CareerPMP Certification

10 Best Tips to Pass the PMP Exam on the First Try

The PMP exam is the Great Wall separating you from prestige and glory. Samkit Shah writes an insightful blog post sharing his experience in how he prepared for the exam. And as the saying goes, if it worked for him, it can work for you.

Scaling the Wall

Shah tackles the issue of preparation from many angles. He first does a cost breakdown of testing fees of when you are a Project Management Institute (PMI) member versus when you are not a member, concluding you can save roughly $11 by becoming a PMI member. Plus, when you join PMI, you gain immediate access to a wealth of new resources, making it even more enticing to join.

You should have the latest editions of the PMP Exam Prep Book and PMBOK as primary study materials, though Shah lists many other supplementary materials at his blog, even noting when and how he used those materials. But the first of his ten tips is that you should read the prep book and PMBOK at least twice—once intimately and once just to skim it. Attempt all of the chapter tests in the prep book and the associated Fast Track CD as well.

To that end, you should also seek out every question bank and mock test you can, so you can find the gaps in your understanding early on. Review all of your answers, not just the ones you get wrong. Use PMP-related phone apps so you can stay sharp on the go, and even join a PMP forum so you can swap insights. Create dump sheets containing key information so you have it all centralized in advance for review later. For ITTOs, Shah pinned nine charts drawn on A4 paper to his wall and worked on three charts in 15 minute chunks.  But as time draws to a close and the exam looms, he has a couple more pieces of advice:

A day before the PMP exam, relax, listen to some music, take a walk. You are not at war and this exam is not the last one you will take in your life! So chill out!

On the day of the PMP exam – be prepared to create a dump sheet of the math formulas + processes across the 9 knowledge areas / 5 process groups. Also be prepared to attempt 200 questions in 3 hours, and mark about 30-40 questions for review. That way you will have 50-55 minutes to review them at the end.

There is a lot of information to review here, but there is even more at Shah’s blog. You can read it here:

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