Project Management

Certification Insider

Cornelius Fichtner help you with your PMP Exam Prep ( as well as earn free PDUs ( Passing the PMP Exam is tough, but keeping your PMP Certification alive is just as challenging. Preparing for the exam requires an in-depth study of the PMBOK Guide and dedicated study discipline. And once you are PMP certified, then you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification alive. Let me help you make this journey easier with tips and tricks on how to prepare for and pass the exam as well as efficiently earning your PDUs once you are certified.

About this Blog


Recent Posts

Invitation to "The 2021 PMP Exam Q&A" - Live Streaming this Monday

Episode 455: Ten Steps to Earning Your PDUs (Free) #PMOT

Episode 454: Cornelius Fichtner's Project Business Career - Part 2 (Free) #PMOT

Episode 453: Cornelius Fichtner's Project Business Career - Part 1 (Free) #PMOT

Episode 452: Get Your Project Team Moving in the Right Direction and Loving it (Premium)

PMP® Exam Lessons Learned From Someone Who Has Recently Passed

Is studying for and obtaining your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification one of your personal or career goals? Are you wondering about things such as where is a good place to start, what materials might be the most helpful in studying, or how many practice tests are just right or too many? Are you interested in the experiences and insights of those who have been there, were once also wondering many of the same things, and who have recently passed the PMP® Exam?

If any of these questions sound familiar to you then there is a forum you need to explore on The PM PrepCast website. Every post is from those who have recently obtained their Project Management Professional Certification and are willing to provide tips and information concerning their study methods and experiences taking the PMP Exam. These individuals most likely were where you are today, full of questions and concerns, and looking for a place with information and answers.

Let’s take a look at one example from this forum. It was written by Scott Coonrod, PMP, not too long after he obtained his PMP certification. In his PM PrepCast Forum post he discusses how he studied for and prepared for both the PMP Exam and the exam day itself along with his experiences at the test site.

Lessons learned and other tips related to preparing for the PMP Exam:

  • Find others who are also studying to obtain their PMPCertification and review key items in the PMBOK® Guide together. Studying with others is a great support system during the exam preparation process.
  • Go through The PM PrepCast lessons and take notes on the material being presented. Even if you do not go back and refer to the notes at a later date they will serve as a good method for retaining the material. Taking notes can help you ‘learn’ the material, not just ‘memorize’ it.
  • Take the quizzes after each PM PrepCast Lesson. If you feel as if you missed too many answers, you can always go back and listen to the presentation again or review the notes you had taken.
  • Answer many, many, many practice questions. The study guide mentioned below comes with a CD with two 200 question sample exams and an option to obtain a third sample exam.
  • Download free PMP Exam question apps. The great thing about these apps is that many have 25-50 questions each that you can answer whenever you have a free moment.
  • As you are nearing your PMP Exam date create a data dump sheet with key formulas, definitions, and other items you want to make sure you remember for exam day. Practice recreating it; because that is what you are going to need to do on your exam day.

Lessons learned and other tips related to PMP Exam study materials:

  • Read the most current version of The PMBOK® Guide together with others who are also looking to pass the PMP Exam if possible.
  • Additional suggested study material includes “Project Management Professional Study Guide (Fourth Edition)” by Joseph Phillips. This study guide provides you an interactive quiz that indicates not only ‘if’ you answered correctly or incorrectly, but also ‘why’ the answer was correct or incorrect, as you answer each question. These quizzes were a great introduction to how questions may be framed on the actual PMP Exam. Some questions may be worded in ways that may seem misleading. For example, some questions may provide much more information than what is needed to answer a question, and some other questions may require you to choose the MOST correct answer from a list that may have what seems like several correct answers.

Lessons learned and other tips related to taking the PMP Exam:

  • Know where your exam site is. If you live far away from the exam site and can’t drive by, make sure you have reliable directions and know if there is construction on the route to the Prometric Test Center. Allow for plenty of time to get to the site without causing yourself unnecessary additional stress.
  • Remember to have your two forms of identification because you will need to prove who you are in order to take the exam.
  • Do not bring too much stuff with you. You will have to lock everything up because you can’t take anything into the exam room with you.
  • If you are nervous about taking a computer based exam, don’t worry because there is an optional 15 minute tutorial at the beginning of the exam that does not count toward your PMP Exam time. If you are comfortable taking a computer based exam, use this time to recreate your data dump.
  • If you start to feel nervous or overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, tell yourself “you’ve got this”, and keep going.
  • Answer all of the questions you know and mark those you don’t for follow up. Some questions/answers later in the exam may help you answer those you had marked.

