PMP Lessons Learned: Rita Mculcahy’s PMP Book helps Me to Understand the PMBOK Guide

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

We have another PMP aspirant who has just passed the PMP Exam before the change in 2020. Thanks and congratulations to Manoj Sarma Madduri who just passed the PMP Exam!

The lessons learned by Manoj Sarma Madduri on this PMP Exam prep project is detailed below:

Here is the procedure what I followed during my PMP study:

I initially started going through the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth edition without any support material and noticed that I was not able to understand some terminology which PMBOK® Guide refers to while reading the book. 90 days left for the exam.

Registered for grey campus online training and started watching the PMP videos online. These videos seem to be very boring as the instructor just keeps reading the stuff rather than explaining the concepts in an interesting and practical way. But I highly made use of the end of chapter questions and practiced them around 3 to 4 times before going to the next knowledge area. 60 days left for the exam.

Things started to get intense as my knowledge has not improved even after reading PMBOK® Guide and Grey campus materials. I gave the free practice exams based on the information available on your website and scored as follows: Oliver Lehmann: 61/100, Edwel Mock exam: 45/75, & grey campus: 118/200. That is when I realized that the materials and the online videos which I am following are not sufficient enough. 26 days left for the exam.

I was able to borrow Rita Mculcahy exam prep book from my friend and started reading this book by spending 2 hours during weekdays and 8-10hours during weekends. This book is very easy to understand and the concepts & PMP terminology were well explained. Used to follow your website every day and over the weekends to read your notes after I finished reading each chapter in RMC book. Every day on my way to work I used to practice the processes flow questions using PMP Exam Mentor (IOS application). I used Ricardo Vargas video on YouTube to get a solid understanding of the interdependencies of all the processes and their process groups. Finished reading RMC book once and continued to practice unanswered questions on grey campus website. I started to gain confidence as my score in the practice tests on grey campus is around 80%. 2 days before the exam.

Started skimming through PMBOK® Guide and was trying to jot down all the imp. Stuff for the cheat sheet. Practiced preparing the cheat sheet based on your notes, PMBOK® Guide and my weak areas. Had a delicious meal and went to bed early. 1 day before the exam.

As soon as the exam started during the first 5-6min I was able to get all the information onto my cheat sheet and then started giving the exam. I got quite a good number of questions which are a combination of change control, stake holder management and communications management. I was able to finish my exam in 3hrs 15min and started reviewing all the questions for next 15min. I took 3 unscheduled breaks in total for 6-8mins each after every hour. Finished the exam and the result is pass.

Here is my individual breakdown of the scores:

To summarize, here are the materials which I found to be very useful for me in the order of priority:

  • RMC Exam prep book and Edward’s Notes
  • PMP Exam Mentor and Ricardo Vargas – Processes flow diagram
  • PMBOK® Guide – 6th edition
  • Grey campus for practice tests and end of chapter questions
  • Preparing cheat sheet to understand strong and weak areas.

~ Manoj Sarma Madduri, M.Eng, EIT, PMP

Thanks Manoj Sarma Madduri for the PMP Exam lessons learned!

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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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