My Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam experience

I recently passed the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, and I would like to share my personal experience, so everyone planning to take this exam benefits from it.

I had a relatively long period studying for PMP, mainly because I had some work pressure that prevented me from studying for weeks or even months. During my PMP preparation journey, I studied the following:

1- Head First PMP book – 5th edition of PMBOK, but while studying, I knew that PMBOK 6th edition was coming.

2- I took PMP Exam Prep Seminar – PMBOK Guide 6 by Joseph Phillips on Udemy; helpful, and every word has a meaning. It’s very focused. I took it three times, at the very beginning, after I read PMBOK, and during the last weeks before the exam day.

3- I took Elsayed Mohsen’s course on Udemy (no longer available on Udemy); It’s in Arabic, and it closed out some of my gaps related to keywords, terms, and language-related items, in addition to the Change Control explanation.

4- I read PMBOK’s 6th edition from the first page to the last page, including the appendices (except those related to differences between the 5th and 6th versions).

5- I have answered about 4800 mock questions, paid and free questions. After days or weeks, I retook the exams with scores of less than 80%. My goal was to attend the exam with an overall average of more than 82%. Before the exam, I got an overall average of 84%.

6- Few days before the exam, I took PMP Exam Cram Session by Joseph Phillips on Udemy.

7- I watched Ricardo Vargas’s video: Elaboration of the Processes Flow of the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition


Study Notes

  1. I had my notes for all terms, processes…etc. which was new to me; also, I took notes from the mock exams explanations.
  2. I had my dictionary for the terms and the keywords: English to Arabic dictionary and the abbreviations.
  3. While reading the PMBOK, I highlighted the sentences and paragraphs for future review; I highlighted what I thought was essential.
  4. I had a sheet for mock exams and results to track the exams, scores…etc.
  5. I reviewed the mock exam results, including correct and incorrect answers.


The week before the exam

  1. I listened to Joseph Phillips’s courses while driving.
  2. I reviewed my notes once or twice a day.
  3. I reviewed my dictionary once or twice a day.
  4. I reviewed the highlighted items in PMBOK.
  5. I focused on taking or retaking mock exams.
  6. I took three full 4 hours of mock exams to practice for the actual exam.


The last day before the exam

  1. I reviewed my notes and dictionary for the last time.
  2. I took some of the low-score mock exams I already took again. If you already have many mock exams, I don’t recommend taking ones because they will confuse you.
  3. I studied almost all day; I stopped studying at around 9 pm and slept relatively early at around 10:30 pm.


The exam day

  1. I reached the exam center one hour before the exam time – it’s in a different city, but in the worst case, you should be there 30 minutes before the time.
  2. Drink some water, and go to the restrooms before entering the exam rooms. It’s not allowed to bring anything with you to the exam room, such as water, tissues, medicine…etc.
  3. Before entering the exam room, the check process takes 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. I didn’t take any breaks during the exam.
  5. After you complete the exam questions, there is a survey; this makes me nervous. Expect this survey before you see the results on the screen.

Good luck with your studying and exam.

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