Passed the PMP exam on May 7th, 2014

Hello all,

Happy to announce that I passed the PMP exam yesterday.

I have gained immensely from this website. Thanks to Admin and the forum members. I have read many LL on this website. And, now it is time to submit my LL.

I am pretty much a professional certification chaser. I have chased and acquired several certifications e.g.

1) Six Sigma Green Belt (ASQ),

2) Certified Quality Auditor (ASQ),

3) Certified Quality Engineer (ASQ),

4) P.E (F.E. and P.E. Exam - State of Colorado) and

5) P.Eng. (NPPE exam-Canada)

6) and now, PMP (PMI).

Among all the certification exams i have taken, P.E. (Professional Engineer) is the most valuable and the hardest to get. It is a license-to-practice-engineering from government. It is a 8 hour long exam with 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening. And the body of knowledge is all the books from bachelor courses. The published pass rate is 50% for first-time takers and 45% for repeaters in metallurgical engineering.

Experience (coming from chasing the certificates) taught me few things which i would like to share.

Before you study for any certification exam, it will be highly beneficial if you search for the following things on internet - 

1) Number of study hours required to pass the exam for an average person - 240 to 260 for PMP.

2) Books required to pass the exam - Two books are sufficient - PMBOK and Rita. One of the book must be PMBOK.

3) Review of lessons learned given on various website by successful and, more importantly, unsuccessful candidates. 

4) Join a website where candidates are sharing questions and answers. 

5) Just reading a book can become very boring. Therefore, search for exam topics on YouTube or various websites so that your learning is not just 'eye-to-brain' coordination but also 'ear-to-brain' coordination. 

I followed my standard-operating-procedure on almost all the certification exams i have taken so far. And, I have passed all the certification exams in the first attempt.

Decided to take the PMP exam a month from March 28th. However, the latest time-slot available at Prometric center was on May 7th. It came out to be around 39 days but the actual study-days should have been 30-35 as I had to take care of few personal stuffs.

Neither I have a job, nor family; therefore, i was studying all day long 7 or 8 hours a day and 7 days a week. So, I studied around 210 to 250 hours. 

There were days when I questioned the purpose of my existence because there was really nothing fun or new in the life for the last one month. It was only study, study and study.

By the end of this preparation, I had gone through PMBOK twice and Rita 1.5 times. I was not able to finish all the chapters in the Rita in my 2nd round. I had also watched all the videos from PM-Prepcast. I have also watched many videos on YouTube on CPM, CCM, IRR, NPV, EVM etc. I also read few articles on PMI websites on change control board and configuration management system.   

I took few free tests to gauge my understanding. The results are shown below –

Pmzilla 30 – 67%

Oliver 75 - 80%

Oliver 175 - 78%

PM-Prepcast self-assessment - 82%

Rita’s chapter end questions – 75% to 95%

I downloaded few apps on my Ipad and took several tests using those apps. In total, I solved around  800-1000 questions.

On May 7th, I arrived at the Prometric center on time. On the exam in the first few questions, I was having hard time concentrating. But, it went away shortly.

I felt that the most of the questions were direct. However, there were few questions which appeared to have more than one correct answer.

After solving first 50 questions, I got the feeling that I am going to pass this exam. After answering first 150 questions, I had the feeling that it is going to be 4P and 1 MP.

I had around 30 questions ‘Marked’ for review. I finished the exam 2 minutes before the allotted time. Therefore, I was not able to review the ‘marked’ question.

If you solve a question but leave it 'marked' for later review, does it impact your score ?

After finishing the exam and completing the 9 survey question on the test center, I got my result. It said – Pass and score was 4 MP and 1 P. The one P i got was in planning.

I was a little disappointed to see the score card on the monitor.

But, it is what it is.

I had promised myself that if I pass this exam, I am going to treat myself by enjoying a tasty dinner from Indian restaurant. So, enjoyed the evening as planned…

Now, it is time for me to move on. It is time to pursue more important things in life e.g. getting a job and a wife and having a family.

Getting the PMP certification is a very mechanical process. There is nothing ‘unique’ about this exam. An average person (like me) has to study 240-250 hours using at least two books. One of the books must be PMBOK. The other book can be Rita or Kim or Andy. Head First is a good ‘beginners’ book but not the book you want to rely on to pass the exam.

Thanks to Admin for providing this great platform where people can share their thoughts.

Thanks to all the forum members who asked questions or responded to the questions or shared their LLs. 

Keep up the good work !!!

Congrats tho I have always thought you were certified already. All the best. 

Thank you for sharing your LL's...very helpful :) especially those 5 points mentioned...

anmol2701's picture

Hi, Congrats dear.

You have a lot of certification into your kitty. I ask you is it really fulfilling your requirement / expectation into the current job scenario. I am from IT field and planning for first profession certification and this is PMP certification.

Moreover, I found good point from LL of your posting.

"I downloaded few apps on my Ipad and took several tests using those apps."

Surprisigly, I saw alot of apps are available on Play Store too (android).

@ Anmol

I chased the certificates because my previous employer was offering tuition reimbursement. Except PMP, all other certification expenditures (books, exam fee etc) were paid by my previous employer.

I am unemployed for last 6 months. None of the certificates came handy to find me a job. But, they do tend to bring my resume up in the pile.

However, at the end of the day, the only two things which matter are your education (bachelor, master or Phd degree) and work experience.


anmol2701's picture


But the final offer would be dependent on you basic education, work experience and knowledge.

Wish you get a good job soon. And plan for another party in some Indian Restaurant.

Good Luck dear.

admin's picture

Amazing , congratulations. 

HI Phil Stinnet,


Congrats Man.   I miss you in pmzilla.  Since three days no postings regarding subject/Questions.

Only messages who got passed/failed.  I hope you will get a job soon.  God bless you to settle in your family life.