Insider’s Tips for Passing the PMP Exam with Above Target

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

Another Aspirants passed the PMP Exam with “Above Target” recently. Great job Nagabhushan Hegde. Below is his detailed account of the PMP Exam journey:

My PMP Journey

Very pleased to inform you that I have passed my PMP exam with “Above Target” proficiency in my first attempt. The final exam was not that difficult to be honest compared to the mock exams I took but the sentences were twisted to confuse you and the first 30 questions took me almost one hour and I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete the entire set of questions. I got all difficult questions in the first 30 I would say and after which I had relatively easier ones with 2 answers can be easily eliminated which I could answer in less than a minute. So, I was able to cover ground and finished my exam 15 minutes before and reviewed marked questions. I couldn’t review all of them due to time constraint. I was running out of time since the first hour so I couldn’t really think of taking any breaks in between. So, it was a 4 hour marathon. Once done, filled out their feedback form and waited for couple of seconds before it said “Congratulations”, and saw I have done very well with “Above Target” proficiency.

I’m trying to summarize below my PMP journey which ended up in success.

I have overall 13+ years of experience and around 4 years of project management experience. By right, I should have taken this certification exam long back but due to travel requirements, work pressure and family priorities, I excused myself and delayed this all the way to 2017. I had taken 35 PDU course end of 2015 but changing work requirement didn’t allow me to book my exam until May 2017 when I decided enough is enough and booked my exam slot for 6th Oct 2017. I couldn’t really start my preparation soon after this but started working on a plan to give myself 2 months before I take the final exam. I started in the month of August and my preparation plan was to study 2 hours on a daily basis and 4-6+ hours on the weekends. I tried to keep it disciplined 90% of the times.

Reference Materials:

  • PMBOK® Guide, 5th edition – I covered scope, cost, time, communication, stakeholder, Integration and procurement management in this. I realised that other materials would be better suited for HR, quality and risk.
  • Rita Mulcahy, 8th edition – I covered risk, quality and HR management in detail from this book and browsed through rest of the knowledge areas.
  • Edward’s notes helped me to revise in a better way after finishing each knowledge area as they are very precise and served me best couple of days before the final exam.
  • Andrew Crowe’s book – This book just talks about passing PMP exam and I treated this book as a quick reference guide. I finished reading this book once.
  • youtube vidoes online for those areas which needed more explanation
  • Glossary in PMBOK® Guide – a MUST

Mock exams taken:

I took several mock exams and may be around 1500 questions overall. Moreover, I took mock questions on the back of every chapters in Rita Mulcahy and Andrew’s book. The below snapshot which shows my mock exam scores as compared to Edward’s. I took more mock exams after reaching out to Edward on LinkedIn where he suggested couple of more mock exams will seal the deal for me. He was kind enough to respond.

Mock exam details:

I took oliver lehmann’s 75Q as my first mock exam because I read reviews saying it is one of the difficult mock exam which will test your knowledge to some extent. I wanted to test my confidence level and also to see where I stand before I begin my preparation. I scored 61% and told to myself not yet ready. I took overall 11 mock exams as seen attached and final few mock exams I was consistently scoring 80% and above which gave me confidence for the final exam.

Please remember not to over study which can really kill you. I was in that mode couple of weeks before the exam where I wanted to go in detail for all the minute details. This was not helping me as I ended up realising that there are several key things which I need to understand more in detail and I don’t have much time left. This is where experience comes in handy. I grouped my thoughts and told myself not to over study and finish my preparation by referring to some study notes as a final refresher. I took Edward’s study notes and went through them and didn’t really opened any book the day before the exam. I slept early the night before and woke up early on the exam day and made sure I reach there by 7:30, grabbed a coffee and French toast to keep me full for 4 hours. My exam started at 8AM and now I’m a PMP certified.

Hard work always pays off, no doubt about that. If you have any queries, please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to help you.

Thanks Nagabhushan for the sharing! I totally agree that hard work always pays off!

Fellow Aspirants: work hard and succeed! Wish you PMP success!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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2 Responses

  1. Gloria says:

    Hi Edward, I discovered the PMP certification from a job description in Sep 2017 as it was a job requirement. Had not heard of it before. I looked into getting one and decided to go down that journey in Oct 2017 with a course at our local university to get my 35 hours credit. My work sponsored this effort. I completed the course in November and submitted my Application to PMI. I discovered your website while I was on my course and also signed up for PM precast podcast and exams through your website. I found your notes very helpful – especially the 47 pairs of terms and I appreciated the stories from the comment section. As I have 3 young kids (ages 4, 5, 9) at home and work full time, it was very hard to study but I was determined to get my PMP certification before March and just booked the exam. I figured I had 3 chances before March and should just go for it. I wrote my exam this morning (Jan 2) – not only did i pass – but I got Above Target in all 5 process groups and overall rating. I did find the exam easier than the practice exams and I am very grateful to have had access to your notes. I had Rita McCauley’s book but did not have time to read all of that or the PMBOk guide in detail. I did skim through all the materials and wrote a ton of practice exams. I started getting around 60% in the beginning. The last mock exam I wrote 3 days prior was 89%. I took one day off from study to celebrate New Year’s Eve with family – I just reviewed your notes day before exam and tried not to stress about not reading everything in detail. Thank you again. I didn’t have time to go through the podcasts either – I only listened to maybe a dozen videos (all the overview sections) and would have watched more if I had time but found the practice exams more useful. Kindest regards, Gloria. Vancouver – Canada