PMP Lessons Learned: How to Pass the Exam with Minimal Resources

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

Josh K passed the PMP® Exam in the first try. The exam lessons learned are detailed as follow:

I used a pomodoro timer to keep track of my dedicated study duration. I studied for 1 – 3 hours per day, Monday – Friday (with some weekends here and there).
For my contact hours, I studied Joseph Phillips – ‘PMP® exam prep seminar (PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition)’. I then went over the material again while lightly referencing the PMBOK® Guide guide. I also purchased ‘PMP® PMBOK® Guide 6 Practice Exams: Set One and Two for PMP® Candidates’ (only attempted half of set two), again by Joseph Phillips.

After 3 months of going over the material (70 hours studied) I took my first attempt on 26/June/2020 and failed, with a T/T/NI/AT/T.

Determined, I read through your website as well as PM Prepcast forums on how to pass a second attempt. My 3 key takeaways were; First, getting to 180 hours studied. Secondly, read an exam prep book. Finally, doing 1000 mock exam questions at minimum from various mock exam providers. I learnt from your website that HeadFirst PMP® exam prep is image and situation oriented in the way the information is presented. I purchased it on amazon and proceeded to study for 2 -3 hours, Monday – Friday (again with a few weekends here and there). Finally, I read through all your study notes and attempted about 1,400 free mock exam questions (of which I timed myself in an exam situation environment for about 3 mock exams). I got my selection of free mock exam questions from Edward Chung’s and Oliver Lehmann’s website. I took the weekend before the exams easy by relaxing and getting enough sleep.

For my second attempt, I ended up studying for 160 hours. I took my second attempt on 17th/Aug/2020 and passed with AT/T/BT/AT/AT!

Cost incurred in USD:

  • PMI membership – $150
  • Joseph Phillips – PMP® exam prep seminar (PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition) – $10
  • PMP® PMBOK® Guide 6 Practice Exams: Set One and Two for PMP® Candidates – $20 ($10 each)
  • PMP® First attempt – $340 (with Africa promo code)
  • HeadFirst PMP® – $40
  • PMP® exam second attempt – $275

Total – $835

My approach was self study to keep my costs as low as possible. The trade off here as compared to a paying for live classes is perhaps time spent researching information on how to access effective study resources. Thank you for the work you are doing and passing the PMP® has been a great experience. I hope sharing my experience above can help others as well.

~ Josh K, PMP®

Thanks for the valuable 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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