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  PMP Exam Lessons Learned by Vasu (passed in Jan 2010)

Here's another set of very useful PMP Certification exam lessons learned, shared by Vasu. The key take-aways for me are: 1. If you prepare well, the exam is not that difficult, though I won't recommend reading 5 books :) 2. Keep a contingency for PMI audit in your preparation schedule. ============================= Hi Everyone, What a Marathon, I enjoyed the journey thoroughly. I completed it on 12/28/2009. This was my goal for 2009 and achieved it just in time and with in the cost budgeted. It took 2 weeks for me to digest this success. Here now I am posting my LLs. Started the journey in July 2009 and wanted to complete by Oct. But got deviated for 2 reasons by 2 months. 1. Trying to read too many books/resources than what I initially planned. 2. Audit process and of course my work schedule So the first lesson here is, stick to your plan. Define what you want to cover and put a plan in place and track to it. Second lesson is, being prepared and expect for audit. I expected audit but not prepared for it completely. I applied for the exam at a very late in the game plan and got selected for audit which I did not included in my schedule. Because of the audit my preparation got halted for 3 weeks (just mental deviation). So the lesson here is, apply for the exam well in advance. So that even if you are picked up for audit, your rhythm is not disturbed. Audit is not a difficult or bad thing if you are prepared. I surely agree that it can disturb the rhythm and take you off track as in my case. Books I prepared: 1. Headfirst – 1 time 2. Rita - 3 times 3. PMBOK - 3 times 4. Kim Heldmen - (Just summary, quick glance and some impt topics) 5. Andy crow (Quick glance) Exams: 1. Pmstudy 1, 2, 3, 4 2. Oliver 175 questions 3. Headfirst 4. PMFasttrack Word of caution: Many other online exam resources are not reliable. Their questions are not PMI standard and not aligned with PMBOK. In my observation, only the above 4 are good exam resources. Forums: 1. This forum 2. Harwinder Blogs. About my exam experience:
  • Not tough
  • Resembles pmstudy questions mostly.
  • Completed in 3 hours and marked 40 for review.
  • Many direct questions but they are little tricky in options. If you are focused, you will see only one option
  • Remember there are 25 trial questions (not counted). I am sure these 25 questions would have definitely fall in those 40 questions I marked.
  • Even in you get though questions, don’t loose confidence. There is a high chance that these fall in those 24 new questions.
  • There are around 10 formula questions.
  • Many questions on ITTOs. So I suggest practice them.
  • Take deep breaths in the exam .This helps in focus on the exam.
I passed with the following proficiencies:
  • Initiation – Proficient
  • Planning – Proficient
  • Execution – Proficient
  • M&C – Proficient
  • Closing – Moderately Proficient
  • Professional and social resp – Proficient
Exam was very easy for me, may be because I got over prepared. So I do not want to set any expectations. To close out, it was a very good experience and journey. Definitely not a frustrating as many comment, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks everyone for making this happen to me. I wish you a very happy new year and all the best for your marathon. Regards, -Vasu. ============================= Originally posted here: PMP Certification Exam Lessons Learned


  1. Hello, do you mind to share a direct link(on a forum probably) where I can ask questions to Vasu ?

    Thanks !

  2. Hello,

    If your questions are not too confidential, you can post them here. I'll send an email to Vasu to take a look and respond.


  3. No problem; I would like to ask how he rates the prep books that he used; in terms of usefullness to prepare the exam; like : too simplistic, too much detailled; in other words, which books would he stronly recommand, and which ones are optional.

    Thanks !

  4. I've requested Vasu to take a look at your question.


  5. Thanks Harwinder for posting my LLs in your forum.
    Centrino, Here is the answer for your question. I cannot rate them, but i can put explanation on what you expect from them.

    1. Head first - Use this as a startup if you are just starting the preparation. This covers the fundamentals in easy to read language.

    2. Rita - Covers the topics in depth. This level of understanding is required to get the required confidence. But the exam questions may not be as tricky as Rita prepares you.

    3. PMBOK - It's obvious. Need to read from cover to cover. more than 70% questions will come from it.

    4. Kim Heldmen, Andy crowe : You can take a pass if you don't have time.

    Important thing is, each book is written in different pattern and by the views/examples of different authors. By reading these different books, you will get the different perspectives of the concepts. Not all these readings are required to pass the exam.

    I know i did not answered your questions stright, but this is the best i can do.


  6. Hello Vasu, yes you kind of answered my question; no I know what I can expect from these books; thanks :-)

  7. Hey Vasu

    Did u buy PMFasttrack for $299?
    is it worth?



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