Passed PMP (3P, 2MP) on 30-Nov-2016

FINALLY !!!!!!!!! It's MY turn today :) :) SO RELIEVED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :woohoo:

Even after taking lot of mocks, I WAS NERVOUS during the exam. It took me 50 questions before I could get the rhythm and tone of the exam.  I couldn't waste time on taking breaks, so sat there hungry ! My exam was 1pm - 5pm. I didn't know if I would pass, after completing the survey. Closed my eyes, took deep breaths.

 Saw CONGRATULATIONS !!   I got P, P, P, MP, MP  (in this order).

OK, I wont beat around the bush, let me come straight to what you want to hear.. :)


Exam was HARD (and weird).  I only had 10 minutes to review marked questions. Time is a big challenge. (I feel 4 hours is not enough).

ALL questions were situational, most of them ending with "What will the PM do next".  Absolutely NO straight forward questions, many of them were confusing (and some didn't provide the needed information I felt).  Very few Earned value and Network diagram, they were simple.   Lot of questions on Pre-Initiation,  You should know the sequence of these Pre-Initiation activities as well.  Like as soon as Organization finds a project opportunity, what all happens, in sequence... many questions on that.

Many many questions on raising Change Requests. You should really know when you raise CRs.  2 choices could be easily eliminated. Tools and techniques - you should know their usage really well, so you can choose the correct tool. Know the differences between various Group Creativity tools/Quality tools/Requirement collection tools REALLY well. When to use which conflict resolution type.  I felt many questions didn't have a correct answer and they mixed up risk register and risk management plan , I couldn't find the answer in the options. Many questions on 'near completion' / closure / termination. YOU SHOULD know the sequence of closure., and all surrounding activities including releasing reserves, etc.. Again and again they dig deep into the sequence, I felt closure was toughest, next was M&C.

ITTO questions were not very clear - English grammer plays a big role, especially in ITTO, (what do you use - could be a tool or input ) and they gave everything in the options  !!! So i don't know if my answers were correct.

Be prepared you may not find the ideal answer, so you may have to choose the "best answer" from the 4 wrong answers..

[Hope I am not breaching PMI ethics by expressing my feelings here].

Also, many questions were based on real PM experience, nothing to do with books/processes.

Good news for people who don't like to read PMBOK - the wording and style in the exam  was not PMBOK at all, as we usually find in MOCKs.   So, no more "Probabilistic analysis of Quantified Risks.. LOL.., it's all plain English.



On a scale of 1 to 5,

Actual PMP -  4

Prepcast - 3, however the quality is best and very aligned to latest content, just that number of situational questions are less in these mocks. - 4 ,  was closest to the actual exam. All situational.  But exam content not fully captured.

Oliver Lehman (4.5), were harder (5).



Last 2 weeks of the exam -

PMPrepCast Simulation 1             87.50%  3P , 2MP

PMPrepCast Simulation 2             89.50%  4p, 1MP

PMPrepCast Simulation 3             89.00%  5P

PMPrepCast Simulation 4             87.00%  2P, 3MP

PMPrepCast Simulation 5             93.00%  5P

PMPrepCast Simulation 6             89.50%  3P, 2MP

PMPrepCast Simulation 7             89.00%  4p, 1MP

No more time for Exam 8 :(


Unpaid Tests

HeadFirst 200Q   86%

Oliver 175Q         80%

Oliver 75Q - online   72% 100Q      82%

PMGuru 50Q      82%

Exam Central 100Q Set 1    88%

PMPExamforFree_35Q 80% 75Q      86%

PM Study Mock1       86% 50Q 94%

WizIQ  30Q        86%

Exam Central 50Q     86%

iZenbridge100q 75%

PMZest (200) first attempt-      61%

PMZest (200) second attempt - 69%

PMZilla 30 Q      77%


And lots of questions on mobile free apps.



Rita Mulcahy - 2x

PMBOK - 2x

PMPREPCAST - One stop shop for everything -

PrepCast Videos - selected ones. I didn't have time to listen to all of them. I bought it only 3 weeks before the exam.

Prepcast Formula guide and 106 sums - This was MORE than enough.

Prepcast ITTO Memory Jogger - I actually memorized ITTO (the way Cornelius taught, it wasn't needed, but it increased my speed. )

Then, I created these handouts -

 - PMBOK Process Definitions & Key Benefits (4 pages)

 -OPA Updates and EEF Updates (whereever applicable)

 - All repeated tools like Expert Judgement, Analytical skills, etc, (where are they used).

-  What's in it - Document Contents - E.g. What's inside HR Management Plan, Staffing management plan, etc.. and what are the differences..

 - Project document updates - where ever applicable.

- Who's Responsible - E.g.  PM Team determines Internal/External Dependencies, Project team determines Mandatory/Discretionary..

 that's all -  I revised these again and again like mad ! HA HA.



Didnt do brain dump - GOOD decision. It would have been useless.

Should have practiced more Situational questions.

I should have bought PMPrepcast materials sooner ! :)

I should have bought all 4 PMStudy Mock exams.

MOST IMPORTANT - I should have scheduled my exam AFTER writing the 1st Mock test. That's when we know how much more we have to study.  After reading all books, when I wrote the first mock, I realized I have only learnt 50%.

The rest 50% learning comes from the mistakes in MOCK. So definitely need to spend 1 - 1.5 months writing mocks, if you want to get 5P. 

For people (like me) who are slow readers, practice  a LOT Of mock containing 1-2 paragraph situational.

Thats all I have, all the best to the test takers.



I know you feel relieved and a GREAT BIG HUGE sense of accomplishment!

How many pages did you read per day and how many hours did you study or take exams per day leading up to the exam?


Hi Veri,


My total preparation time was 3 months. (Sep 1 - Nov 30)

1Sep - 15Sep - Headfirst PMP book (i forgot to mention up there). Daily 4 hours. 1 Chapter per day., well i should say you can do it without this book and just with Rita and PMBOK. This was an overkill.

15Sep - 15 Oct - Rita Mulcahy - cover to cover - 2 days per chapter. 4 hours a day roughly.

15OCt - 8Nov - Rita Mulcahy + PMBOK together,  PMBOK I skimmed fast just to see what's different from Rita - 8 hours a day. Basically i never read PMBOK properly even once.(but during mocks i refered to it a lot)

8 Nov - 29 Nov  - 10 hours a day (8AM - 10PM with breaks, i took leave from office)-  Alternate days Mock exams  (200 Q) - 4 hours and reviewing the wrong and correct answers another 4 hours, then going back and reading up the knowledge gaps. Alternate days 1 or 2 unpaid tests (50-100questions), days when i was not writing Prepcast full exams. Again reviewing the gaps and studying them. Created a lot of handouts(as I mentioned up there). I felt 3 weeks wasnt enough, i should have give 1+ month for mock and practice.

My average score increased a lot after I read ITTOs and learnt them. Absolutely know which document is used where, which documents are updated after every process (OPA, PD, EEF updates) and WHAT is updated inside that. Also what's inside EVERY PROJECT DOCUMENT. If you can answer these in dreams, your score will easily go up to 85+.

If you find this tough, at least read through Staffing Management plan contents and Contract/Charter contents, lot of questions on that.

My personal recommendation - Target 85% in all mocks, or at least above 80% consistently in all mocks, otherwise reschedule your exam. Exam is kind of tough so no point getting dissapointed.  

Let me know if you have more questions, I'll be glad even if I am able to help 1 person pass. :)




Ashlyn's picture

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Thanks KrupaRao you put in the work and got good results.