Passed PMP 8/11 with 4Ps and 1 MP! (See my lessons learned)

I scored P in all but Closing where i had MP!!

May 2012 - I bought Rita's book and read through that along with PMBOK . Took me about 3 and a half weeks to do this, just so I could figure out the scope of what i was studying for. My average score across all her exercises was 82%. After this, i proceeded to schedule my exams for Aug 11, with a plan to give myself 4 weeks to study plus 1 extra week for a buffer. My friend suggested Rita and PMStudy, also gave me Rajesh's notes and Jaya Prashins ITTO table. These I would incorporate in my study plans

Overall Study Plan

Plan was to read all the material in 2 weeks and then repeat- that equated to:

Week 1:  1 chapter a day during the week after work and 2 chapters each on Saturday and Sunday.

Week 2: 1 chapter a day during the week after work through Thursday. Fridays were spent reviewing Rajesh's notes, Rita's process charts, explanations for the questions I missed on Rita's chapter questions, Rita's flash cards, formulas, and Jaya Prashins ITTO table. Then Saturday and Sunday, I took practice exams.

I repeated the above one more time with some adjustments. Then used the last week for reviews

How it all unfolded

Week 1 & 2: July 9th thru 22nd, this time I read Rita for the 2nd time and HeadFirst. Did all the exercises in both books. I used PMBOK as a reference this time. After getting through the material, i did Oliver Lehmann 75 (73.3%) and Exam Central (83%).

Week 3 & 4: July 23rd -Aug 5th.. I only read Rita's book. I decided to do the PMStudy free exam at the end of the week 3 and half way through the material, after reading on PMZilla that it was the closest to the exam and how it breaks down your score by knowledge area. I scored 77.14% on the PMStudy Free Exam. Continued the material through week 4 including focusing MORE on PMBOK because a lot of the PMStudy exams were exact sentences from PMBOK. My weaker areas corresponded to HR, Risk, Ethics - these were the areas i had planned to study during week 4 so it worked out and i didn't have to change my study plans. I supplemented with Rajesh's Notes plus the ITTO table from Jaya Prashin. Toward the end of week 4, i bought the PMStudy 4 exam pack, took Exam 2 (since exam 1 in the 4 pack is the free version which i already took) and i scored 86%. On that weekend, i did Exam 3 (85.71%) and Exam 4 (86.29%). I redid Rita's chapter end questions with each chapter during this 2 week period and i averaged 89% across all chapters (up from 83% average the first time)

Week 5: At this point, i had 1 week left before my exams  i used this time to revise the chapters i felt were harder for me- Time, Cost, Risk, and Procurement. For other chapters that i was good with, i just reviewed Rajesh's notes and just spent time really understanding the ITTOs. I chose not to memorize it. It was just too much and i didn't have it in me to memorize. I would make up stories for each process and that way i really got to understand it. I also found relationships that helped me e.g Variance Analysis is almost in all M+C processes, Reserve analysis is found where there might be risk in estimating e.g Estimate duration, costs, budget, monitor + control risks. Performance reports are in Control scope, cost, schedule (think baselines), etc. I did not do any mock exams in this one week.

I also found WPI/WPMs very confusing. Someone on PMZIlla pointed to this article- i read it once and i was never confused again. FANTASTIC article.

I took friday Aug 10th off from work- i reviewed Rajesh's Notes, Jaya's ITTO, Rita's process chart, and formulas. Light reviews on all these..

About the Exam

The scratch paper i think is like 6 pages of normal  8 by 11 paper. More than enough to get you through the exam. I dumped out Rita's planning process chart plus all the formulas, after spending 7 mins on the actual tutorial. Layout is very similar to PMStudy except the inbuilt calculator.

Alos Similar to PMStudy in terms of situational questions. It had very few direct definitions from PMBOK like the PMStudy exams, i think PMStudy does that to make sure you really understand and know PMBOK. I only remember one exact PMBOK definition on the exam which was the definition of a checklist from Plan Quality.  There were other definitions on the exam but not phrased word for word from PMBOK like PMStudy does it. I thought the exam was a bit harder than PMSTUDY.. just a tiny tiny bit.

Not too many calculations- about 8-10. A lot of them were easy and very direct. I found maybe 1 or 2 took me a bit longer to figure out but i was able to. It took me 3 hrs and 10 mins to get through the exam.. I was averaging about 2 and a half hrs on PMStudy exams 3 & 4- the last mock exams i took. When i went back to review marked questions, i got through most but not all of them before the clock timed out.

