Passed PMP past weekend - LL

 Hello everyone,

This is my first post in pmzilla and it is good news. I have cleared PMP - 4P & 1MP (closing). With all the help pmzilla and its wonderful members have given me, I felt guily not sharing my LL out here for exam takers. 

Here is how I did it. 

- three months (april, may, june) - it took me a long time to actually get my basic PD's. But I did not target 35 hours, instead I wanted to just complete all my skillsoft elearning courses of PMP. That totalled to almost 51 hours. But I covered all knowledge areas. These courses actually helped to get my fundas. But it was long, tiresome and boring. 

- two months - starting mid June to mid august - Actual learning only takes about a couple of months, but this was possible as it was not hectic at office. So for others, it may take longer. Most of the days I had almost 4 hours on weekdays and more than 8 hours on weekends. I am mentioning all mistakes I did, so people can correct it and wrap up their prep in short time. 

  • started PMBOK first - went through 1st three chapters. It was fine first, but then after I started the fourth chaper, it was just boring and less data was going into my bheja. But somehow I completed the book after more than one week of reading. 
  • Then went for Rita sixth edition (I did not have the 7th with me, I had ordered it and till then I was just using sixth. No major difference between both editions). This is the best book for PMP exam prep I would say. This book was very interesting and gave me a lot of confidence. I completed this in one week. 
  • There is one aspect about Rita that could confuse you, she has her own process chart. I think this is a good chart. But I don't see the need to memorize it. I just read it few times just to understand how she was connecting different KA's. Sametime, I would not skip this chart entirely too. But your main emphasis should only be in PMBOK ITTO. 
  • future exam takers - I would'nt recoommend the above method, instead start with Rita and for each KA you complete in Rita, refer to PMBOK for the corresponding chapter. This will be much easier to relate and will be less boring and tiresome. 
  • Then I wanted to take a mock test, but I was just not confident. So I went on to read Rita and PMBOK once again, this time I related Rita's chapters (this time seventh edition) to PMBOK guide. 
  • Again, I think this was a mistake. I would recommend taking at least one mock-test before going for a full re-read. It gives you a good platform for assessment. 
  • Also, I would not recommend memorizing ITTO. I just understood it and learnt it. Understanding it should be sufficient for the exams. But I will insist you try to recollect ITTO for each process as many times as possible during your study. 
  • Anyways after all this reading and re-reading went for the first mock. Wrote headfirst and got 83 %. This gave me the the needed confidence. Found out most of the errors was not learning ITTO. 
  • Then wrote PMStudy1 got 77 %. My gaps were from PMBOK.
  • This is when I checked all discussions in PMzilla and found people with less score than 77% have passed. This gave me the confidence to book my exam. I booked it with exactly two weeks to go. I knew I was taking the risk, but I couldn't take it anymore. I felt I have studied too much. 
  • Then, again went to PMBOK, focussed on ITTO. Noticed that I have lot of gaps. Tried to fill in as many gaps, but I was never for memorizing or even pneumonics. Always hated memorizing. 
  • Then I gave Oliver Lehman full test. Here I got 77 %. This was a disaster, as it was only one week to go for exam and I am still not in a position where I can say I will definitely pass the same (atleast thats what I thought)
  • But after reading PMzilla I felt this score was fine, not a disaster. 
  • Then I wrote PMP for sure 100 Q for free. I only got 67 % and verdict was fail. I couldn't believe the result. I was really devastated with only five more days to go. 
  • Gap was I had NOT READ PMBOK guide properly. This was a wakening call for me. Since there were sentence in PMBOK that had valuable information that I did not read properly. I realized I had only focussed on the ITTO's during my three reads. 
  • So my fourth read of PMBOK started, here I read each and every sentence. It did take 2 full days.  
  • This was all against my earlier plan, as I wanted to focus on more mock test. All those plan just went awry and I was sitting with my PMBOK. Saket, PMP (pmzilla active member) gave me the needed confidence, as his point was to focus on PMBOK ITTO and it wouldn't hurt. After taking the exam, I agree with Saket. It was all about ITTO. 
  • With two days to go, I gave PMStudy3 and got 80 %. This was the confidence I needed. I was sure, I could pass. 
  • You can get into a situation where answers to mock test questions can contradict with what is in PMBOK. I will say, just ignore these. PMBOK is the bible and very less questions come outside of PMBOK. So hell with all the mocks, as long as PMBOK is there. In fact some answers in mock also contradicted my understanding of Rita's. But each time, I just referred to PMBOK. 
  • For the last day, I had planned to look at Rajesh Nair's notes. But, all info in the notes was something I knew. I was thankful that I was in a good position. So I stopped looking at R Nair notes and just focussed on PMBOK ITTO and nothing else. I finished this by evening and thats it. Went stratight to a pub in the evening and had a great time with my friends (was in bangalore :))
  • Another tip, I will suggest is, exam takers look at Rajesh Nair's notes at least one week before the exam. This way if you have any major gaps (especially in PMBOK) you have sufficient time to focus on those. My hats off to R Nair, I have no idea how he consolidated almost everything into those excel. This is an awersome material for PMP takers. 
  • I did make a mistake of sleeping really late the previous day, but since I passed, have no complaints now. :). 

