/PMP

Thanks dbhattachary.

I am using head first this time and lot of things are actually making more sense. Please share your lessons learned whenever you get a chance.

Thank you.

hello! here are some lessons learned... (and, i strongly encourage you to read the Rita book!!!)

I was successful in passing the PMP this week on Oct. 27th, passing with 1 Proficient and 4 MPs. The first time I took the exam was in May, and failed with 4 MPs and 1 BP.

Lessons Learned:

What helped:
-Books: The most helpful book I read was Rita Mulcahy's, which I read 2x. I did all of the exercises and chapter tests. This book was the very best at covering the areas that are on the exam.
I also read the Andy Crowe book, but felt it was a waste of time and could have been ok just with Rita's.
I read the PMBOK 2x, and I definitely encourage this.

-Practice Exams:
PMStudy– 200 question free test and the 75 and 175 question Oliver Lehmann free tests. These were actually harder than the actual exam for me, so when I got in to take the exam, I was actually smiling and very confident at the ease of questions.

What did not help:
-Bootcamp: I took an expensive, 1 week bootcamp course from The Knowledge Academy. This course gave me a decent base, but no where near what I needed to pass the test.

-Trying to memorize all of the ITTOs. Just stick with Rita's book and the chart she has. Much easier!

I think head first is a really good book to get your feet wet.... I used it as well.... But don't use it as the only source... Use it in case there are concepts that you are having a hard time grasping...: pmbok should be your primary source after and if you have the time compliment each chapter with Rita's.

Reasons for Failure
PMP Exam is a professional exam and it is a difficult exam.
It requires consistent and regular study. I have written a post that describes 15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam. You should also read this article to understand why aspirants fail in the PMP exam -

15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam

Some of the important points written in he article are:
* One should attend a formal training course
* One must thoroughly study the PMBOK Guide
* One should not overtly rely on free sources (although
some free sources are good).
The article also give valuable alternatives and suggestion
to avoid pitfalls.

Free PMP Prep Guide
To understand more about the PMP process, you can visit the following link and download free PMP Exam Prep guide

How To Get PMP Certification?

This guide gives complete information about PMP Exam, including:
- Eligibility Criteria for the PMP Exam

- Pros & cons of different modes of training

- Study approach to pass the exam in first attempt

- Suggested PMP exam preparation schedule

- Recommended study material for the exam prep