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V. Pandey: LL – Passed PMP – 01-June-2011

I passed PMP Exam today in Dubai after almost 6 months of preparation. I have read many LL’s on pmhub as a silent member and this is my contribution to the forum.I had planned to complete the exam within 3 months but my application was selected for audit by PMI & i had some unscheduled vacation.

I got 3 proficient (Executing, M&C & Closing), 3 moderately proficient (Initiation, Planning & Professional resp.)

There is no need to Memorize the ITTO’s, your concept of why these ITTO belong in that process has to be clear.
I would recommend going to test Centre a week before so you can get a feel for the commute.
Day of the test:You should ask for ear plugs.
I did my brain dump during the tutorial which is 15 minutes.My brain dump consisted of the entire KA and PG grouping from PG. 43, all of the formulas thatPMBOK mentions in the book, all of the estimate ranges CPI/SPI interpretations and Sigmas.I was a nervous wreck when I sat down, but due to the fact that I practiced my brain dumps, I was able to pull through when I started the tutorial.
I finished the test in 3 hrs, and spent the 60 Mins reviewing the questions. I corrected 4-5 marked questions during the review. With 20 seconds left I clicked on End Exam and the survey started. I was exhilarated when the “CONGRATULATIONS” came on the screen.
I want to thank everyone who posted their LL’s on this forum, it helped me tremendously in my preparation.


1. Don’t dwell on any question too long. Take advantage of the “Mark for Review” feature and skip to the next question if one poses too much trouble. Most students finish the test in 3 hours and use the rest of the time for this review.
2. Be sure to read every question carefully. Wording is very important and can imply more to the situation beyond the obviously stated question.
3. Be sure to study and memorize the HR concepts and their founders (e.g. Herzberg, Maslow, McGregor, Alderfer).
4. Be sure to study Quality concepts and tools. There are bound to be several questions specifically related to the various tools (e.g. Pareto charts, control charts, statistical sampling techniques, etc.).
5. Be sure to understand the acronyms for contract types and their pros and cons.
6. Be sure to be familiar with the communications model and the terms “tight matrix” and “loose matrix” (not to be confused with “Strong Matrix” and “Weak Matrix” PM organizational terms).
7. Have the EVM equations and analysis of results down pat . Know how to use the indexes to calculate EAC. Particularly useful tips: Always start equations with EV. Variances greater than 0 are good; indexes greater than 1 are good.
8. Read regarding Delegation
9. very nice and with many interesting diagrams. I would recommend, a free site to clear important concepts of PMBOK.
10. Read regarding Ethical Code
11. One never studies till you schedule your exam.

12. One never schedules his exam until he fills up his application, so don’t wait. There will never be the perfect moment.

13. Understand the PMBOK. Makes it easier to memorize it. That was even if you forget, it doesn’t matter

.14. Take tests from different sources. Helps you cover more topics. Do as many as you can… nice resource are

15. When you get a question, which you don’t know. Don’t just review the question review the entire topic. e.g – A question on Maslows theory, read up all the leadership and motivational theories you can (Maslow, Vroom, Mcgregor, Herzberg, Z theory) because the questions can come from any and maybe differently worded.

16. Do the brain dump in the exam in the first 15 mins. Even if you don’t use it in the exam, atleast you are starting the exam with something you know17. Cover the additional topics not in the PMBOK properly – Leadership, HR, NPV/ PV/ IRR/ FV etc, Professional and social responsibility.
18. Practice 4 hour exams, I took the Free Oliver Lehmen’s 70 & 175 questions, I scored 70 & 75% respectively. Try taking tests as often as you can, this by far is the most important advice I have to give, the simulation is key.
19. Focus on Quality, Risk and Procurement ITTO’s. Also focus on contract types and know its advantages. Study the differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control. Practice the mathematical formulas, do not assume all the items will be given for a formula.


– Project sponsor protects the project from changes and from loss of resources.

– Deviations from baselines are often due to incomplete risk identification and risk management.

– Wider the range between optimistic and pessimistic estimates in a 3 point estimate, more the uncertainty the estimator has.

– GERT chart – a chart showing loops between activities.

– Resource working on an activity with most float will be considered for transitions.- To save time, you want to fasttrack activities on critical path.- Team needs to approve final schedule to ensure activities can be completed as scheduled.

– Crashing an activity with float will not shorten the project.

– 2+ Critical paths in a project makes it more risky for the project.

– Detailed project schedule should be approved by functional managers.- More interdependencies on a project increase the need for communication.

– Discretionary dependency – important when analyzing how to shorten or resequence the project to decrease the project duration(fast-track).

– Schedule compression occurs before finalizing the schedule.

– CPI is the most critical EVM metric.

– Resource breakdown Structure (RBS) is useful in tracking project costs.

– Stakeholder list is created at project initiation and reassessed at project execution.

– A project manager does not have authority to issue change orders, but must request them from the procurement manager.

– Project manager cannot accept shipments that do not meet the requirements of the contract; but may meet the project manager’s needs.

– Seller cannot issue a change order, although can request one.

– Normal response to force majeure is to give extension of time.

– When a seller goes abruptly out of business, best thing to do is to hire a new seller under a time and material contract.

– Main purpose of procurement audit is to identify the successes to transfer to other procurements.

– Transference of risk is included in the terms and conditions of the contract.

– A decision to accept a risk must be communicated to stakeholders.
– Salience Model (
– Read Glossary in PMBOK. Sometimes, we understand concepts but may not able understand their definitions.
– Common/Special Causes
– Attribute & Variable Sampling- Activity Types – Discrete, LOE, Apportioned –
– Know these Forecasting methods:-
Time series methods
EVM, Moving average, Extrapolation, Linear prediction, Trend estimation, GRowth curve
Causal/econometric methods
Regression analysis – (Linear, non-linear) , autoregressive moving average, econometrics
Judgmental methods
Surveys, Composite forecasts, Delphi method, Scenario building , Technology forecasting, Forecast by analogy
Other methods
Simulation, Probabilistic forecasting, Ensemble forecasting

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4 comments to V. Pandey: LL – Passed PMP – 01-June-2011

  • Ramesh KV

    Dear V.Pandey ,

    Thanks for sharing such detailed information.

    Cheers …KVR

  • Gaurav Malhotra

    Very comprehensive and usefull LL…..Thanks.

  • vijay

    Hi V. Pandey,
    Thanks for providing a lesson learned and tips to prepare for PMP exam.
    I would like to know about reading style of long big question….
    Is there any specific technique are u using.
    I am little bit afraid on that point.
    Please suggest
    Vijay kumar

  • Akshay

    Hi V. Pandey

    I am going for my PMP exam in next 2 weeks

    Can you please tell me which online exam was the closest to the paper you had given.

    Thank you in advance