Passed PMP on 18/11/2014.
I have Passed PMP exam at 1st attempt on 18/11/2014 with 3 Proficient & 2 Moderate Proficient. Glad to share my Lesson Learned.
I started reading Rita Mulcahy 8th edition last year (red for a month), but due to personal constraints couldn’t touch the book for a long time. Again I have started reading very slowly (3hour everyday) from June 2014. These days I clearly understood the concepts like Scheduling network analysis, Project selection methods & Resource Optimization techniques, Leadership theories etc., I am a kind of a slow reader. Completed two pass of both books by mid of August. I took Rita Mulcahy chapter end questions and scored 62 at 1st pass & 78 at 2nd pass. Also I understood Rita’s process flow using mind games given in the book and all the 48 process according to the process groups.
I have decided to take the exam on November, so temporarily stopped all my sports activities. Started reading for 5hours (2hours in morning & 3hours in the night) every day. I took a help from Sriram Mukundan. Kept his Lessons Learned as Baseline. I again started reading Rita Mulcahy & PMBOK in Parallel, after end of each Knowledge areas. Started taking my own notes to read before mock test. And marked important points in PMBOK book.
I slowly started taking mock exams. This time I marked all my incorrect answers in an Excel and started finding my gaps. Based on my results, I need to improve in Cost, Communication, Risk & Procurement knowledge areas. After completing 3rd pass of both books, I gave special attention to these three knowledge areas. I was reading these knowledge areas again. By this time I could able to understand PMBOK. So I kept Rita Mulcahy aside.
A month before Exam:
Applied for Membership, I started taking full (200Q) mock tests; I took almost 8 full mock tests before exam. I practiced around 2500questions before exam. In Parallel was reading PMBOK & understanding the concepts. I started spending 6hours (2hours in the morning & 4hours in the evening) every day for mock test well as for reading and more in the weekends. (Make a note, its b’coz of my slow reading speed; it’s not necessary for everyone. you can decide for your speed), I completed my 4th full pass of PMBOK.
At the end of October month I applied for exam, I included my previous company experience. After application I came to know, need to get a hand signed copy from previous Supervisor (not scanned copy) where he located in Bangalore, I am in UK. So I was worried, my exam planned date will be deferred if my application selected for Audit.
After 5days I got a mail from PMI saying, application is approved & to pay the exam fee. Next day I paid the exam fee and immediately got a mail saying, you can schedule your exam. It means I have not selected for Audit. Happy!! I decided to schedule exam on 24-Nov. But due to exam center seat unavailability, I was forced to decide a week before than my planned date. I booked appointment at Birmingham Prometric testing center at 1.30pm. Now I left with 1 week time.
A week before Exam:
I started reading all my gaps where I noted in excel, confirming my understanding and not to do the same mistake again, then started reading Abishek's Nair PMP notes & PMI Code of Conduct. I took PM Fast track scored 81%, and Super PMP scored 70% (which was very tough than exam question, I got 4lines even in answers). I did my final pass of PMBOK (only the important points which I marked) during the same week. Previous night of exam, was reading all important topics like Team building, Risk strategies, Organisation type, Formulas, Organisation Theories, Communication types, Project selection methods, Interpersonal skills in Appendix and most importantly ITTO. Also was reading my own notes. I slept early than my usual time.
Morning I was reading my own notes & above topics and reached exam center 1.5hours before exam time as planned, I was reading all the abbreviations at the end of PMBOK & ITTO before entering exam center.
Done with my security checks and sat in front of system, motivating myself to concentrate for another 4hours, shouldn’t get divert and not to think about aftermath before completion. I done with my tutorial and noted down all the formulas in the scratch sheet in the remaining time. It took me one hour to complete 1st 50Q. I got 5-6 EV questions during my 1st 50Q. Then for next 50Q I took only 35 mins, the questions were straight forward and some questions were tricky, I made sure I am not wasting time reading answers again and again, so marked and moved to next question. I managed to finish the exam by 3hours 20mins. I left with 40Q for review in 40mins. During exam, I marked the questions which were easy and need to be addressed 1st in the review list. The time was out when I had 3 questions to review.
Then it asked about Test center feedback, after submitting the feedback, screen went blank for few seconds and then it displayed “Congratulations” in the small letters with result details. I was very happy with my exam result. 3P & 2MP. All the Hard works are not gone vain.
Long-time preparation comes to an end. Overall the exam questions are straight forward with different tricky scenarios, 6-7 EV, 2-3EVM, about 3-5Q I have never seen in any mock and was new to me. 60 – 70% were scenario based. 10% you can answer quickly like ITTO, Processes.
Suggestions to Aspirants:
- Dedicate yourself; clearing PMP needs determination & dedication. (To be frank, I have not even done this much dedication during my schooling & College).
- Understand the concepts of processes, ITTO’s. Reading book 3times or 4times is no use, without understanding the concept. I watched related videos for better understanding.
- Clearly understand the areas of Risk Strategy types, leadership theories, Influence skills, EV, EVM, contract types, Team building activities, etc... I got most questions in diff scenario in this topic.
- Get clarify all your doubts through forums. I clarified using PMZilla forum, izenbridge videos and google. Make sure your understanding on why you have chosen the wrong answers and not to repeat the same.
- I am Suggesting to read & understand Abishek's Nair PMP notes before 1st mock test.
- Practice as many mock test as possible, I took only free mock test.
- Read question properly & eliminate two unrelated answers first. This saves time.
Below provided the list of test I took and the results, the mark doesn’t mean you are not qualified or qualified. It’s just for reference. Qualification is depends on your PMBOK understanding.
Rita Mulcahy 1st & 2nd attempt - 62, 78
Tech Faq360 - 84
PMZilla 30tough - 50
Skill sign 50Q - 66
Exam Central - 79
Christopher Scordo (7-12) - 85.5
Christopher Scordo (13-18) - 78.33
PM Study 1 - 75.43
Headfirst PMP - 77
Simpli Learn - 68
PMP FOR SURE - 65
Oliver Lehman – 75Q - 70
Oliver Lehman – 175 Q - 75
Izenbridge 100Q - 84
Izenbridge EVM (15Q) - 93
Fast track (200Q) - 81
Super PMP (200Q) - 70
BrainBOK (50Q) - 72
WhizLab (50Q) - 74
Preparepm 75Q - 81
FreePM simulator 31Q-1 - 81
FreePM simulator 30Q-2 - 80
FreePM simulator 31Q-3 - 93
FreePM simulator 80Q-4 - 71
Sriram’s Knome 200Questions - 76
Fast track M&C (200Q) - 75
Finally, I thank my parents & my sister for the encouraging words, especially Sriram Mukundan & Pappumari for complete guidance, my friends Deepak, Shan, Prem, Kummaresh, Kaviarasan for all the helps and motivation, my roommates for tolerating my night studies & to all who encouraged me.
Special Thanks to TCS Management & My supervisor for providing me an opportunity and also for an extending support.
All the best to all the aspirants.