Dear Forum Members

My Lessons Learned on clearing PMP are below:

About me

I am in Construction Industry for the past 17 years working in hardcore execution of civil engg projects in remote areas of 50 % of time and majority of time with little access to telecom etc. The situation improved in the last 8 years or so as posted in good towns.

Not aware of PMI or PMP Certifications till Dec 2010.

My Lender Engineer had just briefed me to go for PMP because of analytical abilies, dedication etc. I was selected by Organization to go for Executive MBA from reputed B School and this was the scenario till Dec 2010

Jan 2011 - April 2012

Pressure of MBA Assignments etc did not permit me to take up the course

April 2012 - Jan 2013

Inspiration from LE and prof , have left me in the battle ground and further got inspired by attending pmi national conference in chennai wherein i did attempted to submit the paper and in this period shifted to Mumbai  alone leaving family behind in earlier posting in Andhra Pradesh for the child education to complete the academics at Corporate office, Tributes to LE to Prof ( Krishnamurthy, Vanita - both PMP Members)

Till this period, i had aspiration to take up but did not take it up seriously to go through PMBOK so seriously and ocassionally referring it as need based work

in this period while attending the monthly meetings in November 2012, one of pmp member (Aditya from TCS) during networking sessions in break time had broken the news of PMBOK fifth edition into the picture and that has pierced into the heart and got the push, thanks to him

Because of family issues and functions, practically nothing has moved seriously till Dec 2012

Feb 2013 - May 2013

The crucial period completely devoted to PMI and nothing else. While undergoing formal 35 hours of training and surfing net, i found PMZIlla and that's the starting point of the journey for Pmp

Understood the PMP exam pattern and past academics including MBA, my  average scoring percentage was pivoting around 70% despite putting any efforts (SWOT Analysis) and hence the constraints mgt had to be in place

Max time  for clearing : July 2013,

Minimum time for taking exam : 3 months

Scoring Patteern: 70%, (need a target of 65% considering 25 pretest questions),

Pragmatic Result possible: Around MPs and should have a contingent plan of taking 2 nd attempt before july because of above average qualifying criteria of 61% in PMP exam

Method Approach:

1) Constrained Optimization:

Look at Question allocation on the PMP exam

Initiation : 23 questions, Planning : 46 questions, Execution : 53 questions, M & C : 42 questions and Closing : 18 questions

Considering the above,  catch a point here by considering  I, E  & C : 95 questions can be easily attempted,  Knowledge areas to be covered are few and relatively easier to understand

2) Books

a) Andy Crowe - Read only in Jan 2013

b) PMBOK, Bible  - Almost thrice

c) Rita - Once seriously and 2nd time just skimmed through

d) Head first for Risk Mgt

3) Mock Tests:

Andy Crowe: 1 time

PM Study Free: 1 time

Scordo Lite ( 1-18): Chapters1- 12 :  2 times, chapters 13- 18 : 2 times

Rita chapter wise : 3 times

Simpli learn : 1 time

Question bank from class rooms : 1 time

Olimar both 75 q and 175 Q

PMzilla 200 : 2 attempts within 3 days (last week before exam)

My scoring pattern were in between 70- 80% in the final attempts and ocassionally crossing 90% especially Andy Crowe, Rita

i found, Oliver 175, Scordo 13-18 to be good. Ofcourse the mathematical questions were less but for the theoretical questions, they are sufficient


Mar 2013 ( First fortnight)

First skimmed through PMBOK once and attempted Rita and Andy crowe chapter wise back questions and was scoring around 60% and regularly referring to PMZIlla forum for various questions and answrs

Took one of the full Mock test  within 15 daysand got around 50%

Mar 2013 ( 2nd Fortnight)

Read Rita once and attempted Oliver 75 Q, pmp sure, Question bank from formal study : 68% - 70% and viewing PMzilla

April 2013 ( 1 st fortnight)

Read PMBOK ( 2nd time) :

Attempted Scordo chapters 1-12, first attempt ; 70-75%, 2nd attempt , 75-80%

Took 200 Q Mock test from Head first : 65%

April 2013( 2nd fortnight)

