Mahammad Rafiq (PMP): Don’t refer many resources, stick with few selected ones!

Here’s my PMP Lessons Learned –

PMP Certified on 19th Dec 2014


PMI membership: September 20th 2014
Overall study duration planned for 3 months
Initial planned exam date: Dec 6th (didn’t scheduled on-line, just on my calender)
Effective study days: approx 55 days ( average 2-4 hours/day & 6-8 hours/day on weekends)
Re-planned exam: To Dec 19th

Study material:

PMBOK & PMCC book ( 1 read each)
PMCC question bank, read the justifications given for answers
PMCC mock test taken: 4 ( to practice 4 hours focus & subject grasp)
Other mock tests taken: 11 ( to trial out different approaches of effective 4 hours strategy)
Average passing percentage in mock tests: 65-72%

Last week of exam:

1. I didn’t took any mock tests, interestingly I took workaround of launching on-line exam & click submit w/o any answers. 
Go through the report of tests which will have answers (rather than spending 4 hours & then analyzing)
2. Recap of my personal notes
3. Visited ITTO & noted down my own mind links to understand the input/outputs alone
ITTO mind links covered generally like – where all Expert Judgement, OPA, EEF coming. How the inputs of one process is getting seeded to next process
Where all OPA updates happened, PMP doc updates, Project doc updates.
4. WWI, WWP & WWR relation
5. Exam Mind map blueprint & practice it to scratch it down in 8-10 mins (not too much, just moderate stuff)

General reference material:

Online blogs (Shiv’s blog pmexamsmartnotes, other PMChamp & few more)
Purchased Formula guide (from Shiv pmexamsmartnotes) & Data flow diagrams
At one point I thought, am unnecessarily loading with loads of internet reference & study materials – STOP

Strategy for Exam:

Tried different Strategies which will suite me for effective 4 hours & for me the below one worked;
1st round – just answered theoretical Qs approx 130 Qs – 2 hours
Break time (this worked good for me to recharge my brain & focus as my exam was scheduled at 8am) – 10 min
Please note to avail a break, you have to go through all inspection formalities in exam centre
2nd round – answered the sure shot mathematical Qs & ambiguous theoretical Qs approx 40 Qs – 50 min
3rd round – tough & pending Qs approx 20 – 40 min
Quick revisit & mark remaining 10 Qs – 20 min

Side effects:

I couldn’t able to sleep on previous night & got woke up at 2.45 am !
Due to panic of exam, I got acidity issue & headache since a day before exam


I received email about my exam results after couple of days. Results reflected in PMI registry & in myPMI on 4th day
Following up with CC of PMI as got to know that such delay may happen if there are any non working days (weekend/holiday) after exam.
Mahammad Rafiq, PMP

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