PMP exam tips

FYI – I am not new to Project Management because I work as Project Manager (Technical) in a software company and I have more than 10+ years of software experience. So, my experience may not match with yours.

PMP is something I was aiming for a long time. I was hesitant to take the exam because of couple of reasons – out of touch with learning for writing an exam, high exam fees, considerably long learning hours to pass the exam in first attempt.

Though I am aware of PMP for 10+ years, I have made my first attempt in 2012 (registered for PMI membership but dropped off the idea after couple of months). It was the time when PMBOK 5th edition was released. With the help of my company, finished an online course and got the required 35 PDU. But couldn’t spend enough time, so dropped the idea.

After that I had a feeling of giving one more attempt late last year. So, searched for online courses to get 35 PDU. Looked for some in-person classes in my city. Compared to in person, online was cheaper. I was able to get a udemy 35 PDU course (PMI REP provider) for ~1% of the in person class cost. Bought the course but took my own sweet time to finish the course. Talked to couple of friends, they suggested to pay the fees and block the date so that I will not drop like last time 🙂 Good suggestion, so registered for PMI after new year like a new resolution and submitted the required details to PMI. Since I am already working as a project manager and the Udemy course completion satisfied all the pre-req for the application. Got approval from PMI to proceed.

Like last time, I am in the similar boat as exam change to new edition. I looked for a Saturday to book the exam (little shy to take OOF for exam) and blocked a day this month. This triggered anxiety because the price is $400+ on top of PMI membership. Retake is another $200+. So, slowly reviewed the udemy course contents and was taking quizzes. My office travel time is ~1hr from my house. So, I got less time everyday for studying for the exam. Pressure mounted on me in the last 10 days which made me to work in a different way which helped me a lot. That is what I have listed down.


  1. Have an aim to pass the exam not just to appear for exam. This is more important.
  2. Out of 47 processes (I have taken PMBOK 5th edition based exam), ~12 processes contribute more than 60% of the questions (Initiation, Closing, Execution). So, memorize the ITTO of these.
  3. PMP math cheat sheets (FV, EV*, Communication Channels, PTA, Critical Path)
  4. Charts and tools – why do we have to use, when to use, which process does it belong to
  5. Quiz / Questions – do as many questions you can take (free, paid). Understand the options given in the questions so that you can understand the concepts on the go.
  6. 4 hrs exam – keep an eye on time (aim to do 60 questions per hour so that you will have some time for review). If you are running slow, have a plan to decide fast on some questions if you feel that you need to think a lot.
  7. I got many questions in risk and close (what do you do in this situation, lessons learned related, etc.).

References: (good notes; there are several such notes sites) (I have used 5th Edition)

–Several free PMP questions (beginner, advanced level) in youtube

Read other people experiences from web / facebook:

1. Joseph’s Udemy Course and Cram course
2. Joesph’s 3 X100 questions
3. Simple Learn 200 Questions
3. Rita Book all chapter(only started this two weeks before exam and realized what i was missing)
4. PMBOK for only clarifications.
5. Few more Sample questions from mobile apps
6. ITTO Game on my phone
7. Saket Bansal Videos (This was a big help to clear how the processes are linked)

Few Android apps like Exam Mentor, PMP exam Prep


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