Passed PMP Aug 7th 2012

Dear Friends,

I'm happy to share the news that I've passed the 'PMP' exam today.

My First and foremost thanks to my dear husband for the greatest support and to my parents for their encouragement & blessings. Last but not the least, ‘PMZILLA’ team.

I would like share my experience here on my preparation. I hope my experience will help the PMP aspirants.

The exam was very situational, I hardly had 3 qns on the time management and about 8 to 10 qns on cost and none of the questions were direct ITTO’s.

Prepared for about 5 weeks. Last 1 week for practice…practice and truly I have to say it was a persistent effort. Every time I attempted 4 hrs practice exam. I took it as a challenge and just wanted to aim higher and higher and never got bored of it. Every time I took the exam, only thing that I felt was that I’m learning something new..I was scoring about 70 to 85% consistently.

I took Oliver – 68% (75 qns) 74% (175 qns)

Rita pmp – 80.6%

Rita super pmp – 77%

PmZilla tough qns – 72%

Exam central – 75%

HeadFirst – 85%

Other than the full length, while preparing took few short test taking about 30 to 40 qns / day.


Here is my journey on my PMP exam


1.Read through Rita for about a week. A plain vanilla reading. Just to know what are the new term how the information flow goes. I tell you, after even one full reading you understand what is given in the book, but you will find difficult to correlate things. Don’t worry, just give one full reading of the Rita book .


2.Second week, I took the pmpbok, I took copies of the dataflow diagrams and the ITTO chart and pasted all of them in a card board. I started reading Rita again. This time, I will refer to the dataflow and the ITTO and see how they’re related.  For eg : In Direct and Manage Project execution – the key output will be deliverables, WPI, change take each output and see where they’re going as For this deliverables will go to Quality control, WIP and change request goes to Integrated change control. If you learn by this way, you will know how the things are integrated to each other. Honestly I did not use any acronyms and mnemonics to memorize ITTO. Please ‘DO NOT MEMORIZE’, it defeats the purpose of getting certified as a PMP. Understand..Understand ..thatz the only way.  I did this for each chapter. This was a good read. I took about 14 days to complete. Every now and then I took 30 to 40 sample questions.


3.Remember, the PMP will also test your English, understand the question completely, see all the four answers and try to relate the PMBOK knowledge only. Never ever bring your experience here. Shuttle your thoughts between only what you have read and what is the given the qns and answer. The answers will divert to give you the terms that are not in PMBOK although it will be close to satisfy the answer for that question. Beware of this.


4.4th week, I related Rita and PMBok, to see if there is anything additional info provided in the PMBOK, Yes, there are few additional info inPMBOK. This time I read PMBOK and Rita in parallel for each chapter. Also, had Rajesh notes handy. After finishing every chapter, I will close the book and close my eyes on what I understood. Rajesh Nair notes was handy notes to check you have covered all the sections. This gave me a solid understanding.


5.5th week, I took off from office for 5 days, joined PMZilla gang. Was a silent reader. For those questions I had doubt, I could see replies already posted. Very informative on exam links, conversations. Anyone going for the exam, please do visit this site. I had also referred bits and pieces in ‘PMChamp’-  A good site to refer.  For those which were not clear to me, I went to youtube and searched videos on that topic. For some words, I did see the dictionary.. Last 1 week I was taking full length test and correcting my mistakes. You will have to experience mock exams for 4 hrs, otherwise it will be difficult to stay in the actual exam for 4 hrs. Please do try at least 2 to 3 exams (full length)


6.Y’day I closed all my books. I closed my eyes, and started thinking about what I read in each chapter and related the information with other process groups.  Was almost in ‘PMP’ Meditation J. If you do this, it will help you to link the answers to the questions quickly. I have the habit, while reading I would have understood the concepts, might forget the exact term. Believe me, this technique helped me. I revised for about 4 hrs and let myself free for the next half day.  Again, I did not memorize ITTO. When I did the PMP meditation, I could relate all ITTOS. Once I rehearsed the first 15 min for formulas and Rita process chart. It took exactly 14 min. I tried couple of times to shorten the time for this using short form to remember. This again helped me in the exam.


7.I had scheduled my exam at 1:30 pm today. I did not visit the center earlier, however I saw the google maps for the center location from my place. I started from home about 10:30 am itself.  I reached there about 11:30 am. They asked me to wait for some time to get me registered. I slept in the corner chair for about 1:30 hrs. I felt sooo good. Washed my face and then entered the exam hall.  Honestly speaking, I was not afraid or worried about the result. I said to myself that I prepared sincerely, rest left to GOD.


8.First 15min, I dumped formulas and Rita chart, I was able to complete by 13 min. In the next 2 mins I finished the tutorial. I started my exam, noting down the time on how I progressing. Ofcourse did not spend more than 2 min for a qn. After 1 hour, I felt so cold. Thank GOD I took my sweater other it would have been difficult. Also, After 2 hrs of the exam, I heard construction noise from outside. It was horrible, the sound directly in to my head. I used the given ear plugs. I marked all the qns and noted the qns numbers in the scratch pad for which I had to check definitely. I moved on. I was able to complete by 3 hrs 20 min for one round. I just had 40 min for the review. I marked 8 qns for sure review. I changed about 4 in that. It took me 15 min. The next 20 min I started to review from the beginning. I was able to review around 60 qns. I changed about 3 qns. It was just 40 secs..I just pressed End. The screen went blank. Again said to myself, I prepared sincerely and with understanding. Rest I leave it to GOD. Finally I saw Congrats. Felt happy. I shared with my husband first. He did not pick up the call looks he was busyL . He called me again as I hanged the phone. He was taking a presentation at office and got excused himself for 30 secs and congratulated me.. Felt sooo happy… Came home and wanted to thank PMZILLA,PMCHAMP,RITA and Rajesh Nair. Thank you guys!!!


9.Cloud nine, This has been my 3rd successful exam in the last 2 months. I clear ITIL V3 and Cloud certification before the PMP exam.

10.Wish you all the best for the new PMP aspirants. Key to pass PMP is understanding the concepts. Again, don't memorize. Hope this info helps you.

PS: Please excuse me for any grammatical / spelling mistakes. Need to rush. I’m hungry now.



Thanks :-)

admin's picture

Congratulations Kuilkoel and thanks for posting a detailed LL.  Good to know that you scored 72% in PMZilla exam, you must have read questions well before attempting the answers.


Many thanks!! Yes, infact for PMZilla and Oliver, I did not set the time as I read these questions were tough to answer.  I read the qns multiple times, underlined key words to answer. Infact it took me sometime to understand.  Why I did this?? when I was attempting my daily test of 30 to 40 qns. I made horrible mistakes for not reading the questions and the options properly. It took me some time to adjust to the PMBOK way of answering. I kept saying this ..see the question, emphazine on the last sentence to check (next, best, last..)..sometimes I even had the habit of reading the sentence loudly..then read all the four options..this was very important..many a times question tricked me with very close answers..then pictured what I read in PMBOK on that topic in my mind..this can be gained when we write as many test as possible. The more we do this, mind was getting tuned to link these three aspects.

Thanks, Koel


 Many congratulation for your passing. 

If you don't mind could you please share from where you took the training for pmp?

I have just started ready Rita's book not sure where to go for training, I guess it is mandetory for pdu hrs,also it could provide proper direction towards certification.

Pls help.