passed my pmp exam May 27 2015

Hello Everybody : ) ,

yesterday I passed my PMP exam on my first try. I must say it WAS a challenge.

First of all my preparation pass (which took 2 months):

1) Read Rita latest Exam preparation book and took thorough  hand notes on all chapters of her book

2) Read the PMBOK

3)Purchased the $89 online course at  and watched videos on all Knowledge Areas, read their study guides, made practice tests for every chapter (70-80 questions\ 1 chapter).  So its about 800 questions. Their exams are based  on their practice test questions. So after I answered all practice questions there was no need to pass 2 exams left (when you pay $89 for 1-month educational course, their 4 exams are included)

4)Passed 2 paid exams from  with rates of : 70 % and 79%

5)Practiced questions on different knowledge areas via RitaFastrack (but haven't practiced her complete exam though)

6)Read again the PMBOK

7) Passed exam

Now what was my Exam experience :

1) Solid amount of calculations which you need to be really good at not to loose much time there. And I do not mean simple CV or SV or CPI or SPI -one-action-based calculations. They included several actions. I got up to 20 questions based on calculations though I expected smth under 5 questions.

2) Most of my questions were long-worded heavy-to-read questions ( 8-9 lines in general).  Most of them looked like "How I spent my Summer"  school essay.  English language is not my first language and I understood that being on 104 question, I spend a lot of time concentrating on the meaning, trying to figure out what Knowledge Area I am at right now and what is the appropriate process. I took my native language (Russian) copy and the translation was above the original question. After 104 question  I understood which TRICK worked for me well :  if English is not your native language => it may be easier for you to read the situation in your native language BUT BUT BUT => read the last sentence question and all answering options in English because they contain PMBOK terms. I wish I used this trick from the very beginning. Second part of the exam went easier for me and I think only because of my discovered trick I passed the exam. Though by the end before the result appeared, I thought I could easily fail.

3) ITTO questions were mostly based on Tools and Techniques. Seemed like half of them were about Quality Planning and Control  Tools and Techniques.

Additional thoughts:

1) About my PMStudy experience.  Exam questions were more complicated than offered by questions. Real Exam questions seemed to be  more like Rita  SuperExam Fastrack  questions. Be prepared to read alot and to find quickly most important places in the text.  But Pmstudy gave me the exam vision and the way to answer the questions.  I met several questions same as from PMstudy database : like Tuckman ladder or make or decision tree risk impact calculations.

2) About Rita Experience. Must have. First I started reading PMBOK when I did not know about Rita and it was heavy, boring and wordy. After reading Rita and creating notes ( I spent with Rita more than 1 month writing and analyzing ) => PMBOK was like comics reading for me. Only after Rita I found myself enjoying PMBOK, I was even smiling when I read PMBOK and projected the knowledge on my work experience.   Rita Fastrack gives good amount of long situational questions. So I whish I practiced it better before exam.

3) Get motivated and keep staying motivated. My motivational movie was "The Pursuit of Happyness".  I watched it about 6-8 times during my preparation period.  Find what motivates you most. Try to understand for what and for whom you are doing this. For example when I was passing my exam I knew that my wife was at home believing in my fortune, my knowledge and success. I knew that PMP certificate will be a good edition to my resume and my resume is important for my future kids safety and wealth.

4) Consider risks when setting your exam dates and scheduling your preparation. I got 2 unexpected bad risks and 2 risks opportunities which I've planned in earlier. For opportunities I've used the contingency plan and for 2 bad risks I've used my management reserves :) ( 2 days before exam which I hoped to be resting). For example  a week and a half before exam I got attacked by a guy with the knife. I haven't got hurt or injured but the police regular procedures and kind of stress recovery took 2 days. Would you ever expect to be attacked with the knife  a week before exam, ha ? I also got my head bumped and  accidentally injured by the home door 4 days before exam and still felt the pain actually during the exam. So risk planning for your preparation is crucially important.

5) Get more than 2 months to get prepared and consider your personal circumstances. I combined my preparation with emmigration to a new country and was also involved in new language learning.

6) I drank a Redbull can before exam which helped me. On my way to exam center I realized that I was stressed, overstudied and a bit sleepy. I felt the pain in my head because of recent injury. When I tried to recover the sequence of Scope Management to test my memory, I realized I could not do this. But 20 minutes before exam I drank a Redbull can and my head got clear and thoughts got organized.  During the 15-minutes educational course on how to use the exam panel, I've created the table with all Knowledge areas and processes + formulas. 

Thank you for reading my report and thanks  to precious Community. I've been reading your exam reports and tricks several days before exam and I wish I found your resource earlier.  To those who are preparing for exam I wish Good Luck and Fortune and Remember to stay Motivated. This is your Fight and it will influence your Life. So you Can and Will do all you need to Win this Fight. Cheers

and I also forgot to add to my Risk Management part that I've completed the Audit process by PMI before being approved for Exam. So consider how quickly you can get all required documents organized and sent to PMI. My documents were "flying"  1 month to the United States. Also it was hard to prepare my documents because the  Supervisor of the company  I worked for and who was my project's Sponsor and knew everything about my experience and projects, he became the Advisor of a President of the XXX-Secret country in sphere of Weapon Supplies.  So it became an additional  challenge to get in tough with him overseas through all his secretaries in order to get his signatures, company stamps, etc.  So, again, Risk Planning , Risk Planning, Risk Planning )))

admin's picture

Good writeup , congratulations. 

thanks )

Great story and excellent preparation advice. Many thanks!

many thanks ))

Thanks for sharing about "motivation"! I went through sooooo much with my family during the past 2 years, and it's now time to continue my study again. Your LL does help me! Thanks!

thank you for your feedback, I am very glad it helps ))