Failed PMP first attempt June 1, 2015



My name is Swetha. I attempted PMP exam on June 1, 2015 and failed the exam. I got BP in all the KA's and MP in monitoring and controlling. 


I prepared very hard for two months [ ~ 64 days ]. I read rita twice, PMBOK once and took sample examples that are available which are as follows and many more quizzes and mobile app's.


I am really disappointed. I felt very confident about my preparation. But the questions related to Situations were little hard for me. I had a feeling that I was answering them well in the exam.


Could someone help me with this. I want to take around 1 months to 45 days to prepare for the same. I have few questions which are as follows:


1) How to answer situational questions

2) How to answer questions related to conflicts, leadership etc. [ these things confuse me]

3) Are there any tips/tricks or patterns or keywords that help

4) What do they teach in bootcamps where they promise success in 4 days?

5) How to answer questions related to risk , change management and procurement management?

6) Please suggest tough sample questions.

7) How to plan my preparation for the next time. I really want to pass the exam this time.

Thanks everyone in advance. Really appreciate your help.






Hi Swetha - Your post does not elaborate your studies & exam preparations for 1st attempt, however I would like to suggest below

How to answer situational questions ?

One of the major causes of confusion in answering situational questions is that  - the exam takers generally tend to answer accordingly to their real world experiences or personal baises. Pls remember PMP exam is structured based on PMBOK and the project management situational questions need to be answered accordingly. If you stick to the PMBOK , handling situational questions won't be that confusing.

2) How to answer questions related to conflicts, leadership etc. [ these things confuse me]

same answer as above

I did not attend any bootcamp, so I won't be able to comment.

Reg each KA, the understanding of PMBOK concepts really matters. There is no separate formula as such to answer questions for separate KA. please refer to LLs of other successful exam takers to understand the gaps. You may refer to my LL at my blog below where I have listed down study material I refered & mock exams I took.

All the best for your preparations !

Dear Swetha,

I am not sure about your back ground.Are you from IT ? Whatever be the case  dont get disheartened . You can pass the exam  , provided you are thorough with the process.Rita isa good book but if you lack real project management knowledge  it will intimidate you.

Have  you tried the product  "project -management -prepcast" which explains the subject in a lucid manner. Please note that I am no way connected with that product  nor a promoter.I have used that product and  it helped me to pass the exam .Instead of using the Rita's book I used Zohel Akther's pmp preparation book.

1- understand the flow of the process.

2-You should be able to understand  why you need a particular input toa process rater than remebering the ITTOS.

3-Try standard questions from PMZILLA. pmstudy and from pmi site (use Chrispher scordo's questions and book which is avilable at  PMI  site)

4-Answer Situational questions and understand the concept  .Understanding the concept is very much important.

5-Refer the PMBOK  while answering the questions.

6- You need  good  maths practice (refer to pmp mathematics by vidya subramanyam) and pmzilla questions.

7; Exam is not too difficult and not too easy.

8- Time managment  is important.

9-Try to answer at least 4 full length exams (standard ones)  and ensure that you can tame the beast.

10- Be active in discussion forums of PMZILLA  where  topics are dicussed .

Remember understnading the concepts are important in this exam. Many people have done it , So you can too.





admin's picture

Hi Swetha,

With regards to the boot camp - I attended one (5 days, $1,700). But I can only tell my personal experience. It was waste of time and money. Maybe it was my fault as I didn’t do enough research before I took it. Not that this particular one was bad. But I don’t believe that any boot camp is able to prepare you in 4 (or 5) days for the exam. Of course, it’s personal and depends on your level before you take the camp, but still – I doubt it’s doable.

Need to look very carefully what they promise you. Talk to them and ask them for the details. In my case they said exactly as you mentioned – promised success in 5 days. But what they actually did – they took PMBOK and dumped it into nice slides accompanied by some pictures and exercises. They also gave us a study book (not Rita’s), but just one of those thousands available on the market, with CD including 2 full simulation exams. This book, like many others, has questions in the end of each chapter, so each time the instructor finished a chapter from the slides, he asked us to answer first 10 questions from the book and then went thru the answers explaining the reasons behind each one of them.

Make no mistake – the instructor was very knowledgeable and nice guy, but the content of the course was absolutely not what was promised. At least it didn’t meet my expectations. I would define that camp as a walkthrough the PMBOK using more user friendly slides. This could be good for those who read PMBOK and just want to hear it from someone else in a human interactive manner. Well, the amount of material was so huge, that if you are new to this stuff, your head is going to explode.

But again – this was my personal experience. Maybe there are camps out there that really focus on preparing you for the exam. I don’t know. I cannot afford to spend another $1,700 to figure this out.

Hope it helps. Anyway – wish you good luck on your second try. I myself is still studying, not even scheduled the exam. So wish me good luck as well J

pmcoe's picture

Why you may have failed exam!:

javeedarsh's picture

Hello dear

That means you need to do lot to understand the process groups.

Just give a break & than start again.

I will try to guide you.

Contact me at


Md Javeed, PMP

Hi Swetha,

Sorry to hear this for you. Read this article once about How to Cope With Failure in PMP Examination. All the best for your next attempt.

-Poonam Patel