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PMP Exam - How to Prepare for the Second Attempt


  • edited April 2012

    Hi Harwinder,

    Thank you for the swift respond.

    I have a legitimate project management experience working in a Project Management company managing construction projects for over 7 years.

    I finished my boot camp at the end of January 2012, but due to Project completion urgency and some procrastination, I waited till April 2nd, 2012 to appear for the exam. As soon as I found out the results I got in touch with PMStudy and their response was that I should reread the workbook they provided during the boot camp, and practice 4-5 simulation test then I should go write the exam before the end of next week at the latest.

    During my preparation for the exam, I only studied the workbook provided by PMStudy and did several chapter tests for all the processes. I spent a lot of hours reading that book but obviously it wasn’t enough to get me through. So now, I am not sure what to study in order to pass the exam on my 2nd attempt.

    Could you please guide me on how to succeed for this exam and how long should I wait before I book an appointment for the exam.

    Thanks alot.


  • edited April 2012

    Hi SK,

    From your comments I feel that you have lost faith in PM Study. Do they pay for your second attempt that they are asking you to take the exam next week?

    I'm not sure how some companies tell people to take the course from Mon to Thu, and take the exam on Friday. At least I cannot do that, unless they give me the exact 200 questions, which are going to appear on the exam, with the correct answers. I would dismiss such things as marketing gimmicks.

    You should prepare at your own pace and take the exam when you feel confident, not when someone "prescribes" you to take it.

    I suggest that you read Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep, if you haven't already done so. It also has 350-odd chapter end questions, which are very good. Also read the section on PMIisms in that book. Read the PMBOK Guide very thoroughly, cover-to-cover, including the appendices. Apart from that, take the free sample questions on the "recommended" list here:

    Take time to absorb the material, read blogs, participate in forums (such as this), and prepare your own study notes (don't use notes prepared by others). Study diligently every day, even if it's just for 30 minutes. Don't have any gap in your preparation.

    I'm sure if you work hard, you will be ready to take another crack in about 4-6 weeks from now.

    All the best.

    P.S.: I had to split your message from the other thread where you first posted it. In general, please post your message in a new thread. Thanks.

  • Thank you very much for all your help.

  • Good advice Harwinder. I agree with you very much on how some REPs prescribe candidates on when exactly to take the exam. A candidate must always focus on regular self study. Other sources and methods are also important; but none should come in the way of having one's own regular self study (this includes study and taking tests). This helps in boosting one's confidence and they can then decide on when to take the test and pass!

    Chandrasekhar, PMP®

  • I think there is too little advice in general how to study for your second attemt. Also it would be interesting to know how many of faild their first atemt did pass thier second one. I find it really hard to get motivated to study for this second atemt. Also with a full time PM job and 2 kids to take care of it is even harder.
    Anyone found any "Dummy Guide" - I passed the PM exam on my 2nd try" type of guide???

  • @icewoman

    Welcome to PM Hangout.

    I can imagine your state of mind. Unfortunately, I don't think there's silver bullet. Every person is different. Everyone has a unique background, knowledge, skills, caliber and motivation level. It's really hard to generalize the reason for passing or failing the exam. Probably that's why there's no "pass in 2nd try" guide.

    Let me ask you this - why do you want to get this certification? Is it for a new job, a promotion, a better role, better compensation, or something else? Find your purpose first. The purpose should be your motivation. If your purpose is not strong enough, then probably it's not worth your time. But if you have a strong purpose, then don't give up.

    Honestly, I don't have all the answers. I hope other members will step up and provide you better guidance and support.

    Good luck.

  • @icewoman,

    Thanks for sharing that link.

    With more such contributions from community members, I'm sure we'll build a good repository of helpful tips for folks who are preparing for their second attempt.

    Good luck.

  • You've probably re-taken the exam, but I post this for others...

    I'm not a big fan of Rita's book and much prefer Head First PMP and Andy Crowe's book. Rita's book is just too wordy.

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