Passed PMP Exam (2nd Attempt) - The Dos and Don'ts!

Hi Everyone, 

I successfully passed the PMP exam (2nd attempt) on October 19th, 2015 and would like to share my experience with you. First and foremost, I would like to say, NEVER GIVE UP!! :D My total time for studying was 3 months, with a very flexible schedule.

My first attempt was 8 months ago. The following are my lessons learned:

1) 1ST ATTEMPT: I scheduled the exam during a time when I had many distractions (my upcoming, destination, wedding :) ) and I also underestimated the level of detailed knowledge required for this exam!!!– WHAT I DID BETTER THIS TIME: I scheduled the exam for when things were calm and my mind was free; I really isolated myself and stayed focused. I had a schedule and I stuck to it. 

2) 1ST ATTEMPT: I skipped reading PMBOK and used prior notes I had from a PM course I had taken along with Rita Mulcahy's book. THIS TIME: One chapter at a time, I went through PMBOK, making notes and then would read the corresponding chapter in Rita. I then would complete the chapter-end questions of Rita, followed by chapter-end questions in HeadFirst. Finally, I would review anything that was unclear.

3) THIS TIME: I thoroughly studied PMBOK’s Data Flow Diagrams for each of the 47 processes and I focused a LOT more on ITTOs. I did my best to understand, rather than memorize. I spent a lot of time making sure I had the ORDER of planning processes from Rita’s process chart memorized and understood! I researched tools, definitions, examples of anything which was still unclear. Youtube has some excellent videos, which helped me better retain certain concepts.

4) 1ST ATTEMPT: I was scoring in the mid-high 70s range on Rita Mulcahy FastTrack exams so I thought I was ready – THIS TIME: I completed a VARIETY of exams (Lehmann, Rita FastTrack and Super PMP, HeadFirst) and I did not base my scores on whether or not I think I  may pass or fail. I focused on if I knew all concepts and if I had any gaps.

5) THIS TIME: I reviewed all of my notes 2-3 times and really made sure I understood EVERYTHING!

The following are some resources you may find useful:

Free full 200 question test

oliver lehmann 175 questions

Free full test and free material including videos and study material for the first two chapters

answers only no explanation


rkraneis's picture


As a PMP and someone who helps clients Pass the PMP on their Second Attempt I thought your points were excellent.

Your 2nd Point was for me, your best point.  Too many PMP students NEVER read PMBOK thoroughly.  They often read Rita's book as a replacement.  Bad method.

Recently, one of my PMP 2nd Attempt students passed the PMP test in Colorado, USA.  A key point in her success was reading both PMBOK 5 and Rita's book side by side.  Rita's book isn't magical, what is helpful is reading PMBOK 5 with a good complementary book (Rita, Sohel Akhter, Crowe, Heldman, etc.).

Congratulations again on Passing the PMP,

Richard Kraneis, PMP
Chicago, IL  USA
Passing the PMP on Your 2nd Try
Richard Kraneis on YouTube

admin's picture

i like the way you have compared 1st and 2nd attempt. Good post , Thanks for sharing and congratulations. 

Thank you all for your kind words.

I am currently on a job hunt and I must say, I feel a lot more confident with my new designation. It is important to always keep a competitive edge and have something new to add to your CV. I have been receiving more calls for interviews since obtaining this new designation. I guess it was worth the effort!

All the best,