Failed PMP Exam - November 2 2016 - Los Angeles

Hello PMP Fam,
This is my first post. Excuse my somber tone but I spent most of yesterday literally crying over not passing despite my hard work. I think the hardest part for me was having to face my family after having them see me pour my the last 4 months of my life into this. I studied 7 days a week no days off 5 hours a day weekends were 10+
Initiation Moderately Proficient
Planning Bellow Proficient
Executing Bellow Proficient
Monitoring & Controlling Bellow Proficient
Closing Bellow Proficient
Nothing I could have done could have prepared me for the questions I saw. No exam I have taken looks anything like the questions I received. I saw some words I have never seen on any of the material as well. Names of things What is (X) strange word something to do with budget can't even remember it at this point.
Tests I have taken:
Rita Fast Track 10 Knowledge Area Exams, 6 Process Group Exams, 2 Full Exam Simulators
Oliver Lehman Free PMP exams
Probably about 3-4 other internet
My scores on Rita were 85%
Lehman 85%
Free exam simulator 90%
Material I have read:
PMBOK book 2X
Rita 2X
HeadFirst 2X
The Knowledge Academy $1K
CertSchool $500.00
47 process chart
*I was able to write these all down very fast using my 15min computer simulations.
Test location (message me if you want to know the name it is in Los Angeles):
Review of center:
*No markers are allowed, my scratch paper was pink, the eraser was so cheap it would destroy the pink paper smear the lead all over and create a smudged gray space, the pencils would dull fast.
*The lady would walk into the room every 5 minutes to walk and scan her fingerprint at the end of the isle to prove she had done her check.
*I was in a room of GRE people who were typing like crazy super distracting, door slamming, typing, a lady next to me was humming  in and out.
*No one told me they have silence headphones available (like at the airport) you put them on and every sound dies. I saw them sitting on top of my computer and asked if I could use them I figured they were for the other exams like sound/language but maybe they could drown all the noise. 45minutes into a torture noisy exam I had peace. I was kinda upset the people at Sylvan don't even offer this as help. I was giving a little basic calculator and asked how the square root functions on it and the girl was like I don't know. However, the exam came with a built-in calculator so I didn't end up needing it. 
As the test began:
My reaction to the first question was Oh no! I've never seen this question or anything similar to it? The format was strange. Almost as if it was missing words, adjectives, very vague.
To give you an example:
-Over 80 questions ended in "What would the project manager do" However, the answers all look very similar. The only difference in answering would depend on the type of power you as a PM have. *However, they don't even bother to tell you what matrix you are in which really sucks because how can I make a decision on what to do as PM if you don't tell me what type of PM I am? I felt this was unfair.
-They replaced activity Letters with numbers in very long charts so that when you draw it out on your piece of paper after creating it looks like a bunch of numbers. (1 has a duration 5, 2 has a duration of 2, 3 has a duration of 3) I had done all my charts using A, B, C, D, formats never with numbers so everything looked like alphabet soup only with numbers. Looking back I should have renamed these things to A1, A2, A3, A4.
-Since I had my formulas pretty much down I was diss appointed that I didn't get even one forward or backward pass question.  You know the one where you have to make your own chart. I did get many *The total budget is X the AC of your work is X up until now 50% of the work has been completed "What is the EV?" this what is the EV question kept coming up over and over throughout the exam.  I wish it would have been easy like what is the CV, SV, CPI, SPI, EAC, ETC, TCPI, PERT, Standard Deviation, Activity Variance, etc... So if these are the only formulas you know good luck because the questions asked for something that you didn't have the values to make I guess you're supposed to use reciprocal and move x, basic algebra but I hadn't practiced those much and drew a blank on the exam.
-The seven tools were dug in pretty hard. Questions were like "Your supervisor just came to you and told you there are problems with X you want to find out (what is the cause, or you want a way to see X) "Which chart would you use" A Stakeholder wants to see X what document would you send them. "Person X is upset after the project closed, what could you have done to prevent this" You have to know every chart and document, what is in each document, how you would use it.
-Many what technique would you use and the answers mixed in with techniques but of other Processes. So you must NOT ONLY memorize which technique belongs to what & what does NOT you have to have to know how to use the tools & techniques because you will have questions where all the answers will contain the technique used for that area but they want (one that does X, which one would you pick, which one would you select for this question, in this process, in this group, to achieve this goal)
-Know all the different names 1 diagram ex: (Ishikawa, cause & effect, fishbone) don't let them trick you giving you a name of Fish Diagram. It must be perfect. 
-Many which document would you use to view, see, XYZ so you must know what information is in every document backward and forward. 
-I kept seeing the world "High level" where would you find high-level requirements, you want a high-level estimate.
-Lots of tricky questions, your boss wants this fast, quick, with different types of estimates, I was very confused because they would also add information like you've done this project before, you are working on a construction project, so all these variables play with your head during the exam (at least for me) 
Requesting Help Advice & Guidance:
I really need help with these types of questions and how to tackle them because they kept coming and I don't know how I can prepare for them:
"Your company just won a construction project, this is similar to work your company has done or this is something you have done before, your boss wants the budget in only 48 hours or fast, it must be accurate,** So I'm scrambling thinking what  do they want? Fast, accurate, using past history... I didn't know what was going on at this point question after question felt like a hammer! 
"You are in an IT company, your company needs to use a New Technology they have never used before it must be implemented by the end of the year what do you do?" Hire a contractor who is an expert with the technology or avoid the risk and use another technology.  - I really felt like how can I make that decision I've never done things on such a grand scale I'm barely taking this exam I'm not the Owner of a multi-million dollar company. Many questions were like this vague "what would you do"
HR that didn't make sense. "You have seen a co-worker cause problems with the team" what do you do "Observe him closely and then have a talk with him about the issue," uh wait what didn't I just see him, now you want me to observe him.... So confusing.
So basically, I'm wondering if anyone as of recent has passed? Also, if the questions I am seeing are similar to what you have seen?  I'm a new PMP I have not had decision-making power. Many scenarios were doing things in 3rd world questions. Building bridges, dams, city local environmental EPA questions, politics, city people being mad, and troubleshooting what you could have done to prevent it etc.. worldwide scale...
How can I better prepare for this exam? Is there anything out there that has every tool & technique with 3 examples of how to use each in real life (IT, Construction, etc..) so that I can pull it out of my hat when they ask (what do you want to use to see, to do, to use, to send out to the team, which should you send)