- exam day - I was not feeling great because of my lack of sleep. Went to exam center. It was like entering the FBI or CIA or something. They had me empty all my pockets, the person there checked my pockets manually once again and he also ran a metal detector on me. Anyway after that, I started the exam. Took two breaks. My target was just 50 questions per hour. I never finished my exams (during my mock) quickly as how many people who passed pmp did. I finished 100 Q exactly when 2 hours was left. I knew I was going slow, but this was my plan, to take time and focus on questions then and there instead of reviewing it later. But I did mark about 20 questions. I finished all questions with about 8 minutes left. Reviewed just about 10 questions, changed a couple of them. I never was in a hurry anytime. Kept my cool throughout and that was the key. Anway exam done, finished survey and there it was Congratulations. I sat there for two minutes for the feeling to synch in.

Last, I want to personally thank all PMZilla contributors, even though I was a passive visitor here, all of you really helped me give the needed confidence before the exam. The tips and LL out here are invaluable, especially the 'PMP Material' link. I want to mention Saket - you are just an amazing person, helping out all PMP takers and giving the exact advice needed and Rajesh Nair for your notes, thanks guys. 

Hello All,


Just when I thought I would never see a LL which is honet and deep-felt and thank you for proving me wrong. This is the ideal way ( read template) to write LLs. How honet and open to the core.


In the past I have reacted on reading LLs when people start acting like Amitabh Bachchan or Rajni Kanth or Salman Khan after clearing their PMPs. Wow. Its not done. It should never be.


Congrats friend. Please enjoy the moment. We all are so very proud of you!! Thanks for reciprocating every Zillian's view on Saket Sir aka SS. He is very helpful and that too without any ulterior or posterior motives.


Keep it up pal. I am sure you will do very well professionally.





Thanks a lot KK. This means a lot to me !

I lost in PMP in last 17 aug 2012, may anybody send me rajesh nair notes on my email id




I lost in PMP in last 17 aug 2012, may anybody send me rajesh nair notes on my email id




 Hi Rakesh,

You can find Rajesh nair's notes in the below link

All the best for your studies. 

First one is from pmzilla 30 questions and second one is from Lehmann 175 questions. Both questions are same and so are the choices. But pmzilla says option 1 is correct while Lehmann says option 3 is correct.

@@@ Srikanth

So nice to read your journey and the lesson learnt. You have again highlighted a key point that you never learn from success but you learn from mistake and I believe that was your turning point around a week before your PMP exam when some mock test opened your eyes to grasp PMBOK. Motive of taking a mock test should always be to find gaps and not to see how big and good you score and how good the english sentences have been framed!

Well done and I wish you all the best for the project management career.

Saket, PMP

admin's picture

Congratulations Srikanth. I read your LL, its quite good. You have given some good tips and have acknowledge pmzillian's who regularly help here, which is very good. I am sure people will benefit from your LL.

I think giving headfirst exam during start will be good since its an easy exam and if you score aroudn 70% there its a good confidence booster.

Thanks sharing your LL , in exam qustions for EVM in which form sentence or Diagram .