PMBOK Guide (Mainly stressed on Cost  = Earned Value onlyand Procurement)

Attempted Scordo Chapters 13-18, first attempt : 60-65%, 2nd Attempt : 70-72%

May 2013 ( 1st fortnight)

PMBOK  ( Concentrated on HR, Communications, Risk, Quality) and Rita

Rita chapterwise , 2nd Attempt : 75-80%

PMzilla tough : 200 questions, 1st attempt : 50%, 2nd Attempt : 62%

Overall put the least effort on Time, Scope, Cost and Procurement as doing this job regularly and hence did not waste much time

Exam Preparation methodology

i dont have the habit of jotting notes and just highlight on the book itself

Only attempt for jotting the notes is for writin 42 process and understanding the ITTO processes  Processing group wise once so that it will facilitate me how the things move

Exam date selection;

After undergoing 4 day formal training between Feb 23 - 26, i had initially planned to take up in last week of April

Till that date, No formal process of applying had started. by 10th of March, entire process of application got cleared and immediately paid d fees

on the back up plan, I had to be prepared for any Audit in Application and my reporting in charges were prior informed about my action plan and be ready to give their recommendations in case if the applicaiton is audited and sent my filled in application form already to them.

I had initially set myself the target of Optimistic target of End April. After going through the results till the first week of April, i was not confident enough of clearing the exam when such huge stakes were involved.

I had to reset my baseline to May 13 and End may i have to go my last posting location to shift my family to Mumbai and there would be no time atleast for the next fifteen days as readjustment to the new location would not facilitate concentration of mind that too after travelling 4 hours daily through Mumbai Locals in the damn rush period

If I fail, I need to have atleast one more month for the 2nd attempt before July. Therefore, I had to chose May 13 and this being auspicious day and i took the plunge

 Exam Day:

I had gone through PMBOK once again and had 2 pager printed formulae and broad concepts of all the knowledge areas and sat for the exam


As anticipated, questions were mainly from Quality, Communications, Risk, Costs, HR

Almost every Mathematical formula were covered and Maths being my favorite, i could solve easily

4-5 network diagrams,

10 EV

Risk Strategies and responses

Motivational theories

Conflict Mgt

Team Development

Quality Control Process

10 - 15 ITTO, No need for memorizing ITTO, Understand the flow and if u write it once and u will be able to recollect

The questions were not more than 3-4 lines and in major there were 2 likely answers

I dont think the questions were so tough either. Since I have gone thru PMBOK considerable times, probably i could recollect. One of the participant had said, the questions were tough and he also cleared it

Nevertheless how you perceive it.  I think the questions appear in exam will definitely be easier than PMZilla tough 200

Rest the support from PMzilla forum members

I again reiterate, contribution from SSPawar is unimaginable and helps each and everyone with his clear concepts and wish to follow his trailing line and continue to contribute to the PMP aspirants in obtaining the PMP credentials. PMP certificates deserves the respect

Thanks Admin, other contributors including Pooja (missed out in my earlier post, for helping me with her Rita Book) and Sunita PMP ( Who also actively participated in last month)

Best wishes to all and keep the spirits high and PMP is a nut which can be conquered . Devote  and attempt to the full sincerity ad satisfaction and surrender to HIM.

It is what has happened to me. I would love to have MP in initiating but probably due to few answers out of the track in Integration/Communication must have landed in BP

Nevertheless, I did not target to have 5P and had 5 MPs in the Mind to go through which I feel i have achieved in the limited time available for me to prepare to have the risk contingency in place

Thanks again and hope the long post would have found informative and solved quite few doubts among the PMP aspirants

Wish you all the best

my email would be bhavesh1273@rediffmail.com,


















Congratulations on clearing the PMP exam! Very nice LL as well, thank you.



Dear Friend,

              Congrats and thanks for posting indetail LL. Your LL are very inspiring.



admin's picture

Thanks Bhavesh for acknowledging the PMZilla Heros . Your LL is very detailed and helpful for others.

Well, construction business is really not easy I can say this because my husband is constructor too. But sometimes you earn really well in this and sometimes your actual money didn’t recover from a house. Must visit freshessays.com website to explore and learn.