Waiting on the score at the end while the computer is saying: Updating...pls wait was nervewrecking. I felt i did OK but you never know.. Then they prolong it even more when they make you take the survey. Then I saw that i passed!! woohoo..


Last Words..

  • It took a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice to stick to the plan. I was studying an average  of 3-4 hrs a day after getting off work. mainly because i was tired after working all day. Weekends I was spending 6-8 hrs studying. It probably took me longer because my current employer does not have a great methodology for project management so it took me longer to learn the concepts and i was determined to pass it at first try! I cut out many extracurricular activities- no gym, rarely going out on weekends, no tv, internet, etc. It was only for 5 weeks, it was worth the sacrifices.
  • PMZilla lessons learned forum was invaluable. Reading peoples experiences helped a great deal.
  • Rita's book is the best.. You will learn the stuff. Her questions are harder than the real thing. Yes, she has a negative connotation and i envisioned her as my mother standing over me with a whip making sure i was doing my homework lol. My only issue with Rita is she doesn't present the ITTOs in a big picture view.. she makes you understand the details.. this is where Jaya Prashin's ITTO table was invaluable (see below)
  • HeadFirst was great to help me understand some areas i struggled with on Rita's because it makes it fun to learn. I only read this book once. I would not 100% rely on this book to study. It had typos and a few discrepancies from PMBOK.. It explains the material in a fun real world manner but i think it also what makes it lacking in value. Use this for areas that are hard to understand. I wouldn't use it as a main study guide.
  • Rajesh Nair's notes- wow, what a treasure!! I did clean up these notes a lot for my own use. I found some discrepancies against PMBOK, removed the typos, and highlighted all the exam spotlights in red color. I also added some of my notes here as well..
  • Jaya Prashin's ITTO doc- LOVED this too.. i could take this to work with me and review at lunch time.
  • Practice exams are a MUST!!!! Can't stress this enough.. When you think you know something, you realize you don't know it as well when you see it on the practice exam and are struggling with  answering.
  • Oliver Lehmans 75 exam ( 73.3%). Much much harder than the real thing but def a must take.
  • PMStudy- The situational questions were similar to the real thing but all those PMBOK defintions on their exams were very few on the real thing. I think they place them there to ensure you know PMBOK. I scored 77%, 86%, 85%, 86% respectively on Exam 1-4. Definitely worth the investment. Take the free exam once you have been through the material well enough at least twice then you can use the results to know where to focus your efforts.
  • I had an issue with PMStudy- : they vary their dummy questions every day on the paid exams! So if i go in today and take the exam, when i go in tomorrow to review, my score would have changed because the dummy questions from yesterday are not the same as dummy questions from today. Yet they keep your answers the same. I found this annoying because unless you review all your answers same day, you wont really be able to tell for sure which ones you missed and where you needed to focus. I was very surprised that no one else complained about this. This is not disclosed on their site, i had to email them for them to get an explanation. If you do the free exam, all the questions change daily so those might not be all the same questions you took, yet your answers stay in place. .
  • ExamCentral- Very easy. I only did one exam here and scored 83%.. Its a good starting point but like others said, its much easier than the real thing, don't spend too much time doing these

Good luck to others! I'll be happy to share my notes or study plan docs with anyone or answer questions



Ms. T PMP :)

Congrats friend!

The details of your study plan and lessons learn are really helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing.





admin's picture

Very good compilation PMPChic, one more valuable contribution to Lessons learnt database.

Congratulations on your PMP


Hello Ms T, Congrats! Thanks for sharing.

Did you see any direct ITTO question from the PMBOK? Sometimes I see people suggesting for remembering ITTO, but tell me, do I really need to memorise them? Most of the ITTO's, I should be able to tell by correlating, I might miss something here and there,  but do I need to spend time on memorising them? What is your feedback, what do you suggest?


Thanks Banajab!

There were a handful of direct ITTO questions but they were not difficult at all. The questions were phrased as-

  • Which of the following is/is not an input/output/tool of xyz process?

  • Other questions would describe a process that a manager was doing and ask which of the following tools would/would not be used or what will be/not be an input/output of the process.

I personally felt the choices provided were easy and different enough to pick out the wrong/right answer. I did not have any problems in this section.

