PMP Lessons Learned


CAPM Exam Lessons Learned – Elizabeth Coleman, CAPM

The beginning

My journey for the CAPM certification started about 7 months ago.

I started with the Essential of Project Management course from, while reading the PMBOK 5th edition. IIt was at this time, that I discovered SHIV’s blog and downloaded his high-level material.

Since the Project Integration Management knowledge area interacted with all the other knowledge area, I spent about 2 weeks alone just going over this material until the light bulb finally came on.

Scheduling the exam

I finished “reading” all of the other 9 knowledge areas in the PMBOK in about two months. Since I had not scheduled a date for the exam, it seemed like 3 months passed by. Once I finally scheduled a date, I started taking some “mock” exams, it was then I realized that I only read the material and never really studied it.

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3-Month PMP Journey of a Test Manager – Nihar Mishra, PMP

Shiv, I have 11 years of experience in testing and currently I am a Test Manager. I have worked in the capacity of Program Test Manager and also have had experience with Project Management, but PMP tests you on a different level.


I got my certification before the new exam came into force, but the format and prep steps remain just the same. I will try here to put down my preparation in specific points.

At the beginning of 2015 I gave myself a year to pass PMP exam, but professional and personal commitment delayed the process. And when I realized I was in October and left with exactly 3 months to clear the PMP. Jan 2016 would bring new PMP exam format and I didn’t want to wait till then. So I went ahead, filled the form (step-by-step instructions here) and locked my exam slot on Dec 26th.

October prep

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My PMP Secret? No PMBOK, and Plenty of Mock Tests – Pratim Ghoshal, PMP

My PMP journey started about year and a half ago when I attended a PMP classroom session for the 35 PDUs. After the training, I was excited and planned to study hard and pass the exam asap. But in an IT professional’s life things keep changing and planned things take a backseat when priority tasks step in unexpectedly.

Things didn’t work well on the study front and my PMP plan slowly faded out for almost a year. Even though PMP took a lion’s share of my 2016 resolution list, it was not until July 2016 that I planned again to sit for the exam.

pmp lessons learned pratim ghoshalPMP Preparation

This time I planned in a more methodical way and was determined to get my PMP certification in a 3-month time period.

I started off with Rita Mulcahy and Head First PMP books from August and studied end-to-end twice. I decided to focus more on the Initiation and Closing domains as I wanted to get the 20% of questions correct at first go. Moreover, these are simpler process groups and with their individual thresholds for passing the exam I could not risk being less prepared.

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PMP: Once Bitten, Second Time Successful – By Sita Sharma, PMP

I wanted to take PMP exam some 10 years back but somehow could not do so. Then I finally decided to take the plunge journey last year. In 10 years, I had gathered good project management experience and had become passionate about project management. This helped me appreciate PMBOK.


pmp lessons learned sita sharmaI enrolled in a boot camp training where the overview of the Knowledge areas & process groups were covered. My application, luckily, was not selected for an audit. 🙂

I then studied the PMBOK and Rita’s books, however, could not keep up a study plan continuously due to family & work pressures. Finally, I did complete my study and took few mock tests. I was scoring 80%, so decided to take the PMP exam.

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PMBOK + PMESN + Prep Tests = PMP : Sunil Narula, PMP

Hi Shiv, I cleared my PMP Exam last week with your support. Thank you, particularly for sharing the lessons learned and your books. I would like to briefly share few exam study pointers that I have learned, hoping these will help PMP students.

My study sources

My main sources besides PMBOK were:

sunilI used to read PMBOK & other topics from the Internet since April/May but due to circumstances, my preparation was neither consistent nor well-planned.

It was only for past few weeks that I could commit to regular study hours with a complete focus on my PMP preparation.

My Family, particularly my father played a very important role in encouraging me & achieving PMP certification. A big thanks to him.

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My 2-Phase PMP Exam Strategy: Mukesh Singh, PMP

Hello Shiv, I Passed PMP and would like to thank you for your smart notes. Thanks for your good work and contribution to PM Community and here is my PMP Exam Strategy and Lesson Learned [trust me while writing it I am feeling very proud :-)]

I came to know about your blog just 3 weeks before my exam day but still found it very useful. Though I pmp mukesh singhmissed subscribing to PM PrepCast through your blog I recommended because it helps saving exam prep cost & additional exam material.

I planned PMP study in 2 Phases.

Phase 1: Prepare yourself and Apply to PMI (2-3 months)

Find out a mentor or Join PMP Forums like PMzilla/ PMHUB/LinkedIn forums and go through lessons learned to understand basics of PMP.

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PMP Certification: How I Earned It Without PMBOK – Jackie W. Gibbs

In April 2016, I began earnestly studying for the PMP certification – with the goal of passing on the first attempt! On October 3, 2016, I earned this prestigious credential and here is how I did it!

My PMP Study Books

pmp-without-pmbok-jackieThe two resources I used were the Head First Book, and the infamous Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep – Fifth Edition. I read the Head First book first to gain a basic understanding of the PMP concepts and then I tackled Rita’s book. (Learn Rita’s process chart). I did not read the PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition, I only read the glossary. In my opinion, these two resources form the perfect knowledge base for preparing to pass the examination. After all, that is the goal, right?

After devouring these books, in July, 2016, I began to focus on my study notes and learning to write the 47 process grid as well as the EVM formulas. A great tip I discovered is that the best way to learn the 47 processes chart is left to right – up and down. That one tip proved to be invaluable as I began to learn to think the PMI way. I practiced writing my brain dump on a daily basis. [click to continue…]

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