Passed PMP First Attempt - 24/04, with 2P, 3MP
Profoundly thankful to iZenbridge, Saket, and Manish. I passed PMP with MP, MP, P, P, MP scores yesterday.
Duration: 4 months
Books: Headfirst, RITA, PMBOK
Izen Online subscription
Background: I am an Indian living in Saudi Arabia. Married with 2 kids. Working 7AM to 4 PM, with weekly off on Friday and Saturday.
Preparation: Started reading RITA and Headfirst from mid December and finished it by mid January. Prepared my own handwritten notes from both the books. Watched Izen videos alongside each chapter reading. From January 18th onwards I started giving iZen chapter questions, one per day. Finished all chapter end questions in January.
I applied for exam in February and my application went for audit. I completed audit formalities and they are very straight forward. Received confirmation within a week of submitting audit materials, and I booked the exam on April 24th.
In February started reading PMBOK, by this time I was well aware of concepts but had limited idea how to apply them. Prepared a smaller version of PMBOK of 20 pages, which I read every week until the final exam date.
Finished Izen process group tests, EVM tests, and PMP math tests in February. Analyzed weak areas and updated my notes. By this time I was scoring above 75% in all of the practice tests.
Gave RITA chapter end questions in set of 200 per sitting, and scored 75%.
Gave Headfirst chapter end questions in set of 200 per sitting, and scored 88%.
Mock Exams: Started giving mock exams from March 3rd onwards and gave a total of 14 exams to reflect in a strict 4 hour exam scenario. My performance in all of them is as below.
I used Christopher Scordo provided by iZenbridge and grouped them into sets of 4 exam sets. As you can see, I had only one weekend to spare in the end April 21 and 22
1. iZen Simulation - 1:: 76% 3-Mar
2. iZen Simulation - 2:: 85% 4-Mar
3. iZen Simulation - 3:: 88% 10-Mar
4. iZen Simulation - 4:: 89% 11-Mar
5. Oliver 75 :: 73% 17-Mar
6. Oliver 175 ::74% 18-Mar
7. ExamCentral PM Exam Central Free 120Q :: 84% 21-Mar
8. CScordo - 3 4 5 6 :: 87% 24-Mar
9. CScordo - 7 8 9 10:: 91% 25-Mar
10. CScordo - 11 12 13 14 :: 83% 31-Mar
11. CScordo - 15 16 17 18:: 85% 7-Apr
12. SimpliLearn PMP Free :: 76% 8-Apr
13. HeadFirst 200Q :: 88% 14-Apr
14. iZen Simulation - 5 (Dynamic) :: 90% 15-Apr
Exam Experience: I have to travel 100 miles to another city for the exam, hence started around 5.30AM on exam day. Exam was scheduled at 8.00 AM and I had to report 30 mins before the exam.
After formal checking process I was the first to enter the room at around 7.45AM. No braindump allowed at exam centers during the tutorial. I completed the tutorial within 4 mins and the exam clock begins with the first question. I quickly wrote the formulas and the processes chart (page 61) onto the paper in 6 mins and started with the exam.
Completed 100 questions at 2.00 hr mark. Took 10 mins bio break, and completed remaining 100 questions. Took a total of 3.45 hours and marked around 30 questions. I was able to review only 20 of them and changed 3 questions. Time up screen comes followed by a small 9 question survey.
Once I finished I see CONGRATULATIONS message and I a tear rolled down my cheek. This is it, this is what I was preparing for, NO, this is what WE ALL are preparing for. Indeed, happiness is because of things which are happening.
Nature of Questions: I received equal amount of questions from all knowledge areas. I focused more on Execution and M&C groups as they had more weightage, and that shows my proficiency. Initiating and Closing were small and you should aim for a MP in both of them ATLEAST.
Almost 90% questions were scenario based. Even the ITTO questions were asked in a form of scenario. The multiple choices were not that confusing but the question really was. I sometimes had to read the question 3 times to understand it.
Almost 30 questions on: What would the PM do NEXT? and What could the PM have done to AVOID?
Important areas: PICC, DPC, Stakeholder, Time (Compression and Optimization), CPM (4 questions free float and total float which were easy), EVM (CV, SV, SPI, CPI, EAC 10 questions which were easy), 4/5 questions on conflict management, Procurement contracts, change control process for contracts, almost 8 questions revolving around quality tools and audits.
Final advice: Don't over study, prepare a structured plan and stick to it. No need of lots of materials I read ALL three books only ONCE. But I focused on analysis of each exam and nature of how the questions can be framed around a concept.
ALL the very best for future aspirants, You can do it, you have come this far, and you should have a mindset to prepare to PASS PMP not prepare to APPEAR for PMP.