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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 !!
7 replies by Abu Hasnat Muhammad Monzurul Bhuyan, Alvine Pete Mfouapon, Marciano Lie A Young, Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan, Sanaz Gharachorloo, Steven Zachary, and Valerie Chavez
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?
Jul 03, 2018 11:37 PM
Valerie Chavez
Thank you! I'm excited to start studying!
Sep 14, 2018 4:50 AM
Alvine Pete Mfouapon
I took the exam last month and I failed! it was very had to deal with. now I am struggling to start again

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.
10 replies by Andrea Jacob, Jay Gopal, Juan Carlos Londoño, Moloy Chakraborty, Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan, Rytavis Veasley, Samuel Berroa de La Rosa, Stanford Moss, and VENKATAREDDY NAIDU KOPPANA
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
Mar 24, 2018 1:04 AM
Samuel Berroa de La Rosa
I just past the PMP exam, TODAY and I would recommend :

You must learn all about Change Management Plant and Perform integrate change control
All about Project Charter , Kick Off meeting
Control cost ( All the formulas ), YES , you will find questions of each one of those formulas.

Project Manager role

The Sequence of the process within the knowledge areas more important Project Scope and Project Time Management

Type of contracts you have to learn those all.

All about Stakeholders , Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Stakeholders

Quality assurance and Quality control , and the seven basic quality tools...
Plan risk Response Strategies for Risk and opportunities
CPM you have to know all about critical PATH
Closing project , and lessons learn

AND you have to learn, memorize, live the PMBOK, I REALLY encourage you to learn from hard the PMBOK, and yes there are questions that come straight from the PMBOK.

About ITTO I can't remember not a single question which has asked for an ITTO directly, so you have to study those but dont waste too much time learning that

But that being said , all of that was with the PMBOK 5TH edition , I dont know how that will change with the new PMBOK 6TH , from next week...

And I practiced with Andy crow Book. I bought that book and Exam Central, Headfirst, take as much mock of 200 question as you can.

And PMChanllenge found here in pretty good to hone and to sharpen your knowledge about PMBOK, It already have questions from the 6th edition.

good luck!!!!

Mar 24, 2018 1:08 AM
Samuel Berroa de La Rosa
You cannot do that anymore , its no allow, you have to wait until the first question to start writing on the paper that the give to you....
Mar 29, 2018 4:25 PM
Stanford Moss
Congratulations Samuel, well don.

You provided very valuable insights with special emphasis, all about Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Stakeholders...

Apparently, I must of had the same test as you.

Perhaps, stating it more dramatically, it was a barrage of Stakeholder questions.

I was not successful in my first attempt.

My first attempt was based on limited resources primarily, Ritas 5th Edition and very little PMBOK 5th Edition. That was a mistake on my part.

After reading about your test preparation material resources, I have decided to acquire Head First by Andrew. I plan to use Head first in conjunction with the 6th Edition of PMBOK and Rita.

Any advice?

How many simulations did you complete in preparation for the PMP Exam, and did you consistently score in the 75% - 80% range before you commit to taking the test?

I appreciate all additional comments and insights, as I plan a strategy to pass the

PMP on my second attempt.

Also, I will retake the PMP exam in June.

Best regards,

Apr 24, 2018 6:06 PM
Rytavis Veasley
I took my exam a month ago exactly, and that practice was not allowed in my testing center either. I was told that some testing center don't monitor you during the test and you are able to use that practice, but I would not due to being told it is not allowed anymore.
May 13, 2018 1:49 AM
Moloy Chakraborty
This practice is not allowing in the exam center
Jul 25, 2018 5:29 AM
No, not accepting as per PMI guidelines

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.
2 replies by Steven Zachary and William Washinski II
Jan 01, 2016 11:47 AM
Steven Zachary
Hi Yassine,

Did you find the practical experience helped with your score?
Oct 18, 2018 5:05 PM
William Washinski II
I cannot agree more --- I am going from the CAPM -- attained in 2017, to the PMP early next year so I do not get "real life" mixed up with PMBOK guide answers.

Effectively, they are the same test, just with more PM experience.

If you can organize the Knowledge Areas/Process groups -- you'll find they have striking similarities regarding Inputs/Outputs and can make total sense with a little organization of the mind.

The formulas aren't that hard either. Most of them are in only Cost Management anyhow.

Practice test, practice test and practice test. It'll come naturally before you know it.

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.
4 replies by Grace Augustine, Guido Guerra, Sravan Eguvolla, 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.
Dec 11, 2018 8:48 PM
Grace Augustine
I assumed KA is knowledge areas?
Dec 12, 2018 8:58 PM
Sravan Eguvolla
Indeed, KA == Knowledge Area.

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 ...


4 replies by Alvine Pete Mfouapon, 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...!

Sep 14, 2018 4:53 AM
Alvine Pete Mfouapon
I also tried the link and it is not working

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)
1 reply by Kevin Simmons
Mar 26, 2018 9:18 AM
Kevin Simmons
Hello can you please help find the question for the PMP Exam

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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