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Have you taken the PMP Exam? Post your tip!

Have you taken the exam? Passed? Failed? Failed and then passed?

Help out a fellow project manager and post your tip on studying for and taking the exam. Here are some we''ve gathered from members so far:

J.l Laroche: Try not to try to absorb all the PMBOK content by heart, focus on the main stream of processes and knowledge, the tools and the results and you will be fine don''t worry. remember to get first through all questions, answering the evident ones and flagging the others and then get back to the flagged ones, and think of it, even if you''re unsure of the answer, always, always pick one, if you''re wrong you will not loose points and you have 1 on 4 chances to get it good...

M. Hartsough: When reviewing those questions you flagged, don''t start second-guessing yourself. IMO, in all probability your initial answer was correct. Don''t change your original answers unless you definitely found a better one. Remember to answer from the "PMI Perspective". The PMI Perspective isn''t necessarily how you or your organization manages projects.

F. McCaskell: take a break every 50 questions - no matter if you don''t think you need it. This will prevent you from being burned out at the end.

C.Tong: don''t think the exam is easy or you won''t prepare yourself well
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I took the exam few months back and thankfully passed in the first try. The exam is not easy, so do study for it.
1. Read thoroughly the PMBOK guide. The word-to-word definition in the glossary section are often the best answer to many questions.
2. Learn the processes, knowledge areas, tools and techniques and different theories. Focus on the sequence of processes too.
3. I used Rita Mulachy's book - an excellent guide to help answer from the PMI perspective.
4. Practice as many sample questions as you can. Most answer options are correct but the trick is to find the best answer. With practice you slowly start looking for the keywords to help you choose the best answer.
5. Most of the questions are situation based - what would you do as the PM?
6. While taking the exam, even if you want to skip, choose one answer and mark it for review instead. You may not have enough time near the end of the exam to reread the question and all the options.
7. All the Best !!
5 replies by Abu Hasnat Muhammad Monzurul Bhuyan, Marciano Lie A Young, Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan, Sanaz Gharachorloo, and Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:46 AM
Steven Zachary
Thanks Pawan, I've heard good things about Rita's book. I agree practice questions are essential to gauge readiness.
Aug 18, 2017 7:37 PM
Marciano Lie A Young
Great tips, Pawan! I am taking the exam in 4 months as well; will use your tips for sure :)
Nov 27, 2017 11:55 PM
Abu Hasnat Muhammad Monzurul Bhuyan
PMI is simply doing business. The level of difficulty is not accepted. We professionals are taking this exam. To be honest, for passing this exam we need to stop everything and study days and nights. The exam pattern is faulty. Why should someone take quiz for 4 hours under pressure and without break...It is not a quiz test. I strongly disagree with this format. PMI is simply making people full and earning money
Jan 30, 2018 7:30 AM
Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
Really useful for starters like me, Thanks
Mar 15, 2018 7:35 PM
Sanaz Gharachorloo
Hi Pawan,
Thanks for your kindly Information. I have a question for you, I had the PMP exam a month ago but unfortunately failed on first attempt. I am looking to start a study plan to hopefully pass on the second attempt!
As I understood the best options is to read the PMBOK and also use Rita Mulcahy's book and also practicing sample questions, but could you please tell me which Rita book exactly? and where can I find a sample questions?

Utilize the first 15 minutes which is given to get familiarized with the system to write down all the important formulas/things which you can''t remember for a long time on the paper so that you can free up your mind and concentrate on the questions.
4 replies by Andrea Jacob, Jay Gopal, Juan Carlos Londoño, and Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
May 16, 2017 10:43 AM
Andrea Jacob
This practice was not permitted in my test center. Tester has to wait until the actual test has begun to use the scratch paper and pencils provided
Nov 28, 2017 11:37 AM
Jay Gopal
PMI has moved away from allowing people to be able to do this. The papers cannot be used until the clock starts. You can still try and write down things that you think might forget. I did not and I did not think this would've been helpful as most of the questions were situational. I could say I got like 3 math questions which would've been the only things I might have jotted out in the paper. Please don't count on this when you appear for the exam. Try and understand the ITTOs and try and understand the question before answering.
Jan 30, 2018 7:31 AM
Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
Nice, good piece of advise
Mar 08, 2018 1:18 PM
Juan Carlos Londoño
is correct!, "Project Management Institute (PMI)® and Prometric have made the following change to the examination format of all PMI® certifications: You are no longer allowed to take any notes during the 15 minute time of the tutorial". from

good luck.just concentrate

When I get 75%-8 o good answers each time a solve an exam preparation mockup then I am ready.
1 reply by Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:47 AM
Steven Zachary
I'm similar here, once I'm at about 75% - 80% consistently I feel good about it.

as per my experience, enroll in the PMP after you get hands on experience in the project management to understand the situations. the exams is all about real situations with good understanding of the PMBOK.
1 reply by Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:47 AM
Steven Zachary
Hi Yassine,

Did you find the practical experience helped with your score?

1) The PMBOK represents ideal situation for Project Management. You would be doing differently then stated in the PMBOK but for exam, PMBOK wins everytime.

2) You should remember the Inputs,Outputs & Tools n Techniques for processed as you may get 4-5 questions on that only.

3) You should understand the relationship between the KAs. There will be questions to test your knowledge / understanding where scenario includes many KAs & you need to give the answer about the KA sequence in which PM should manage the scenario.