These are just a few examples of the PMP Exam related lessons learned and other tips offered by someone who has recently been in your shoes and has shared his experiences. You can access these lessons learned and other tips and many more in The PM PrepCast Forum at

About the authors: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted PMP Exam Prep expert. He has helped over 26,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast and offers what is possibly the best PMP Exam Simulator on the market.

Scott Coonrod, PMP recently obtained his PMP certification (April 2014) and has 17 years of experience in the electric motors industry; mostly leading or championing projects.  He currently is developing and leading the Project Management Office (PMO) for the manufacturing operations of a multi-billion dollar global manufacturer of motors, generators, switch gear, and mechanical gearing aimed at converting power into motion to help the world run more efficiently.

Posted on: June 30, 2014 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Vicki Kilmurray

PMP exam Q & AThis week's featured lessons learned comes to us courtesy of Vicki Kilmurray.

In this lessons learned Vicki Kilmurray shared with us her story about the struggle she took before she successfully passed the PMP exam...

"It took me 3 goes to pass the PMP exam. Unfortunately I didn't find the Prepcast until I had already attempted the exam twice. Had I known about the Prepcast from the start of my PMP journey I am sure I would have passed first go.

Lessons Learned, for me find a reputable PMP educator. Unfortunately there are a number of "snake oil salesmen" out there. The company I initially went with had all the qualifications RER etc but the subject matter was not taught at the level needed to get the exam done. The Prepcast goes into much more detail and is especially good for those with minimal project management experience like me. I spent 4 hours a day 7 days a week for 9 weeks studying for the exam, a huge commitment but I think essential. I read the PMBOK guide twice cover to cover..."

To read about her complete experience, please follow this link...

Posted on: January 22, 2014 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Gaurav Bansal, PMP

Categories: PMP Lessons Learned, PMP®

This week's featured lessons learned comes to us courtesy of Gaurav Bansal.

In this lesson learned Gaurav Bansal shared with us his experiences and the preparations he did to passed the PMP exam:

Studied for 11 weeks and it was my first attempt.

  •   I started with PM Prepcast Video sessions (since I couldn't follow PMBOK initially)
  •   I prepared the PMBOK Process-chart well. It helped me to connect various processes.
  •   I took 2 more Full-Length tests and was able to score more than 75% in both. This gave me confidence and continued to fill in my knowledge-gaps. At times, it was very tiring and I used to get exhausted. But I did not leave it and I was hell-bent to clear the exam...

To read more on his complete experience, please follow this link:

Posted on: December 26, 2013 02:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Daphne Foldes, PMP

Categories: PMP Lessons Learned, PMP®

This week's featured lessons learned comes to us courtesy of Daphne Foldes, PMP.

In this lesson learned Daphne Foldes shared with us the tools she used to passed the PMP exam:

  •   IIL PM Flashcards App for iPhone >> Learnt 2 ITTO processes/day on the bus on my way to work. On my way home, I reviewed ALL the processes I had previously covered including that day's + had a friend quiz me on weekends using the flashcards
  •   PMP Exam Simulator >> Did 50 question quizzes after work, 2x full 200 question exams each of Sat and Sun
  •   Achieve PMP Exam Success eBook >> read this not in learning/memorization mode, but in a relaxed manner and more as an explanation of the concepts to ensure that I got another perspective...

To read about his complete experience, please follow this link:

Posted on: December 18, 2013 12:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Lisa Schilpp, PMP

Categories: PMP Lessons Learned, PMP®

This week's featured lessons learned comes to us courtesy of Lisa Schilpp.

In this lesson learned Lisa Schilpp shared with us her experience on how she successfully passed the PMP exam.

"I started studying for the PMP exam 11 weeks ago, but I had a lot of life distractions. During that time, I read the PMBOK once and listened to two or three podcasts each day, while I was in the car or walking the dogs. But, I really kicked my studies into gear during the final 3 weeks, where I started to memorize the formulas, take practice tests and re-read the PMBOK. I also listened to most of the PM PrepCast a second time. I had hoped to have time to read Rita Mulcahy's book also, but I didn't. So, I stuck with the PMBOK, the PM PrepCast and the PM Formulas Guide. On test day, the test was very stressful -- harder than I thought it would be, and seemed to be a little harder than most of the sample tests I took. So, to be extra sure you will pass, find the time to add Rita's Mulcahy's book into your preparation plan. Everyone who has read it and took her sample tests said they were well prepared. Good luck!"

To read more Lessons Learned, please follow this link:

Posted on: December 04, 2013 12:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."

- W. C. Fields



Vendor Events

See all Vendor Events