Passed the PMP on 21st Oct in first attempt

PMP Certification journey

Hi All, I passed my PMP certification of PMI on 21st Oct 2016… Wanted to share my experience with the future aspirants of the certification so it might be of some help…

I attended the training session from JEES Enterprise solutions. I did 2-3 hours of full concentrated study for about 2 months of Head first PMP, Rita and PMBOK. For starting go thro Head first PMP as it is easy to read and we can understand the basic overview of the terminology and understand the core concepts of the PMP of PMI. Then go thro RITA and then PMBOK.I made a notes of all the concepts so it will be useful for revision.. I read one chapter in Headfirst, then same chapter in Rita followed by PMBOK. So I could understand the whole concept very easily.

In the 2nd month half way through, I redid the whole process again, now I updated my notes, This time I prepared another set of notes as by this time my understanding of the concepts has picked up and I wanted to go through the more in-depth or finer points/aspects of the processes, here I merged a lot of my notes with that from ( each and every page of the 13 chapters) and made it perfect so I can revise all the concepts, process, definitions, formulas etc in about 4-5 hours. I was all ready to go for the exam, but luckily/unluckily my application was selected for audit, for which I got the email after I paid the fee, which is always the case.. So I had to collect all the documents get them signed and send to PMI which took another 3 weeks (15 working days not calendar days) of time. ( 1 week for collecting all the signed documents, 1 week for the packet to reach the PMI office and 1 week for the PMI to revert with their decision of my Audit) This 3 weeks I couldn’t cater for the PMP exam as I was busy with my work, also postponing of the exam though not by own intention definitely reduces the interest to study.. Once I got the confirmation from PMI that the audit is completed and I can take the exam, I immediately scheduled my exam for the 11th calendar day… I scheduled the exam date on 12th Oct for 21st October.

Feeling confident I started taking all the available free PMP mock tests listed in  where I was getting 80 (+/-). My confidence was on the high side, till I did this exam from, where I scored 49 in the 100 questions. I had no clue what I was reading, the questions made me really think about my preparation. I called Mr Anmol of PMPzest and asked him how come my score can go so low compared to other tests…After 20 minutes or so discussion I understood I got gaps which I need to fill very soon. From that day I took one test of 100Q daily and revised the gaps…These are the overall scores for my exams so you can understand what hit me..

The questions are very tough and I can say as tough as the exams in the PMP exam… Based on the advise of Mr Anmol I changed my total preparation. Took the printouts of the whole Glossary of the PMBOK, all the 47 processes and my notes and started reading them. What I was reading here understand all the definitions of the words in the glossary and understand where we can use. If one has enough experience in Project management, it becomes very easy to place what will be the inputs, outputs, Tools and technologies used in the individual Processes. I suggest don’t learn by heart the ITTO’s it is absolute waste of time and energy. In the real exam you cant answer mote than 7-8 questions if you get to write them down even without thinking. It is all about understanding the question, situation, context and application of knowledge, as 85% of the questions are situational.

 I understood few issues on these 10 days –

a.       Having high level of concentrated effort without distraction is very tough as we are used to very fast paced life (working)

b.      Understanding the question efficiently and answering in right perspective is what makes the whole difference of pass and fail

c.       No water/coffee or anything for this 4 hours (you can by time will be running out)

d.      No eating as well.. As my exam was from 12.30 to 5 pm

On the day of exam

Went 30 mts before the scheduled time, took some snacks, water etc. But ensured I am not over stuffed or light as I didn’t wanted to be hungry during the actual test.

Once I went thro the checks, kept my things in locker, the guy cam and said, if you have any snacks keep them above locker as you cant open the locker during exam. I was like, ok? And put my snack and water above the locker and went thro the test formalities. As the guy let me sit in my computer and started the tutorial, I jumped to get my brain dump on to paper… Guess WHAT? I was told very politely that I cant write any thing till the exam starts… I was like DAMN, what to do.I had a brain dump of all the process, formulae which I can write in 12 mts.Now I cant take it…So I just made use of those 15 mts to refresh everything in my mind and started the exam.

I was of dilemma to write the brain dump during the exam after few minutes of thinking while taking the exam I left the thought as the questions were bouncers one after the other. After answering 5-6 questions, I started getting myself to grip and got the rhythm of the questions. But the most difficult thing I had to endure is that high concentrated effort of no water, no phone, no noise, no disturbance  for 4 hours at a stretch. By 2 hours I could complete only 100 questions and I was desperate to have some water and break. It took me 10 mts to get back to my exam test as had to go thro all the security checks again.

I could complete the whole 200 questions in 3.48 hours. One good thing I did was not to leave blank any of the  questions which I wasn’t sure but answered them right as per my understanding and also Marked it. I didn’t  leave anyone question unanswered, as I was not sure if I can have enough time to review the questions if I left them blank.

After reading the question we can easily eliminate 2 answers and understanding the question and the concept/process we can eliminate another answer very easily even if we are not 100% sure. What I can say is we have a good working knowledge of the process ,the basic concepts of the terminology and the Process, what goes in to the process, what tools and techniques are used for which process and the EXPERIENCE of using of all these it is not very tough. Also the exam is about our endurance levels of concentration and maintaining it for full time of exam.

Once I was done with the exam at 3.59 mts, the screen went blank (processing) for about 80 seconds and trust me that 80 seconds I could feel my nerves breaking and hear my heart beat, a written test which I took after about 14 years (for my Masters) and closed my eyes…when I opened my eyes, first thing I saw was “Congratulations” only after reading it I could breathe normally, and I just was still for 2 minutes to devour the moment of accomplishment of success…and was like thank god and thanks for my preparation and family for all the support…I got all MP’s which was exactly which I was getting in pmpzest..So I thanked Mr Anmol for my success in my thoughts…

Though this is a bit lengthy, hope my inputs will be of some help for the guys who are taking the PMP exam soon. You can always get in touch with me if I can be of any help....



Congratulations for achieving PMP certification. Will you be able to share your notes so it can benefit us in achieving PMP certification.

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