Hi everyone, 

First of all I want to thank the PMZILLA forums, without the Lessons Learn section I wouldn't passed. Reading everyone's study plans and experience really help me to pass the exam.

Today I want to share my experience with you. I passed the exam on Nov 27th 2013 with 1P in Executing, 3MP in Initiating, Planning, Closing and 1BP in Control & Monitor. And I am so proud and happy!!! After so much sacrifice at the end is worth and I am sure everyone who wants to pass it will pass it, you just need to have the right material, right direction and lot of dedication. 


My background: I am an industrial engineer and have been working as a project manager on software companies for a while. Also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, and 6 months from now living in SA, Texas.


1st Attempt: The first time I took the PMP exam thought it was going to be easy because I already had the project manager position on my work. I was wrong!! I just took a course in Puerto Rico and 10 months later decided to take the exam and as a result got all BP on the exam. My preparation was horrible just a month without much dedication.  

I used a book PMI's Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and will not recommend it. 


2nd Attempt: Used just the PMBOK 5th edition, you MUST have the book to pass the exam. The problem is the book just concentrates on the processes and definitions (will not explain you the concepts). So using the PMBOK alone I will not recommend it. 

Meanwhile I start searching on the internet for websites and forums to took advice and improve my preparation, looking for testimonies, study plans and what PMP aspirants do. It was the day I found pmzilla and became a member. Started reading people study plans and advices. And I realized that if wanted to pass the exam was not going to be that easy. So started dedicating a lot of time in August 2013 and scheduled my exam for October. 

Exam preparation scores for 2nd Attempt: 

- Christopher Sordo Little Mocks (Test 1) - 76%

- 101 Scribd Practice Formula Questions - 52%

- PMStudy (Free Test) - 63%

- PMPforSure (Free Test) - 50%

- Olivers 75 Questions - 77%

- Exam Central - 76%

- PMPforSure (Test 1) - 60%

- PMPforSure (Test 2) - 50%

- PMPforSure (Test 3) - 62%

- PMStudy (Test 3) - 68%
- PMStudy (Test 2) - 67%


As a result I failed the exam and my frustration lasted a week. After that week I decided to prepare again for my 3rd and last attempt until May 2014.   

Another advice, don't schedule the exam for a specific day if you still don't feel prepared. 


3rd Attempt: I decided to read the Rita Book 8th edition (thanks to the feedback in the pmzilla forums) and the PMBOK again. Rita Book is excellent! And the combination of Rita Book + PMBOK is the perfect combination! Rita Book will help you with the concepts while PMBOK will help you with the definitions and processes. So I read both books in parallel.

Spent around 1 month reading Rita and then started practicing the questions. Took me 1 and half weeks to practice different questions. Then came back to skim Rita and PMBOK while continue practicing on simulation exams. My last practiced exam was on a Saturday (PMStudy Test 4) and scored a 74%. Then I took the Sunday free. And on Monday I schedule my exam for Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday didn't practice any exams just skim through the books and my notes. And on Wednesday PASSED the exam! 

Exam preparation scores for 3rd Attempt: 

- Rita PMP Exam Prep - 78%

- 101 Scribd Practice Formula Questions - 77%

- Olivers 75 Questions - 80%

- PMPforSure (Free Test) - 63%

- Christopher Scordo Little Mocks (Test 13) - 78%

- Christopher Scordo Little Mocks (Test 14) - 84%

- Christopher Scordo Little Mocks (Test 16) - 78%

- PMPforSure (Test 5) - 64%

- ExamCentral - 83%

- PMStudy (Test 1) - 86%
- PMStudy (Test 4) - 74%



Total Preparation Time: 4 months 
Time dedicated per day: 2 - 3 hours daily
Books: Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep 8th Edition and PMBOK 5th Edition
Online References: and 
PMP Exam Difficulty: Medium
Exams Simulations:

  • Rita's Book 400 questions - difficulty: easy but excellent to start and clear concepts
  • 101 Scribd Formula Questons - difficulty: medium and closest to real exam formula questions
  • Olivers 75 Questons - difficulty: medium also very good, you need to try it
  • PMPforSure - difficulty: hard, always had mixed feelings about the quality of questions but need to try it. Even if the questions are more confusing than the real exam but yes they are somewhat close to the real one.
  • ExamCentral - difficulty: easy, just try it once. 
  • PMStudy - difficulty: medium, I think they have the best quality questions out there. 



You're proof that persistence is the single most important key to success.

~ Diba


admin's picture



Congrats on clearing the PMP exam. I also failed the exam twice. Will you be so kind to send me the soft copy of Rita's 8th edition to my email id



would you please send me the link of the free test that you have tried.

Dear Friend,
Congrats and thanks for sharing LL.

Can you please share the study materials and questions banks to Many Thanks in Advance Regards, Prasad


The formula questions document is not available on scribd link above.  Could someone email me the document to as i need urgently to prepare for PMP.




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