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Sundar – Passed PMP Exam on 12-Aug-11. My Lesson Learned

Hi PMP Aspirants,
Its with great pleasure and sense of satisfaction I write this Lesson Learned to help other people to crack the exam.

I have around 12 years of experience in IT and thought of doing PMP for quite some time (Probably around 3 years). But this year I set to complete the PMP exam as one of my major goal and with focused effort and dedication I was able to pass the exam on 12-Aug-2011.

Materials used
When I started to read PMBOK for the first time it was hazy. I started to read the book by Andy Crowe and Rita Mulcahey. They explained knowledge and processes very well. I also purchased PMPrepcast by Cornelius Fichtner. The podcast was very useful. I was also able to gain 35 contact hours from PMPrepcast. Link HERE

After my first PMBOK read, I started to read each chapter from Andy, Rita and started to watch/listen to PMPrepcast. With this combination things started to become clear and was able to relate how an ideal project should be done. I started my serious preparation starting this Jan. Till April, I used to spend around 1 hour during weekdays and 2 hours during weekends.
I applied for the exam on June-2011 and set the date as 12-Aug. Once the deadline is fixed I felt the pressure and started to increase my effort and its almost double and triple than what I was prior to setting the date.
Just before the exam, I took one week off from office to further focus the effort and contribution. I solved as many questions as possible, took many 4hr tests.
Cumulatively I have read PMBOK twice, Andy Crowe and Rita book thrice.

Question Solved
I have solved the questions from the below source

    Chapter end questions from Andy and Rita – Both combined should be around 450+ questions
    PM Fasttrack – 1300 Q
    Oliver Lehman 75 and 175 Q’s
    PMStudy 3, 4 hour test – 600 Q’s
    Andy Crowe’s Final 4hr test – 200 Q’s
    Head First 200 Q’s

Day before and Day of Exam
The day before the exam I took a final 4 hour exam to simulate the exam at the same experience I feel at the testing center. I usually do meditation and before going to bed did meditation to get sound sleep.
My exam was scheduled at 1.30 PM on 12-Aug. Went to the exam center 1 hour before. I was asked to keep all my belongings pen, pencil, watch, wallet, water bottle, snacks at the rack. Went inside the room and I was instructed about the test process. During the first 15 mins I did my brain dump (formulas, page no 43 of PMBOK (process, knowledge area) chart)
The exam was moderately difficult and did not see long winding questions as I encountered in the sample test. I did not take any break during the 4 hour. Which ever question’s I had doubt or second thought I marked them for review. I was able to complete the exam in 3.30 and used the last 30 mins for review and verification.
When I finished my exam, the waiting time approximately around 15 secs to process the question was the longest wait I could imagine. Finally I saw the result as Pass. I felt very much excited and relieved.

Final piece of advice

    Don’t over study. Have a plan to complete the study process around 200 hours
    Book the exam date. Unless we do it, we don’t intensify our effort and dedication
    Think you will succeed the PMP exam and you will

All the very best for your exam. Good luck.


Sundar, PMP

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