Most hard to pass exam of my life.  If you are still with me thanks for reading this far & listening to my rant. I hope my experince helps many of you out there to prepare for it. I also hope that passing this is possible for me because I gave it my all and it was not good enough.
Bye All & Good Luck Studying & Passing! I hope I see some recent passes so that I know there is hope to pass the latest exam.
- Nadia

u need to solve more recent past questions. when u fail ,u go back to the corrections and see why u failed it.for instance ,analogous estimate, bottom up estimate, parametric estimate ,each is used differently. there is one one uses when need a very accurate estimate, one is can be done very quickly n so on.same as has four formula that are being used in different occasions.

I see your book reading were more than enough and same for mock tests. I do not see you had missed anything in your preparations. My point is, if everything is all right and you still fail means something was definitely wrong. I would advice speak to some expert/mentor who could evaluate your journey and suggest a better plan. I would recommend you speak to Anmol Sinha of PMZest or any other expert you can find easily.

Tough luck this time, but good luck for your next attempt.

Rohit, PMP


That is sad but don't worry. You will have better luck next time.

You should start with determining what was the reason for not getting through. You must determine the root cause of failing. I have written a post titled 15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam You should read this post. This will help you in determining the root cause.

After reading the post, give yourself some time and and think about each point. If required, you should change your study approach or take another training or study different books.

Good luck.

Sorry about that. Anyway, I think you will pass the exam in the next time.

In my opinion, you have prepared well but I just suggest you that:

  • to practice more for the relationship of each processes so you can better and confident to answer the questions of " What would the project manager do (next)".
  • to practice more for what is the process that question is asking and to verify answers which one related and the best to the question. You told us that there are many processes mixed in one question, I confirm that I experienced as the same.
  • to read again the PMI-isms of Rita.


Best regards,



hi guys 

i have also given the exam on august and failed it.  i prepared for the exam from Rita but did not study througly. i gave the exam in a rush i believe. however i am planning to give the exam again. 

this time i believe that i would be studying from pmbok and rita both. 

can anyone advise about pmzest, like is it worth doing the questions and preparing from the handbook they provide. 


please advise. 

Abzain, It is important to find the root cause of failing. You exam prep & ultimate success depends on it.

You should read 15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam. This will help you in determining the root cause. After reading the post, give yourself some time and and think about each point. If required, you should change your study approach or take another training or study different books.

Secondly, before you sit for the exam, check if you are ready for the exam. You should read Best Way to Determine PMP Exam Passing Score. This will tell you an approach for checking exam readiness. As per the defined approach, you should do sample Q only from a popular simulalator. Only a popular simulator can give you statistically significant test results.

Lastly, you should check the criteria defined in Best PMP Exam Simulator and compare PMzest against the top simulators. I suspect PMZest is close to the top simulators.

Good luck.

I just failed my PMP today and like you put forth maximum effort and experienced the exact same thing you experienced. I scored:

Initiation Below Proficient
Planning Bellow Proficient
Executing Moderately Proficient
Monitoring & Controlling Bellow Proficient
Closing Moderately Proficient
Your post has been out there for a month. Have you learned anything new on how to get past this?