As I noted in my LL, I  did not memorize the ITTOs. I just didn't have it in me to do it.. just too much.. So i focused on understanding them and making up stories about the processes that were more difficult. I also read up the PMBOK definition of the input/tool/outputs to get a better understanding of why something was part of the process.. If you can understand why something is an ITTO, it will be easy to pick out the answer on the exam. For example, there were no questions with choices like scope baseline, scope statement, requirements doc.. These to me are very similar in nature and could be confused. Choices were distinct enough to easily know which is wrong/right.

Jaya Prashin's ITTO table in excel was very helpful for me.. it displays on the ITTOs in an excel spreadsheet by process group and knowledge area. You can use that in your studying and as a quick reference/guide

Good Luck!


Ms. T

Hello Ms T

Congratulations on your passing the PMP. Your detail LL is very helpful. Could you share where you found Jaya Prashin's ITTO. When I google for it, it brings me to this link, but I could not locate the actual file. Any pointers is appreciated. Thank you.



Hi, I got it from a friend. I don't know where she got it from. I think you can send me a private message in pmzilla, so send me your email address and ill email it back to you by attachment




Congratulations on successfully completing PMP. Your LL is extremely helpful. Could you please share the Jaya Prashin's ITTO Summary  with me? my email:




Sarat, thank you and hope you got the notes I sent.


I did a search and found the ITTO here along with Rajesh's notes. (Someone else emailed me and said they couldn't find it on pmzilla)

Note.. i sent you my version of Rajesh's notes---- i added my own notes to Rajesh's original notes and made some updates based on the latest PMBOK edition as I found a few discrepancies.. All in all Rajesh's notes are amazing and I cant imagine how much time it took to compile that..


All the best!!

Hi PMPchic,

Congratulations on obtaining  PMP credential.


Rajendra Bhandare, PMP




I am a PMP aspirant and will be appearing for the exam on July 22. Can you kindly send me your version of Rajesh notes.


My email id is




Hi Ms T

My email address is Could you please email your notes and Jaya Prashin's ITTO. Much appreciate it.





I just emailed you the notes. Take care and all the best!





I'm planning ro take exam in the month of October, it'll be great if any one of you can share Jaya's ITTO at

Please send to


Thanks a million


Congratus.  Kindly send me the Jaya PrahinITTO. Thanks.

Hi PMPChic - Please send me Jaya Prashin's ITTO Summary




All the best to you.

Pls I need the ITTO summary file

my email



Can you pleaes send me your ITTO summary notes on my email id

Thank you for your help.



Can you also foward me Rajesh Nair's note and the ITTO notes.




Hi - I have taking my test on July 17 and want to spend the next week or so studying the ITTOs. Could you send me a copy of it please?

Thanks in advance!




Can you please share the ITTO and any helpfull things That I could Use


my email address


I appreciate you sharing





Can you send me Jaya Prashin's ITTO Chart to

Appreciate if you can send me a copy of the Jaya Prashin's ITTO summary. My e-mail address is

Thank you so much



Please send Jaya Prashin's ITTO table and Rajesh notes to my mail -



y 4 exam pack, took Exam 2 (since exam 1 in the 4 pack is the free version which i already took) and i scored 86%. On that weekend, i did Exam 3 (85.71%) and Exam 4 (86.29%). I redid Rita's chapter end questions with each chapter during this 2 week period and i averaged 89% across all chapters (up from 83% average the first time)

Seems like we had a very similar study plan , similar scores in all the mocks.. and same score on the PMP exam.... it is great information for anyone else that PMStudy is truly a great benchmark on exactly how ready you are.

Thanks for your tips on the final days preparation.. I did the same :)

I guess closing was harder than I assumed/thought. I know i spent the least amount of time on closing because it was 9% of the exam.


I am glad its over.. fully embracing being lazy right now! Congrats and im glad the tips helped!




Many congratulations, Is it possible for you to share your plan and Rajesh Nair's most updated notes which you tweaked a bit, also it would be great if you can share Jaya's ITTO doc and what is the easiest way to learn ITTO?

I'm planning to hit PMP in the month of October.



Hi Sachin,


I've emailed you the updated notes and ITTO.


  •  I highly suggest studying Jaya's ITTO table which lays out the ITTOs by process group and knowledge area.

