PMP Exam Lessons Learned by Danilo Uvalin (Dec 2015)

PMP Exam Experience Sharing by Rameshwar Khenat

Danilo Uvalin passed the PMP® Certification Exam on 23 Dec 2015. Danilo would like to remind aspirants to really understand PMI’s approach (not personal experience or education) to project management as all the questions in the exam will be judged from PMI’s perspectives.

My Lessons learned

I have successfully completed my journey to the PMP® certification on 23rd Dec 2015. My results were: proficient in Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and moderately proficient in Closing.

My journey started in Jun 2015 when I decided to join PM PrepCast™ online course and get my 35 contact hours. Unfortunately I didn’t start my learning immediately due to travelling, job and some personal obligation and I got serious about learning only in October. PM PrepCast™ was very good and the quality was amazing. You get more than 50 hours of high quality content and you can have it forever once you download it, absolutely amazing.

Once I got my 35 contact hours I decided to get serious about learning and I scheduled my exam, especially when I realized that exam is changing in Jan 2016. I studied approximately 2 hours every day and around 5-8 hours during weekends. I based my study on PMBOK® Guide guide, Rita’s book PMP® Exam Prep, Eighth Edition. I visited Edward Chung’s PMP® website where I got some useful advice. In the end during the last month I did mock tests, both Rita’s PM FASTrack PMP® Exam Simulation Software – v8 and The PM Exam simulator. This helped me to be in the test taking mood and to have a realistic overview of my level of knowledge and especially to track how I use my time.

I did 5 Rita’s test and 7 PM Exam simulator tests, meaning full 4 hours 200 questions tests. My lowest score was 79% and my highest was 94%, majority was between 83-86%. I tried some of harder Oliver Lehmann’s test and there I scored lower 69% on 75Q test and 79% on 175Q test. However I strongly believe these test are not the real representation of the actual exam.

I would strongly advise everyone preparing for the PMP® exam to really understand the whole PMI approach to project management and not to worry too much about memorization of all ITTOs. It is much more important to understand why is something done and how it is done than to know to name all ITTOs. You need to develop a holistic approach to the processes and terminology in the PMBOK® Guide guide and to be able to understand how they interact within different knowledge areas. Rita’s book is very good in doing this as there you have all the specific actions that project manager should do in different scenarios.

The exam is infamous for having very convoluted scenario questions where you are not absolutely sure what the most correct answer is. Practice more of these.

The examination center let me start my exam an hour earlier, instead of 12:30 I started at 11:30.

During the exam it is extremely important to monitor your time and your emotions. I was absolutely sure that I got correct about 60% of all questions, another 20% I was not sure but had the feeling that I have chosen the (most) correct answer, the last hardest 20% I had to scratch my head and decide the answers since I was running out of time. I managed to answer all the questions and had approximately 20 min to check my marked answers. I checked roughly half of those and change only 2 of them. In the end I decided not to check my answers anymore. I pressed the button “End exam”., skipped the survey and……. “Congratulations on passing the PMP® examinations”. I felt huge relief and a wave of happiness going through my mind, I packed my things and started my journey back home.

To Danilo: Thanks a lot for your willingness to share your exam journey to help fellow Aspirants.

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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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