Passed Exam on 29 Aug - 1st Attempt - Feeling Relieved

Dear All PMZillians


I am happy to share with you that I passed the exam on 1st attempt with following grades –

Planning, Executing, Monitoring, Closing – P

Initiation, Professional Responsibility – MP


A big share of this I would like to dedicate to this community and Mr. Admin, and rest for my wife and beautiful daughter who gave me a decent environment required for study. I am feeling so lucky to have found this forum and as PMBOK says focus of Lessons Learned is all about doing the things right in future I see this applying very well in my case in reference to what other members share here.


How it started – I took my PDUs in Aug’10 and then did not do anything until May’11 when one of my friends told me that pattern is going to change in Sep’11. I woke up with my eyes widened and prepared a plan as I wanted to finish it in Aug only, the data I chose was 29-Aug.


Study Plan – I decided to go ahead with Head First and then PMBOK as per the respective opinions I collected. Then the plan was to solve Mock Tests.


Study Started – I finished Head First like a comic book (15 days – 2-3 hr@day on avg) and thought it’s not that tough and should be an easy job to do. I went through the PMBOK for the first time (1 month) and did not bother much about the topics I could not understand in I did score 82% in Head First practice questions and felt relieved. Then comes the SHOCK!!! Oliver Lehmann….scored 62%..PMZilla 20 tough questions…scored 60%....Looked at the answers and everything was from PMBOK..Things which I read but did not study..Read Lessons Learned on PMZilla and things changed from here onwards..


Corrective Action – I decided to change the original plan and have RITA and PMStudy mock tests and PMStudy mocks included in it so that I could first understand what PMBOK is trying to say as the language is little dry and you could sleep or the interest does not develop.


Updated Study Started - So RITA comes in, 2 times and fast track questions 1500…felt better....Now only 15-20 days remain…and all I wanted to do was PMBOK…This time everything started falling in place. Sentences appeared big and worthy, message was very clear and confidence was booming up…Did all PMStudy mocks and consistently scored 80-85% in all tests..Time to Go for Exam….


ITTO - And Yes for all the aspirants learning (not the word not cramming) ITTOs and that too in order for all 42 processes was very helpful as I could easily correlate where question is coming from.


Glossary, Appendix, PMI Code Of Conduct – Worth reading


Exam Day – I was little nervous as failure would have broken me well but confidence came from the fact that I was not ready to fail….So next 4 hours…real tense and I could even take my eyes away from the screen until only 20 mins remaining which is where my exam was done and nothing to review was left…I did little time pass and did not try to change my answers. Finally I Ended the Exam, Searched for the “Congratulations” word and then sigh of relief.


Lessons Learned – It’s all about PMBOK. They want to make sure it is read and understood well. You may pass it without it also but the key lies with it only. For mock tests, do not attempt everything that you find on Internet as they may eat your time and quality would not be what is required. You can stick with Headfirst, Oliver, PMStudy and RITA(optional).


Thanks once again for founding such a great community. All the best for exam aspirants.


This is a pretty boring article, these questions are really hard as well, this is getting on my nerves. - Marla Ahlgrimm