PMP passed - 1st time

I just passed the PMP, my first pass!  I will say this is one of the most difficult exams I've ever taken, not b/c of the material, but the way the test is written.  The material for the PMP itself isn't difficult, and it's mostly common sense.  You just have to beat the test.


How I passed:



  • took PMTI's PMP prep course - I would HIGHLY recommend this course, in the classroom setting.  If you're in the Washington DC area, my class instructor was Tom O'Rourke, and he is AWESOME.  Always kept the class engaged, and he helped put the material into perspective in a way I never could've alone.  The book PMTI provides is excellent.  I like the way it's written, more according to the process.

  • I read Rita's book twice - the first time I took my time and actually read the whole thing, the 2nd time around, I skimmed it only so I could fill in the gaps of knowledge.  I wasn't a fan of how her book is outlined - in Knowledge areas, so it was a little confusing piecing all the bits together.

  • Rita's practice questions in the PM Fastrack software..this is by far the best practice tests I believe. 

  • Study time:  4-5 days a week - about 2 hours a day, about 6 hours each day on the weekends.

  • Do not bother with the PMBOK. 

  • I did not memorize all the ITTO's.  If you have a good idea of the material, you won't need to memorize it - it's common sense.

  • I brain dumped the formulas, but I actually didn't end up using them.  I didn't really know what to do with them, hahaha, but I figured out the mathematical probs just by using some common sense.

  • I suggest anyone who takes a prep course to not wait too long to take the exam after. 

  • I also understood the concepts and I knew the material pretty well.  While taking the practice tests, anything I got wrong and saw the answer to, I actually KNEW it, just answered incorrectly.  You must understand the processes!

Anyone who's doing this, as long as you spend about 5 days a week studying - and putting in the time on the weekends, with a prep course, you can do this in less than 2 months, and I would suggest even at about the 1.5 month mark.  Just study a chapter a day, take a test a day, and keep the material fresh in your head.  It is NOT an easy exam, do NOT go in there unprepared.  I am normally a very fast test taker - I ended up running out of time.  I took 3 breaks, about 10 min each, and I tried to go thru the exam again, but ran out of time.  There were quite a few questions I immediately knew the answer to, and some, I had no idea.  Usually after a test, I have an idea of how I did..with the PMP, I had NO CLUE, and I was literally shaking waiting for my score.  Keep in mind, you need to do what PMI wants, NOT what you would normally do.  Make sure you take breaks, do not ignore your body when it tells you it can't go on any longer.  The test is difficult, but you can pass.  Just put in the time and preparation, and you will be fine.  Now, time to brain dump this material outta my head!  :)  Good luck!

admin's picture

Congratulations on your PMP and thanks for sharing your LL with this forum.   As you said the exam is not easy and needs preparation. The level of preparation varies on the experience of PM. I have seen experienced people clear PMP in 5 days study and inexperienced PMs would study for a year long and still not feel confident. Either way the exam is justified since it recognizes the level of expertise.