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Christoph Piotrowski: Tips & Hints – passed the PMP Exam in Hamburg Nov 29, 2010

After studying for PMP I passed my exam last Monday (November 29th). Before the exam I have read a lot of LL’s and got a lot of hints that helped me during my preparations (so in fact reading LL’s would be my first recommendation?). Now I would like to say thanks to all LL authors and share my personal experience.
Learning Material:

PMPrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner (Video Training Course)
I started half a year ago with reading the PMBOK Guide. In parallel I listened to PMPrepCast. Listening one or two episodes a day really kept me motivated. I recommend strongly the interviews. Here people are asked about their experiences and recommendation during their preparations and the exam itself. Listening to the different opinions and experiences motivated a lot. Especially at the beginning of your study time you get an understanding of the effort it takes to pass the PMP. In addition to the video sessions you will obtain a lot of further material such as a regular email newsletter with hints and test questions. (PMHUB: click PMPrepcast)

2) PMP Exam Prep, 6th Ed. by Rita Mulcahy
This book is highly recommended by a lot of people and has good ratings in forums and on Amazon. Content is of high quality and there are a lot of high quality test questions. The way the material is presented did not work well for me. I was not very satisfied with the structure of the book and the writing style of Rita. I still recommend the book but before buying you might look through some pages first in a book store.

eBook The PMP Exam Prep Essentials Study Guide $19.99
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3) PMBOK Guide
As mentioned by others: reading is a must. I read it twice. First time in addition to PMPrepCast, second time after lots of test questions. Especially after having done some test exams the PMBOK was a lot of easier to read and not as dry as the first time.

4) Example Questions and Test Exams:
I have done about 1600 questions from books and internet websites
– PMP Exam Prep, Rita Mulcahy
– Oliver Lehmann,
– Head First:
– PMStudy,

I can recommend all these sources. From all sources PMStudy was closest to exam questions. I bought 4 exams and can recommend all 4 tests. Results are shown per knowledge area, useful to set the focus to the right area.

6) Forums
I looked into quite some forums but no one is as good as It is a great source of material such as lessons learned and summaries of knowledge areas. I read a lot of material such as Jim Owens JIMBOK Exam Tips (Jim, in case that you read this, thanks a lot for this great work!). I also studied notes from other test takers short before my own exam to figure out, if there are topics I don’t know at all. Fortunately all the stuff was not new to me so I became quite confident about my preparation.

Study Hints

1) Study Hint: Learn fr om your results

Do a lot of example exams, but don’t forget to learn from these exams. Looking up incorrectly answered questions is a must. Additionally try to understand your weakness. On the one hand you can try to improve your weakest knowledge area. Some example exam simulators might help with statistical overviews of result per knowledge group. In addition you should try to understand, why you answered incorrectly. I made a list of some categories such as “ITTO knowledge”, “Concept not understood”, “Question misunderstood”. During answers review I made a mark at the corresponding category. Especially if you get comparable results in all knowledge groups you understand, how you can improve either by studying ITTO’s, repeating a specific concept etc.

2) Study Hint: Understand ITTO’s
You don’t have to memorize ITTO’s, but it helps if you know many of them. I did a two day repetition of ITTO’s questioning each, why it is needed. This helped a lot to improve my example exam results. Existing overviews of ITTO matrices do not help much, but it is very valuable if you create your own table. But be sure to do this with enough time. Just writing down all ITTO’s will not help much, take time for understanding. I used different colors to make related ITTO’s visible. For example I used blue for reports, measurements, information. Another I used for change requests, approved CR’s etc. This helped me a lot to get an understanding of process relations.

3) Study Hint: Stop doing example exams after a good score
Having read about some people that did an 50% result the day before their exam I decided to stop answering exam questions after a test with a 80% result three days before the exam. This way I was confident about my score and had a quite relaxed repetition of my notes and spent much time on reading in forums.

Prometrics / Skill Networks Test Center Hamburg, Germany

I took my test in Hamburg at the test center from Skilled Networks. The test center follows exactly the exam rules you can download at Prometrics website: you are not allowed to take anything into the test center: watches, food, drinks, calculator, everything stays out. You get two ball pens and some paper. You can sign out every time during the test and take something from your food. You can also have water, juice, coffee provided by the test center for free. Prepare your clothes for the case that it is too cold or too warm in the room.

Hope this information was not too much repetition to existing LL’s. Best wishes for your exam!

Christoph Piotrowski

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4 comments to Christoph Piotrowski: Tips & Hints – passed the PMP Exam in Hamburg Nov 29, 2010

  • Congratulations on your accomplishment !


    Santosh Kumar Singh, PMP
    CEO & MD
    iSanguine Information Technologies P Ltd
    Unit No-6, Plot No -32, Mahavir Industrial Sate,
    Nr. Paper Box Factory,MIDC, Andheri (E)-400093, MH, INDIA
    Tel & Fax : +91-22-40157604 , +91-22-40157602
    Mobile : +91-9819211107

  • CHristoph

    Thanks for congratuliations! 🙂

    One minor correction to the above text:
    > PMP Exam Prep, 4th Ed. by Rita Mulcahy

    This is a typo, I read the 6th edition, not the 4th.


  • wala

    congraats. i read rita 4th edition is there major diffrences?? i will set for exam sooon

  • lucendia


    You didn’t do all of your suggestions did you. It seems redundant and expensive.