PMP Lessons Learned


Big thanks should go to Cornelius Fichtner – Sneha Sridhar, PMP

I would like to first of all thank the entire team of Cornelius Fichtner for bringing to us such wonderful PMP Exam Simulator.t.

I cleared my PMP exam (first attempt) today with 4 Proficient scores and 1 Moderately Proficient score in Initiating. One of my friends had highly recommended this exam simulator to me and I trusted her when I purchased it.

pmp Sneha sridhar I don’t really want to share the points that has been repeatedly written in forums. Here are few unique (or perhaps few contrasts to common beliefs) points based on my experience of journey. A word of caution – please use this at your own discretion :-).

The beginning

I started studying for PMP a year back as my company had nominated me to take up this exam. I had only weekends to study since I was promoted and my new position was very demanding. I felt that studying for a year long was actually beneficial because I went really slow to learn the concepts thoroughly. [click to continue…]

Aced PMP with just PMBOK and PMESN notes: Nikhil Talgeri, PMP

Hi Shiv,

pmp nikhil targeri

Firstly, thanks for what you do, selflessly, for thousands of PMP aspirants, day in and day out. Your tips, blog and chapters made the entire 4 week preparation journey enjoyable. I managed to pass my PMP exam last week, on my first attempt.

I am happy to share my exam prep strategy. My preparation lasted exactly 4 weeks, from the Thanksgiving weekend to new year’s eve.

Here goes:

Set a date

I have heard somewhere that weight-loss programs are most successful around school reunions :-)..

The keyword I guess is MOTIVATION. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I set a date (12/30 ) thereby giving myself 30 days to prepare. And I promised myself NOT to reschedule, and am glad that I didn’t.

Preparation Material and Process

I focused on 2 main sources –

  1. PMBOK guide
  2. Your notes and emails

I started reading one chapter a day (not much) from the PMBOK. Once I hit Ch 4 (Integration Management), I started supplementing the PMBOK with your smartnotes, the blog posts.

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Kim Hammond, PMP – Be sure to get Test Center experience!

I think it is important to know about the Test Center experience. For some reason, the entire process threw me off, and impacted my ability to remember all that I had studied. Everyone should read about what happens on the day of the exam. Also be aware of when you function the most efficiently….AM or PM. The entire testing experience is exhausting, so know when you are at your best.

pmp study resourcesThe 1st time around, I made many mistakes.

First, I used way too many sources during my study time.

I watched YouTube videos, used Rita’s book, read the PMBOK, used at least 5 sources for test exams, and checked every single piece of advice on the LinkedIn site.

I believe this was a mistake, and it made me crazy and I felt overstimulated.

The 2nd time around, I found sticking to 2-3 sources was best.

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 PMP Mock tests made the real exam quite easy! – Richards Iyoha-Osagie

Hello Shiv,

I really appreciate your efforts in helping me to prepare for my PMP exam. I am sending you my PMP lessons learned.

I am an IT project manager at work and a busy one at that managing about 5 projects all the time. I started training in June this year after I felt the need to take my practice to a professional level.

My exam prep

richards pmpMy training center spread it over 4 months (weekends mostly) after which we did a mock test, which I did well in and that motivated me further to take up the exam.

I read Rita Mulcahy’s PMP book (of course) in preparation for the PMP mock test. After I paid for the exam October ending, I took a second pass on Rita’s book while skimming through PMBOK (which I found extremely boring by the way). I just didn’t want to do the exam without ever reading PMBOK. Although I must say the annex (PMBOK) helped a lot.

I was extremely busy at work but I had to make the sacrifice. Any little time I had I would study & when I got back home I would study.

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An all-round PMP exam preparation plan, by Manjush M K, PMP

Shiv, I would like to share my PMP exam preparation plan and my lessons. Here’s the approach using the classic Process Groups way. 🙂


pmp lessons learned manjushI heard first about PMP at my previous organization. All our management training were aligned with PMBOK. But I felt no need or urgency for PMP at that time. I realized the need of certification last year.

I took 35 Hours contact class and decided to take the exam within 2 months. It did not happen due to various professional/personal reasons though. But by the time I decided to take the exam (10 months later) I had forgotten all the important lessons from the contact class, and I had to start all over again.

Lessons learnt: It is always better to attempt the exam immediately following the contact classes before the information you gathered starts to fade away. A thorough PMP exam preparation plan is required though before you attempt the exam.

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Harold Carruthers, PMP – PMP Without Studying Through PMBOK!

So you want to be a PMP? So did I. After a failed PMP exam attempt earlier in the year I did pass the second time on December 1. Let me provide some perspective on how to survive this trek up the Mount Everest of certifications. 


You absolutely can do this!  Never ever give up!  You OWN this!

There is no test taker worse than myself. I have a reading deficiency in that I am a s-l-o-w reader. I literally have to focus on every word or I will miss the point. I overanalyze the sentence while interpreting the question to align my experience. In an exam that you get roughly 1 minute and 24 seconds per question this was not to my advantage.

When you get that post exam screen that says “CONGRATULATIONS” you will then know I’m right. You sit back, relax, then think back to this sentence and say, he was right. Remember, you OWN this!

PMP Study Materials

Don’t waste time or money on losers

Shiv’s study materials are simply incredible. The emails offered materials, advice and encouragement that were always on time and on target. I do admit some of the folks seemed to possess superhuman abilities to get through the materials but you OWN this.

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Mix PMP study & practice tests for best results: Dane Moodley, PMP

Hi Shiv,

I would like to share some of my PMP study and exam experience.
I felt that the PMP exam was much easier than the hype, or what I expected it to be.

I think this was because of the following –

pmp study dane moodleyI booked my date for the exam mainly because my year was expiring. I had only about 2 months for PMP study from scratch, and I was really busy with work at this time. I therefore had to choose an approach and act quickly.

I read the PMBOK guide within 3 weeks whenever I had spare time, not spending too much time in trying to memorize anything, but rather to understand, even if not 100%. If I spent too much time on anything I felt it was a waste as you eventually forget. The trick is to go through the content as often as you can.

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