Feb 1st. First attempt passed PMP... Wasn't very confident until the night before! Read How

Hi all!

I have spent the last 3 months preparing for the PMP and I wanted to thank each and every one of you who post on this forum. It was not only one of the biggest resources towards preparing my study plan, but it was also there for me on the days that I felt like it was too difficult to understand and memorize everything! Thank you Thank you!!


As for the Exam, the material that I used are as followed:

* The PMP Prepcast and Simulator (I purchased this to attain my PDU's)

- I suggest the Exam simulator for getting a good understanding of the situational questions as well as the math based questions on the exam. It was my best/favorite resource. 

*PMBOK I read it once and referenced it a couple of times on the more difficult knowledge areas such as Risk Management and Procurement Management

*The Free PMP Study Test (I now believe that if you can get 80 percent on this test, that you are readily prepared)

Online ITTO Charts and such

*Abishenk's "Notes"  <-- This one was huge because it helped me to be able to learn by each area and not be surprised by any of the glossary items. Although it would be impossible to remember everything by just reading the sheet over, I would say most of the content is on this document and it would be a shame to not take 20-30 hours looking over it. 

That is about it besides just reading any and all information that I could find through different google searches based on the topic area.  


As for the test, as the subject highlights, I was feeling very unconfident that I had an in depth understanding of all the materials that would be needed to pass the exam. One of the most useful things that I did that helped during the test was remembered the exact order of all the 42 processes in the 9 different knowledge areas. I wrote this entire list down during my brain dump, along with all of the equations that I could think of. The best way that I learned to remember each knowledge area was to remember the number 656335464 (which is how many processes are in each knowledge areas.) Then I remembered the knowledge areas in order: Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Comm, HR, Risk, Procurement. Then I just went through each one and wrote them down. It was very useful to be able to look at each knowledge area and know which process group they were in. I simply marked a number 1-5 to represent if they were in the initiating, planning, etc. It was very easy to learn it this was. For example: If* a question wanted to know what Quality process I would use in Execution, I know that Q. Assurance was the only process in Execution. 

During the test, I never felt that time was an issue. I actually thought that I was going too quick and that worried be a bunch. I also did not know that if I had wanted to, I could show up prior to my test time and study at the Prometric's testing facility. Looking back, if I had known, I prolly would of spent like 30 minutes prior just confirming all of my knowledge and trying to gain the last piece of confidence. 

I suggest that when taking the test, readily mark answers to check after you go through the entire exam. Questions later in the test often times sparked something in my mind from a previous questions, which may have been the difference at the end of the test. 

Math questions are a large part of the exam, but they seemed very easy if you know the entire formula sheet. The main thing to remember is always how to break a questions down into PV, EV, AV, SV, CV, BAC, CPI and SPI. 

Critical chain questions were easy if you understand how to properly forward pass and backward pass. 

There were more than I had thought about outputs and inputs, but luckily I found myself really improved in that area as I had prepared my brain dump. 

Many of the questions were very similar to the ones that I had taken on various practice tests. When completing practice exams, I suggest you go 20 questions at a time and use the answers to correct the way you view the problems. It really helped me to actually write out each answer and the reason for the answer. One of the things that learned about myself is that even though I rarely studied the notes that I wrote out, I actually was able to internalize the information better if I wrote them out. I believe because to the naked eye, much of the information reads very similiar and it takes slowing it down to reading it letter by letter to really understand the connections in the processes. 


Ultimately it is very attainable if you just treat it like a 3 month workout plan, that you dedicate a part of each day to getting more familiar with the methodology that the PMI are trying to incorporate into future PMP's. 


Goodluck and I feel so happy and am now looking to shift from working in Central California as a PM, to a bigger company in LA.  Please message me if anyone has any leads! :)  


Leave me a comment if anything I wrote helped, I could better explain the process that I went through if I knew what could help all of the future PMP All-Stars! or message me if you have any questions or I can offer any further advice



admin's picture

Good LL, Thanks for the post and congratulations


 Thanks and thank you for all the amazing content inside PMZilla.com

 Great LL!. Congratulations and thanks for the detailed LL!!.

 Happy to do it! Let me know if you have any other questions I can help anyone with!

 Great LL. Appreciate you to take time to put down all your thoughts in such a nice way




Congratulations rrindfle on clearing the PMP exam successfully.  Bro, Can you please elaborate on ‘Math was a large part of the exam.’  Calculations makes me uncomfortable and I end up spending too much time solving that.  Can you please share your thoughts on how many math questions were there and their difficulty level?



sure.. math prolly played like 15-20 questions of my exam. Some questions made you do the math, while other problems would just have you identify what the EV or the PV of the problem was. I think the key to the math is understanding that EV is always in the beginning of the problem.

for example

EV-AC=CV   this makes sense if you think about what have i earned compared to what have i spent. the difference would be the variance in the cost

EV-PV=SV   this makes sense if you think about what have i earned compared to what am i supposed to have finished would be the variance in the schedule.

EV/AC = cpi  This makes sense if you think about what have i earned divided with what have i spent. this equals the ratio to work per dollar spent

so on so fourth. The math is actually way easier then a normal economics class if you are able to lay it out

remember the BAC and EAC equations and their purpose.. practice telling someone who has no idea about this test the reasons why these equations exist. If you can teach a concept, then you have a grasp on the topic.

For example AC+BAC = NEW BAC on a problem if there was a problem that made you start over because of an identified problem that you have fixed.

pert is always easy and you should stick to the normal O+P+4ML / 6

understand the concept and differene between total float and free float. Understand that the activites on the critical path and 0 free float . This makes sense if you understand the idea behind the critical path.


hope this helps.. Ask more questions :) 



Thanks rrindfle for a detailed and prompt response.  15-20 math question are quite workable.  I’ll try to focus on EV questions and will get back to you, if required.

Thanks rrindle. I am having issues time management issues in the practice tests. I saw you mentioned PMStudy. DO you recommend any other parctice test that is closer to the real exam. I took Rita's Super PMP and scoped only 63%. I answered the last 10 questions or so randomly as I was pressed for time. I did not try any other full length test.

What was your time management strategy for the exam - were you tring to be on time for every 50 questions or so?

as far as time management. Some of the questions are very short and easy and I think that is what lead me to be able to stay on track. The clock runs from 4 hours backwords. I figured if I could stay ahead of the clock (meaning 1 questions per 1 minute) that I would have ample time at the end to return to my marked questions and give it another look.

After reviewing all my questions which lead to changing about 1/3 of my marked answers, I was left with 10 minutes and clicked end exam.

Now that I am thinking about it!!!!

One of the best things that helped me change some of my final answers and even harder questions, is to find reasons WHY each answer is incorrect.. It is almost really easy to immediately eliminate 2 of the answers because of not being applicable which leads to the final 2. Then I would just ask myself, why shouldn't this be the answer. And if I could rationally justify it, I would just choose the other one.

^ I think that this was a great anecdote to questions that I was on the edge of.


As for practice tests like it. I would say that PMstudy.com has some good questions, but also has some much more difficult questions. The best simulator that helped me with situational questions and explained exactly why each answer was wrong or correct out of the options. It is a little pricey at 89.00 for 90 day access, but if you really need to feel more confident I would use this one.