Sandwich Approach for Passing The PMP Exam On First Attempt

I completed PMP on 02.11.2015.  Based on my experience - please find few useful tips on taking PMP exam  :

1) Most important tip is to decide timeline for taking exam. Unless and until you decide on the exam date you cannot motivate yourself!! I got this tip from my colleague who is PMP certified.(Thanks to Raghavendra)

Think practically and book exam time slot (For working professionals 2-3 months of preparation may be ideal. It depends on your study time).

2) Sandwich approach

STEP-1# Read PMBOK 5th edition -- to get overview and process interaction

STEP-2# Read Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition) --  understand the concepts & practice the questions(at the end of each chapter)

STEP-3# How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe [ Concepts are explained in simple way ]

STEP-4# Attempt mock tests(as much as possible) - PMP Exam Prep Questions, Answers & Explanations by Christopher Scordo is good book ( This book was suggested by my colleague Raghava. It contains variety of good quality Qs)

STEP-5# Quickly scan through the key concepts from Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition)

STEP-6# Again read PMBOK 5th Edition

Take final exam!!!

3) Strategy for taking mock tests

--Attempt as many Qs as possible

--For every wrong answer(s) - make deeper analysis, understand your gap areas.[Don't skip this step!]

--Keep record of your performance (%).

--In my opinion if you are able to score approx 80-85% in your mock tests, it’s good confidence level. Keep focusing on your weak areas

4) Don't memorize ITTO - While referring process inputs, tools and techniques and o/p for any the process. Focus on the following

- What is the purpose of the process (focus on outputs?)

- Ask "why","why"...certain input is needed? Understand it's relevance.

5) Decide the content of your brain dump & practice few times before taking the exam

--Content may include - formulas (especially EVM,PTA, No of communication channels formulae etc),key processes in each of Knowledge areas

6) Network with PMP certified members. I got very good tips/experience from my colleagues. My sincere thanks to them.

7) Be familiar with exam center/location. Prior to the exam date (visit the location).

8) Final day of the exam

-- Reach the exam centre on time at least 1hr prior to the exam. In my case, there was risk in reaching exam centre on time due to heavy traffic.

-- Carry identify proofs as hinted in your exam appointment letter (passport,..)

-- Request for manual calculator from the PROMETRIC centre. It is much easier to use than using online calculator.

9) Time management - Exam duration is 4hrs

-- When I started with first Q - my impression was 4hrs is enough time!. But it's not true!. You need to manage time.

My approach/target was to attempt minimum 52-54 Qs per hr.

--When I completed 200th Q - I left with 1min & 37 seconds! I did not get much time to review the Qs which were marked for further review.

10) Excellent references:

1.The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try by Andy Crowe [ Concepts are explained in simple way ]

2.Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book(8th Edition) [ Very good refence ]

3.Rita Mulcahy's Hot Topics Flashcards for Passing the PMP and CAPM Exams(8th Edition) by Rita Mulcahy [ Quick reference on concepts, formulae , key inputs/outputs of process ]

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Congratulations and you have introduced a new term "Sandwich approach for PMP" :) 


Thanks for the post

It is good to see more PMP Exam guides. - Paul Savramis