Failed first attempt at PMP test

Hi Everybody,

Although I felt comfortable going into the test I still failed.  I used PMBOK and Head First, and took numerous online practice tests.

I want to re-schedule the test asap, and I am goign to add Andy Crow and possibly Rita to my studying arsenal.  For those of you who failed on the first attempt, how long did you wait until you took it again?  I want to give myself 3-4 weeks but not much longer than that as most of the stuff is still "fresh" in my mind.



I took the exam last Saturday and passed it fortunately.  I used Head First, PMBOK, and did lots of practise questions. Practice exams were the biggest help I would say, not because you're likely to see the same questions (you probably won't) but because they get you comfortable with the style, the wording and "long-windness" of the questions. Know the process chart on page 43 of the PMBOK and be able to dump it out on your scratch paper just before the exam. That helped me. Head First was "moderately" helpful but I would not ever suggest anyone rely on it solely. It's good for critical path and EVM topics. Also read and understand the code of conduct. I thought those questions would be a slam dunk for me but I scored "Below Proficient" which stunned me. I think your plan of 3-4 weeks is good and definitely give it another whirl. Good luck!

I'm currently using Andy Crowe and I find it to be an excellent resource, but keep in mind  haven't taken the exam yet (3 weeks away!).  I'll let you know how I feel about Crowe after I take the exam.

What I've found so far is that Crowe tells you what's important for the exam and what's less important, as well as summarising most of the topics in the PMBOK, but what's lacking is the application.

You've got all this theory in your head memorized and when you get to a question is usualy starst off wtih "You're a proejct manager working on a project [...]", and I find the theory hasn't properly prepared you for the practical.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me, I've memorized about all I can memorize.  I'm going to start learning how to think like a project manager from practice exams.

 My advice would be as follows:

Read PMBok thoroughly

Read Rita Mulcahy latest edition

Read Head First PMP book (the concepts are explained in an easier way with a lot of examples)

Do the questions after each chapter in both Rita and Head First and take the Head First 200 question simulation exam also.  I feel one should score at least an 80% on that because it is quite simple.

Next, purchase the 200 questions 4 simulation exams from (only fifty bucks)

That was one of the best things I did for my preparation.  The practice exams are VERY SIMILAR to the actual exam...maybe close to 60%.  If you score an average of 75% on those, I feel you have a good chance to clear the exam.

I also heard from a friend who passed the PMP exam on the second attempt is that the second time exam is more harder.  That PMI will make it more hard for you since you failed the first attempt.  I'm not sure if this is true but that's what my friend told me.  So prepare thoroughly, do as many questions as you can and try to fully digest the PMBok, especially the ITTO.

Best of luck.


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Even before I have mentioned that just reading from PMbok and Head first may not be enough. Those questions are very basic. Yes study from Rita's book, see the questions from there. You can take other tests also like pmzilla 200 tough questions ( if you can score 60% here you are more than prepared ), and as suggested by someone else, pmstudy tests are also good.