Passed PMP

elyk2k1elyk2k1 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello everyone. I've lurked on these forums for quite some time, so I thought I would register and provide you with what I did to pass the PMP, with the hope that it may help you on your journey. Below is what I did to pass the test, and my suggestions if I were to do it all over again. You choose what works best for you.

Before I go further - it must be said - this exam is a beast and you must fully commit to study time. Do not underestimate it. I failed my first attempt at the PMP. I truly believe my first attempt met with failure because of the corners I cut. This means dedicating yourself to months of hard study time, as well as ponying up the money needed for good, legitimate simulator exams. Then, you definitely need to study your answers to the simulators and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

TL;DR: 1) boot camps after you've studied a lot, 2) Rita & Heldman books, 3) 1200 simulator questions 4) make passing the test a priority and dedicate your extra time outside of family and work to the PMP, and ONLY the PMP.

Boot Camps
The first thing I did was submit my application and get it approved. Once that was accomplished, I started looking for boot camps. I found one through the Knowledge Academy which I attended in February. My first biggest mistake was leading off with a boot camp. Don't do this. I highly suggest you derive your base knowledge from other sources, and do the accelerated deep dive into PMP study using a boot camp when you're closer to exam time. After the boot camp, I took a simulated exam with the Knowledge Academy's simulator and scored poorly. I cannot give you a high recommendation for the Knowledge Academy, but I can tell you that it was under $1000 for the four-day class. I've seen other four-day boot camps sell for as high as $2700USD.

Study Materials
I purchased the Rita Mulcahy book, and was lent the Andy Crowe book. Over the course of the next 6 weeks I studied the Rita and Crowe books almost nightly. I read through each book once, then took the practice exams at the end of each chapter, then I studied the areas that were most challenging to me. I also wrote a 23-page study guide of the PMI project management process. The Rita book is amazing. If I were to do it all over again, I would have started with reading and soaking up everything out of the Rita book, then I would have started looking for boot camps once I knew I had a handle on all of the concepts. After I failed my first attempt, I was lent the Kim Heldman book. It is just as good as the Rita book in my humble opinion. The best thing the Heldman text has going for it is the real world examples. These were crucial to me fully understanding the concepts behind the vocabulary. All in all, I would have dropped the time spent on the Crowe book and stuck with Rita and Heldman.

Note: I also have a one-year-old at home, my wife and I are in the middle of buying a house and I coach little league baseball three nights a week, so you can imagine what kind of hectic life I have had lately. Don't do this. Make passing the PMP exam your #1 priority outside of family and work. Get rid of all the other competing priorities. I suggest a bare minimum of three months of study time with just the text materials you choose to purchase. Read them thoroughly. Study them. Know them.

Simulator Exams
Simulators make up the foremost method to passing the PMP in my opinion. Do not neglect simulating the full exam, (200 questions over 4 hours). Throughout my first attempt, I only took 50 and 100 question simulators due to time constraints. Don't let yourself do this. Also, I used free simulators I found on the net that ended up conflicting with the rationale of the Rita book. It made for a confusing and frustrating experience. Don't do this. Pay the money for the good simulators. I purchased a set of four simulators ($60USD) from for my second attempt. It was the SILVER package. They were fantastic and I highly suggest them. I used the Rita and Heldman books for cross-referencing the simulator exam results. This is a must. If you get a question wrong on the simulator, you need to actually learn why your answer was incorrect and the rationale for the correct one. I spent more time studying why I got answers wrong than actually taking the exam. This is crucial.

All in all, I was getting mid to upper 60% on the first exams, and eventually scoring in the mid to upper 70% on the last two simulated exams. My suggestion is to go through a minimum of 1200 exam questions (that's six exams) before you sit for the real thing.

Best of luck to you future PMPs - you can do this. Do not start studying for this exam until you are ready and willing to let it take up the vast majority of your life for a number of months. You have to fully commit.


  • IS3IS3 Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! icon_thumright.gif that $100k annual paycheck is waiting for you icon_thumright.gif
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
  • datacombossdatacomboss Member Posts: 304 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! I passed three weeks ago and I thought the PMP Exam Simulator (9 exams including a ITTO-only exam) and Brainbok exams really prepared me.
    "If I were to say, 'God, why me?' about the bad things, then I should have said, 'God, why me?' about the good things that happened in my life."

    Arthur Ashe

  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for spreading the good news and the material used to study.
  • shazbshazb Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□

    I am looking to get some guide line to give Prince 2 exam.

    Which latest version we have to go through is it Version 4 ?

    how many questions are in the exam and how many we have to get to pass the exam ?

    If is online proctor exam and how much is the exam fee and from where I can buy the exam ?

    Please help me out with these info

  • BoldsmithBoldsmith Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulation’s, thanks for sharing your experience and the material you used to study. Congrats once again!
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropeMember Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
    congrats and thanks for the feedback :)
  • amomaharajamomaharaj Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!! and Well Done!!

    Am planning on sitting for this exam in June. This post really helped me.

    Thank you :)
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Congrats on the pass! This is on my radar for this year.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats and thanks for the review. I have recently begun reading Rita and trying to wrap my head around the material and processes etc. I will check out the Simulator you mentioned as well as Heldman
  • vr2312vr2312 Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats elyk2k1

    I am planning to give this exam within the next few months and i have gone through the boot-camp sessions (2 months ago) as you had done too. To be honest, the first few days of the 5 day boot camp were informative, but then everything that was discussed was having a trajectory over my head.

    I am yet to register myself and get my application audited. This will take time i guess.

    I am planning on reading the PMBOK guide and the handy guide the boot-camp distributed. After going through that, i am thinking of taking the simulator exams, i have got around 10 rounds in my kitty. SO, 3-4 for the first time, and if i am faring well, i will continue the PMBOK and guide for a while and then give the remaining simulator exams and then give the final exam. If the tests are not ending up in good result, i will probably get the Kim Heldman book that you have mentioned for correlating with real-time scenarios.

    Let's see how it goes. I am giving myself 2-4 months tops for giving this exam.
    Don't be complacent.

  • SuperLT09SuperLT09 Member Posts: 31 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Great advice, The more practice exams you take, the BETTER!!!!
    2018 Goals: CISSP (JUNE), MSCA Server 2016 (SEPTEMBER), CISM (DECEMBER), Need to learn Linux and Python

    2019 Goals: OSCP, Transferring to the Army Cyber Branch
  • akbar.azwirakbar.azwir Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
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