  • First study it while you are going through the knowledge area chapters e.g i would read Rita's chapter on integration management, then review the same chapter in PMBOK and then look at Jaya's table at the same time. I would make sure i understood the definition of each ITTO as per PMBOK. My first round, i just read it through. I couldn't tell you what was an ITTO in what section

  • In my next round, things became clearer and i started trying to find relationships between the ITTOs and i would come up with stories to help me remember the ITTOs. Some of the relationships i noticed are as such: 1) Work Performance Measurements are outputs of schedule cost/scope/schedule.These are performance baselines so just remember WPMs come from controlling the performance baseline. 2) Variance Analysis is in all Monitoring + Controlling processes except 1 i think (u can check Jaya's table to find the one and just remember that). 3)Reserve analysis is always a tool/technique in any process where there is risk involved in estimating e.g estimate cost, estimate duration, develop budget, etc  4) Change requests are outputs of all Monitoring + Control processes except Integrated CHange control. Why? because M+C is where you are tracking and reviewing progress against the plan and most likely you will see variances that will result in changes. Integrated change control is where you are approving/rejecting change controls so you know that Change Requests cannot be an output of this processs. Direct and Manage Project work is the only other non M+C process where you see Change requests as output since this is where the team is doing the work and they may also find issues that require changes as well. These are examples of relationships that i discovered in studying ITTOs . Try to do this and i really believe you will get to understand it. As i said in my LL above, i did not have any issues here on the exam, i was so scared of this section so i spent a lot of time trying to understand it.

  • For each process, i would say out aloud what my understanding of the process was. If you understand the process, you can always guess the ITTOs on the exam. E.g if you understand that Conduct Procurement is about selecting a seller then you will know that any ITTOs have to deal with the seller selection process. This helps with the process of eliminating wrong answers on the exam

  • The Planning process group has the most processes and you will notice that a lot of the outputs are inputs to the next process group in the sequence. This is where Rita tells you to memorize her planning process chart. This def helped me a lot.

  • I spent 2 days doing nothing but reviewing ITTOs.. i reread the definitions in PMBOK and reviewed Jaya's table and this helped my understanding a lot too.

  • When trying to recall the ITTOs (not from memorization but from understanding), i found it easier to start with the outputs, then walk back to what i need to get to the outputs. I found it harder to start at Inputs and end at outputs. When i started doing this, i will

  • I took Jaya's table to work with me and would look at it during lunch time every other day in the last 2 weeks before  my exams. This was helpful as well

Its very very doable to learn it and not memorize it. It just takes some time and patience and you will get it.  

Hope this helps!


Congratulation on passing the test!!

Can you please email me your notes as well at


Please if possible forward the Jaya's ITTO and Rajesh Nair updated notes to my attention. Hopefully I'm not too late for asking about these notes.

Please if you can. My email address is

Thanks for your help in advance.


Ive emailed the notes to you

Congratulations!!!.  could you please send the Jaya ITTOs and rest of the materials to me also at

Thanks in advance....

All the best!

Superb study plan. In my case, i am so messy. I do not know the right formula. Maybe i am still not in serious mode.

Kindly send me the Jayas ITTO? Thanks a lot. Ill take the examination this October. I just lodged my application to PMI and it got accepted.



Sorry for the delay.. ive been offline for a few days. Lucky you on your application acceptance.. i got audited! but it was a quick and painless process.


All the best to you on your studying!

Hello PMChic,


Could you please also send me the notes and Jaya's ITTOs on my email id

It would be more than a help lady!


Thanks so much, KK....



All the best to you!

Hi pmchic,

I am not sure if you received my earlier reply to you. Would be great if you can please forward me the Jaya's notes to my mail id -

Thanks a lot.


Sorry I must have missed your email earlier!


I loved your plan, i want to do the same you did.


Please,Could you send me the notes and Jaya's ITTOs on my email 

Thanks so much,


I've emailed you the notes. All the best!

Hi there PMChic,

Thanks for a nice update on your PMP efforts. Appreciated.

Could you please also any useful notes that you made during this endeavor and Jaya's ITTOs to my email id

Thanks a bunch! 



Can you please send me these updated notes and Jaya's ITTS. My exam is there in another 2 weeks

your immediate response will be really appreciated.

My email id is




I loved your plan, i want to do the same you did.


Please,Could you send me the notes and Jaya's ITTOs on my email 

Thanks so much,


Your approch towards the PMP is very appriciative and gives lot of confidence to the people who are in preparation mode.

Could you please also send me the notes and Jaya's ITTOs on my email id

All the best to you!