PMP Lessons Learned


Published on

Learn from the students who have successfully passed the PMP exams. Get to know their experiences, how they prepare for the exam and some of the tips and tricks they shared for us.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

PMP Lessons Learned

  1. 1. PMP Lessons Learned from those who have been there Provided by: PMI, PMP, CAPM, PgMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP and PMBOK are trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. PMI has not endorsed and did not participate in the development of this publication. PMI does not sponsor this publication and makes no warranty, guarantee or representation, expressed or implied as to the accuracy or content. Every attempt has been made by OSP International LLC to ensure that the information presented in this publication is accurate and can serve as preparation for the PMP certification exam. However, OSP International LLC accepts no legal responsibility for the content herein. This document should be used only as a reference and not as a replacement for officially published material. Using the information from this document does not guarantee that the reader will pass the PMP certification exam. No such guarantees or warranties are implied or expressed by OSP International LLC.
  2. 2. 2 Learn from the students who have successfully passed the PMP exams. Get to know their experiences, how they prepare for the exam and some of the tips and tricks they shared for us.
  3. 3. Lessons Learned from Chris Mielke, PMP I studied for about 4 months, went a little overboard on the materials and used the following: - PM PrepCast (listened to these while I did work) - PM Exam Simulator (scored in the upper 70's to low 80s for all exams) - Rita's PMP Exam Simulator - Rita's PMP Flashcard set 3
  4. 4. Lessons Learned from Chris Mielke, PMP - Book: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK(R) Guide - Book: Head First PMP: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam - Book: PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam - Book: PMP: Project Management Exam Professional Study Guide by Kim Heldman I studied 2 hours a night and 2-3 hours per day on weekends. To cement all the concepts in place my work sent me to a Cheetah learning course ( and I took my exam the day after the class ended. 4
  5. 5. Lessons Learned from Christian Bisson, PMP I read the PMBOK once and often used it as a reference, it could be easily read thanks to The PM PrepCast, I know it would have been harder if I hadn't watched it before. I watched the PM PrepCast a 2nd time to review everything. When I was done, I read Head First PMP, which gave me a last minute study addition. It's easily read and actually helped me remember even mroe information before the exam. 5
  6. 6. Lessons Learned from Christian Bisson, PMP In parallel of watching The PM PrepCast and reading those 2 books, I used Flashcards to study while taking walks, I also answered many test questions (over a thousand) including 5 complete 4 hours simulations. In total, I must have answered about 1500 questions. I can honestly say I have never studied so much for an exam, but I felt ready when I went in, and when I was done and taking the little survey at the end before the result, I was sure I was going to pass. Although the exam is hard, the fact that I was prepared made it easy (or tolerable at least!) and I do not regret a single hour of study! 6
  7. 7. Lessons Learned from Varun Sharma, PMP I studied for the exam for about 2 months (pasted below is my schedule) 1)Read Rita's book 2)Went through all the videos on PMPrepcast 3)Started attempting PMPprepcast simulator tests and read PMBOK in between 4)Read Rita's book again (1 week before exam), memorized 47 process groups and the formula and tried remembering IITOs (not sure if I remembered all but I had a pretty good idea of inputs and outputs) 7
  8. 8. Lessons Learned from Varun Sharma, PMP PMPrepCast was very helpful in clearing the concepts and covering anything not covered in Rita's book. I was scoring between 75- 85% on Rita's exams(tests at the end of chapters) Scored between 79-85% on the PMPrepCast simulator exams 1-8 (had planned to, but did not get to attempting the ITTO exam). I was worried about the questions on the real exam and how close would they be to the PMPrepCast simulator questions. I must say that PMPrepCast simulator exams really gave me the confidence and that 80 % of the simulator exam questions were similar to the ones on the exam (around 15-20 questions were really tricky but I was sure that I got the remaining correct). 8
  9. 9. Lessons Learned from Muhammad Ali Humayun , PMP • It took me 6 weeks to get prepared for PMP exam. Every weekday after work I studied 6 hours, and on Weekends I pulled in more then 8 - 10 hours. • 1. Completed all the Audio/Video from Prep Cast. 2. Read PMBook twice, end to end. 3. Made my own notes (Not recommended for every one, it took me 4 weeks to complete them). But they were extremely helpful few days before exam. 4. Used exam simulator throughout 6 weeks with quizzes, tests, and complete exams. First time I took the exam I got 74%. Before the actual exam, I was averaging 85%+ 9
  10. 10. Lessons Learned from Muhammad Ali Humayun , PMP 5. Real exam was way off to the simulator, no related questions. Please remember the real exam for me was more then 95% situation questions, nothing related to inputs, tools and techniques. The simulator is only helpful in getting me prepared for 4 hours long exam and giving me a concept of exam. Real exam was in no way close the simulator exams or questions. 6. The prep Cast Video will take some new user time to get used to it, for me they were a little to slow, but much needed. If you are not familiar with the concepts please listen carefully and try to grasp the concept. They are explained extremely well in there. If you try this with PMBOK, you will miss them at all. 7. In the end, please please please do not try to memorize inputs, tools n outputs. I did and I think that I wasted my time on it. Learn the concept and you will be just fine, and please pay an extremely great importance to planning process group. Without planning any project will fail. 10
  11. 11. Lessons Learned from Michael DeCicco, PMP You can pass the PMP exam. Here's a recipe for success. First, be confident. The path to success starts with your own determination that this goal is for yourself, not for your boss, your organization, your friends. Certainly the benefits of certification may be shared on all these parties, but the work to achieve success must be borne by you and you have to invest the time. So it is important to know why you are seeking this certification. Second, understand the process. There are several components to realize. PMP certification has a past, present, and future. You have to measure your past Project Management experience for the application, choose the right training for 35 credits that fits your schedule and budget, design a study plan, and think how you will maintain your certification. 11
  12. 12. Lessons Learned from Michael DeCicco, PMP Third, Study. It sounds simple, but the time management aspect is critical to success. If this means studying over 8 months, then so be it, but be honest with yourself and your family or support network who depend on you. Cornelius Fichtner has some excellent video podcasts about study tips. Here's what I did. I treated this like a project, established a charter, project management plan, and executed it. I used a multitude of study books, but I recommend Kim Heldman the most. If you have access to Books 24x7 through PMI or your company, take advantage of the resources there. Fourth, I found the exam to be everything people said it would be: Challenging. I used several exam simulators that I felt prepared me for the accuracy of the challenge, including PM Prepcast. Repitition and re-learning will ingrain the significant amount of material you will need to retain for the exam, which brings me to my last lesson learned. The exam assesses your logic capability and memory. I recommend you memorize ITTOs, Quality Management and Human Resource Theories, Math Formulas, closing procedures, and project document updates to the best of your ability, in addition to understanding the abundant material in the PMBOK. 12
  13. 13. 13 Studying and preparing for the PMP® exam requires a lot of time, effort, and focus; however, taking the actual exam should not be forgotten. You’ve spent months— maybe even years—preparing for this day. Make sure you have a plan on how you’ll approach the exam itself. When the timer goes off at the end of those last four hours…that’s when you can throw your cap in the air and finally breathe a sigh of relief.
  14. 14. 14 For 170 free sample questions please visit: