Passed PMP exam on 24-Feb-2011 - Lessons Learnt

Hi All,

I Cleared the PMP exam in first attempt on 24 th Feb with the below scores. I was a silent observer of this forum So it is my responsibility to give back my experience for future PMPs.

1.      Initiating - Moderately Proficient

2.      Planning - Moderately Proficient

3.      Executing - Proficient

4.      Monitoring and Control - Proficient

5.      Closing- Proficient

6.      Professional and Social Responsibility - Moderately Proficient

Study Materials Used:

1.          PMBOK 4 (Read three times)

2.          Studied Rita's PMP Prep book thoroughly 2 times. Solved questions on the Rita’s book after completing each chapter. I analyzed the questions that I got wrong and cross checked the same in PMBOK.

3.          Andy Crowe (Comes with one week access to Velociteach)

4.          Rajesh Nair & Chowdary notes from PMZilla. Excellent work done by both of them.

My Preparation

I started around 25 December 2010. Studied 5-6 hours per day. Started with Andy Crowe, did an end to end reading. He puts all the concepts in very concise and simple way. Then read PMBOK once , Read the Rita next. After finishing this exercise I gave 4-5 mock exams then re-read RM , Andy Crowe and PMBOK again. Reading of PMBOK again is a must; it will increase your chances of a passing.

Mock exams

1.      Head First

2.      PMStudy free exam  

3.      Rita’s fast-track questions for all knowledge areas.

4.      Oliver Lehman

5.      Techfaq

6.      Andy velociteach

7.      Simplilearn

8.      Edwel

9.      pmroadtrip

My score was 80+% in all the mock exams. In the last week before the exam I revised 6-7 hours every day, Corrected all mistakes from the Mock exams but stopped giving mock tests 2-3 days before the exam.

On Exam day, Reached the center by 12.00. They gave locker key and asked me to put all my things. For eatables, drinks and snacks, they gave separate open locker where you can keep your snacks.

I entered exam hall with following items

1. Four Yellow color sheets stapled 2. Two pencils 3. One eraser  4. Locker key 5. My id proof

A guy came with me and opened the exam screen. A self explanatory tutorial contains 9 pages, Completed the tutorial in 1 minutes, Wrote PMBOK 42 page in the work sheet.

About exams

1. Quality of questions was really good. The exam questions are really very high standard when compare to all the mock exams I took.

2. I got many questions on HR, quality, risk, and procurement.

3. Lot of people on this forum claimed that  most of the questions are one liner and formula questions are simple but that was not entirely true in my case. I got around 40-50 paragraph question and some very tough math questions and most of them were easy.

4. Around 100-110 questions are simple and easy to answer. So make use of this question to pass the exam. This is where various mock exams experience comes handy.

5. Approx 50 questions are really tough. I marked around 75 questions and even after using elimination strategy confusion remains. I had around 30-40 question left even after 2 revisions.

6. I got no questions on network diagram on time management.

7. I took 2 breaks totally, first after completing 150 and before review.

8. Completed the exam in 160 minutes, started reviewing the Marked, and changed around 10-15. Completed all before 10 minutes remaining.


  1. Don’t read too many books. I feel a through study of RM’s book along with PMBOK is good enough

  2. Agree with another LL on forum that “Don’t take all the mock exams in the net. Take only quality mock exams. Some of the mock exam are not up to PMI standard and confuse your preparation.”

  3.  Be prepared for long questions but train yourself to read fast and take only relevant information for the question.

  4. Take breaks only if you need. If you are doing good and not tired, you could finish the test in one go rather than breaking the rhythm.

  5. Understanding the key terms like Contract types, QA and QC, Monte Carlo Analysis, Config management systems, types of organizations is must.

  6. ITTOs – My sincere advise, please have these memorized as much as you can at least for scope, cost, risk and procurement.

Thanks to

1. PM Zilla Forum

2. Chowdhary and Rajesh, excellent work with such a nice sprit.

3. To My wife and my son for allowing me study for 2 months, without their cooperation definitely I could not have achieved this major milestone.




admin's picture

Congratulations on this achievement and thanks for sharing the LL with this group.