Nadia Habsy (PMP) – Lessons from Paper Based Test

Paper-Based Test: PMP lessons learned

pmp lessons learnedI am Nadia. I started my journey to the PMP certification the 18 th September 2014. I registered to a local training center but it was not easy to manage between office, husband and four children. So while sailing on the internet, I came across Shiv’s blog ( that lit my preparation. I sign up to get the PMP Study Blueprint.

Materials I used:

  • The Project Management Prepcast + Exam Simulator (this purchase was the best decision I have taken)
  • The PMBOK Guide (version 5) (read only once from cover to cover)
  • Rita Mulcahy (read twice)
  • How to pass on your first try by Andy Crowe (I just skim)
  • The PMP exam checklist (I followed all the instructions)
  • Lessons learned by successful PMP exam takers (it was really helpful)
  • Ace Your PMP Series” offered by Shiv (especially “THE SUPER GUIDE TO PMP QUESTIONS TYPES” – I answered several questions easily using the strategies described in this e-book)

Also read: 3-Month PMP Journey of a Test Manager – by Nihar Mishra, PMP

Preparation phase

After going through most of the videos, I submitted my application form for the exam in the first week of January via PMI website. I do not know why, working on my application was more stressful than taking the exam. I received my confirmation 4 days later. I scheduled my exam and started using the Exam Simulator. This has increased my motivation and allowed me to focus on my preparation. I passed 6 full PMP exams.

5 days before the exam, I traveled about 300km to go in the city where is located the examination center.

3 days before the real exam, I had some concerns with the ITTOs which quickly cleared when I get 87% on the Exam 9 (ITTO QUESTIONS ONLY). I felt more confident.

The day of the exam

My test was scheduled on Saturday, 14th March 2015 at 9:00, I arrived 20 minutes before. I found that there were already many test takers in the testing center.       

Also read: My Paper Based Test Experience, Shishir Sankeesa, PMP

After the exam

It is very stressful to take Paper-based examination because you don’t get your result immediately. I received the “congratulations mail” 10 days later.

Lessons learned

  • Practice more situational questions
  • train yourself to complete the test earlier than 4 hours because in the paper-based examination, it takes more time to turn the pages and to “color” the answers
  • No time to write down your brain dump
  • No breaks (so be prepared)
  • It is not easy to mark and review questions (answer all the questions, guess if you do not know)
  • Do not panic if the first few questions seem difficult
  • Understanding the meaning of terms and other terms that may be
    used to refer to them.

Now, I am a PMP !!!

Thanks to my instructor, Cornelius Fichtner and the OSP team.


Nadia Habsy, PMP

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