My PMP Resources & Lessons Learned – Santhi R, PMP

pmp resources lessons learned santhiShiv, I passed PMP in first attempt with 3P and 2MP!

Here is my experience, hope this will help people studying for their PMP exam.

PMP training

pmp santhi rMy core study companion was the PM PrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner – Needless to say, it is the best one available. Thank you sir!

Other PMP resources I used

1. HeadFirst PMP – My favorite. Gives good foundation. Liked many aspects of this book.

2. Rita Mulcahy – Great book to understand the topics in depth and in a practical approach.

3. Andy Crowe – Very easy to understand and to the point.

4. PMBOK – Hardly touched. Covered only a few chapters. I should have read it.

5. Kim Heldman – Covered only a few parts, but liked the way it is presented, with process flow rather than Knowledge area wise.

6. Online resources – Apart from books, I referred some online resources.  They are Saket Bansal’s videos. I guess prep will not be complete without his videos. Great explanations! Also, I referred Edward Chung’s notes.

7. Shiv Shenoy’s website. The smart notes, tips and tricks and the brain dump page are must-reads.

PMP mock tests and my results

I am including my scores as well, as even I used to look for others’ scores to use as benchmark, when I was preparing.

Before preparation:

After preparation:

  • Sean Whitaker – 77.5%
  • PMP Exam simulator 3day – 81.83%
  • HeadFirst – 86%
  • 5 Challenge PMP Mock Tests (by Mohit Arora) – Tried only 3 tests and scored around 65%. These tests are of good quality and tough.
  • 1000 Challenge PMP KA wise (by Mohit Arora) – Tried a few KA wise questions and scoring around 70%.
  • PreparePM Mock 1 – 88%
  • PreparePM Mock 2 – 89.28%
  • PMPrepCast Simulator Mocks – It is totally worth buying this simulator. I highly recommend. Tried 7 mock tests out of 9 and scores were: 84%, 88.5%, 87.5%, 82%, 84.5%, 84.5%, 82%
  • Scordo – Tried only the last few exams (12-18) and scoring above 80%
  • Oliver’s 75 Q – 74.6% (56/75)
  • Oliver’s 175 Q – 84.6% (148/175) – Oliver’s tests are considered to be the toughest ones available and have taken them just a week before my exam. They really boosted my confidence!

Mobile apps

PMP Exam Prep and Oliver’s app.

[Shiv: Here’s a complete list of PMP study resources]

Things I would do differently if I have to do this all over again

1. Take at least one break during the exam.

My mind went completely off after 3hr. I should have taken a break (like I used to, during my mocks). May be I was too eager to finish up the exam, but it impacted my scores.

2. Review your answers

– which I didn’t. So had to settle down with the results I got (which is not a bad score, but would have gained better).

3. Take as many practice questions as you can, in conjunction with your studies!

I postponed taking questions until the end (just 2-3 weeks before exam), while spending most of the time referring the materials. But it is best to take exams in parallel to your studies from the beginning, as our knowledge increases when we explore questions with various situations, and thereby can modify our learning process accordingly.

In the closing

My sincere Thanks to all the authors of the books and mocks and also to Toronto Public Library (yes, Library! as it helped me run my project in an economical way without having to buy a single book)!

And Big Thanks to Oliver sir for creating the group ‘I want to be a PMP’, which I used to check everyday and participate since I started preparation. And I thank everyone – along with my wonderful study-group-mates, who helped me with resources, tips and suggestions.

Last but not least, I reveal my (personal) secret of success – my husband and my one yr old kid! I am on maternity break and took the decision of appearing for PMP just 3-4 months ago and since then, I had rigorously trained myself technically, mentally and physically (to sit for those many continuous hrs, after my surgery). If I am able to pull myself up to this level, it is all because of them. Words can’t express my gratitude!

And.. the learning continues… as “known is a drop, unknown is an ocean”..!


Santhi R, PMP

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