I passed PMP on 05 Oct 2010

 I have been a follower of this site for quite a while now and it's time for updating my lessons learned for the PMP exam.

Exam experience

My exam (and when I am talking about my exam I mean my set) had mostly lengthy questions and I have to admit that after half and hour it broke my confidence and I knew it is not as easy as I thought. I used all 4 hours of my exam except for last 3 minutes which I spent praying. not only the questions were lengthy the choices were very close, close to a point that it annoys you. In short, I think this exam should not be taken lightly. 

Scores: Proficient in Executing and Monitoring and controlling. Moderately proficient in all others.

My Preparation

Duration: 4 months, 3 hours on weekdays and 8 hours on weekends.

Books: Rita Mulcahy, Kim Heldman, Brain friendly guide, PMBOK (3 times)

My Rating of books:

Kim Heldman: This one helped me the most in the exam, the concepts are really detailed.

    Pros: Good content, Learned lot of new things in a nice way.

    Cons: Too Big, less questions (although the quality of questions is pretty good).

Rita Mulcahy: Nice book but I don't like the tone of the book and in real exam there was lot of stress on ITTO which was not clearly defined here.

     Pros: Quality of questions is good. Exercises are good too.


     Cons: Not a very nice tone will make you feel like that this is the best book in the world.

Brain Friendly: I just loved this book, good for numerical questions and concept. I would suggest that use this book as a starting point of your PMP preparation.

     Pros: You will enjoy reading it. Numerical and critical path explanations are too good. Don't miss it.


     Cons: Questions are too easy does not reflect real exam. Topics are not detailed enough.

Mock tests

Brain friendly: 90% (Midway through my preparation)

Oliver: 69% (midway during my preparation)

PMStudy: Test 1(free) (78% - without revision, casual) Test 2(paid) (81.4%) Test 3(paid) (81%) Test 3(paid) (80.57%) Test 4(paid) (82%)

Andy Crowe: 87% 

and Others, At the end I was getting 80%-90% consistently in all the exams (I did around 4000 questions in total)

Exam tips

1. Be calm and be positive. There are a good chances that you might get an easier set. So smile when you start the exam.

2. Take a coat with you. It was chilling the exam room and it was a distraction for me.

3. Don't underestimate the exam but don't over study as well.

4. Try to understand concepts, memorizing things will NOT help you.


Good luck for future PMPs






admin's picture

Congratulations Amol and thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions with this forum.