4) Never ever think, you cannot clear the exam on the first try. Prepare your study Schedule as per your comfort. Study templates may help but you should know what study method fits your style.

5) As it could be dry subject reading the PMBOK, Try to practice the methods, mentioned in PMBOK, in your daily life or in projects. I was not able to incorporate them in my work thus I used them in my daily life, Considering small / large events in life as a project.
2 replies by Guido Guerra and Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:49 AM
Steven Zachary
I like the optimism here Chintan. Preparing with the goal of passing on the first time. Good advice.
Oct 20, 2017 12:46 PM
Guido Guerra
Sorry but what do you mean by KAs? "Known Associate"? Thanks for your prompt answer on this.

Hi Rebecca,

thx for asking. We just created a website espacially for guys like your feloow PM and for all actual and upcoming PMP aspirants out there.

Please check out

where you can find all the informations needed. YOu will find also a community of PMP aspirants and already PMP''s who are willing to help you with PMP preparation and all the questions and problems which may appear.

For instance you can find there not only this complete guide:

? The Complete Guide To “How To Get PMP Certification” ?:

but also many more.

In addition i would say to create a personal study plan may be essential to succeed:

? Creating Your PMP Study Plan - The Complete Guide ?

We are planning to provide a study plan online which will be customizable to everyones own preferences, but this is a future feature ...

Lastly i would like to refer to our blog here on, published a few days ago about the 12 most relevant prep materials as a guideline:

Well, hope that helps a bit further.

Please don''t hesitate to ask any further questions.


3 replies by Elizabeth McDonald, Sameer Rane, and Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:49 AM
Steven Zachary
Awesome resources Markus thanks!
Aug 30, 2016 3:24 PM
Elizabeth McDonald
Thank you but I'm not able to get any of those mentioned sites to launch; have they changed?
Jul 12, 2017 12:58 AM
Sameer Rane
Amzing Stuff Markus. It definitely charged me up to start preparation to take up the exam. thanks for sharing it.


You do provide some valuable tipps, like the previous poster also, but there is one thing i like kind to disagree.
It si about your second point regarding the ITTO''s.

I know that this is broadly discussed out there and there are a lot of sources which recommend to train and memorize all the ITTO''s by heart.

But that is exactly what i do disagree about. Imho it is just not necessary and a huge waste of time and ressources just to try.
There are more than 600 ITTO''s related to all the 47 PM processes and i would say it is nearly impossible for 99% o the aspirants to memorize them.
But just more important, it is simply not necessary.
I did the exam back in august this year and i can''t remember not a single question which has asked for an ITTO directly, not one.
And in addition i would say, if you have learned about all the processes and if you have UNDERSTANd how they work and how they are interrelated, than the ITTO''s are coming by nature.

However, for all who are asking themselves if they should learn the ITTO''s by hear or not i would like to recommend this article here:

Should you learn ITTOs by Heart?

Just my 2 cents ...


3 replies by Juan Carlos Londoño, Krishna Pakki, and Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:50 AM
Steven Zachary
Wait, there are 600 ITOs? What?

Talk about overkill you could spend 3 months on that. I'd be using acronyms galore. Watermark Learning is good for this.
Jun 20, 2017 1:30 PM
Krishna Pakki
Cant agree with you more. if one has the right experience and knowledge, he/she shouldn't worry about memorizing ITTRs.
Mar 08, 2018 1:48 PM
Juan Carlos Londoño
Hi Markus

you link connectio refused...!


I have passed PMP Exam in July this year, in my first attempt, here is my advice & tips for PMP aspirants:

1. First of all make a Maximum 3 Month Plan , register with PMI as member and schedule your exam date , at least 03 month ahead.

2. Start with reference RITA Malcuhy Book Edition -8, from first chapter and then read corresponding chapter in PMBOK-5 (which you will get your own copy after becoming member). Do exercises practice tests relevant with this chapter. complete your first round like that up to last chapter. ( but remember whatever you learn try to practice and look for samples/ templates of key documents of project management).

3. Next time the whole above exercise repeat with Andy crow Book. ( try to understand process flow, generation of PM documents and how all these things are applicable to your organization projects, even if they are not being implemented.)

4. During the last 02 weeks, do as many Mock Test (200 questions) as you find available on internet or in book (i.e Exam Central, Headfirst, etc)

Cleared the PMP exam on first attempt in good standing this Dec 2015. It took me about 10 months to prepare for the exam but yes, whole preparation time could be reduced to 3 months depending upon how much time you allocate to your study on daily basis.

Start by studying PMBOK guide and PMP Head First side by side chapter by chapter. Highlight important points in books. Then fulfill the formality of taking the 35 contact hours course. After that, solve questions in Rita's PM Fast Track, Process Group wise and note the points/explanations of the correct answers to questions which you marked wrong, on a separate note book for reviewing them later a week or two before the exam. At last, take the 2 practice tests of Rita and 1 at the end of Head First book.

No need to learn by heart the inputs, tools and techniques, outputs of every process except the formulas. Just make a map of understanding them as a whole in your mind. Table 3-1 and 4-1 in PMBOK Guide are important to keep in mind all the time.

Lastly, there is no hard and fast rule, you can design your own learning/preparation steps and techniques through experience as per your convenience. 3-5 years extensive project management/coordination experience will really facilitate in preparation and passing the test.
1 reply by Steven Zachary
Jan 01, 2016 11:51 AM
Steven Zachary
10 month Usman! Wow, that is exceptional preperation!
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