Muhideen Lawal's PMP Study Plan and Tips


Hi Obalim. I wanted to share my PMP success story for others to benefit from. I hope this helps.

  1. The study materials I used were

    • Rita-PMP® Exam Prep 8th Edition - Rita Mulcahy, and the updated version

    • PM FASTrack PMP v8

    • PMBOKGuideFifthEd

    • Mock test PMP administered by Ciel Consulting

  2. The quality of your training

    • The high quality PMP training from Ciel was highly invaluable towards understanding project management. It also enabled me to gather the 35 contact hours required for the exam.

  3. The reading method adopted.

    • Had time to read only during weekend and spent about a month reading Rita’s book (first time) (10-12 hours per weekend)

    • Read about four chapters before starting Ciel PMP training, weekend class

    • Read each chapter once and practiced the chapter questions at the end of each chapter, reviewed comments on right and wrong answers to understand Rita’s perspectives and understand gap in my knowledge (Right answers were between 70% and 85%)

    • Practiced Exam Simulations twice and scored 81% and 82.5%

    • Registered for the Exam, downloaded the PMBOK Guide Fifth Ed

    • I spent about 1.5 weeks reading PMBOK

    • Practiced Mock Exam from Ciel, scoring about 82%

    • Read Rita’s book the second time (updated version) for a week before the exam, redoing the chapter questions sequentially. My score increased to between 80% and 95%.

  4. The exam itself.

    • The exam was mostly situational

    • Question length was generally medium-sized passage, similar to the style in Rita’s Exam Prep

    • There were very few questions based on calculations (less than 5 that I could remember)

    • Spent an average of 63sec per question and finished about 3.5hrs but used the rest 30mins to review 22 marked questions, changed about 8 to 10 answers

  5. Lessons learned

    • Aim to understand instead of cramming Rita’s book and PMBOK

    • There were hardly any noticeable differences between Rita’s book v8 and updated version but it is good to read the latest one where possible.

    • Cross check shaded answers with corresponding questions to avoid shading wrong answers

    • Shade properly and erase properly if need be

    • An extra effort is required for the PBT to ensure correct and proper shading

    • Result was communicated via email 10days after the exam was taken

    • It is cost effective to register as PMI member before registering for the exam, this will also help on the long-run for certification maintenance

    • Answer all questions even if you are not sure during first time, and mark for review the ones with concerns

    • Write down all questions to be reviewed on one of the papers to be provided. This provides quick and more efficient reference to the questions to be reviewed

    • Follow the exam instruction

  6. Advice for those who plan to take the exam

    • Attend your PMP training class and irrespective of what you, engage during the class and share your learning and experience, and learn from instructors and colleagues, this helps strengthening understanding of vague concepts in the text books

    • Remain calm in the exam to avoid the negative effects such as missing keywords in questions and shading wrong answers

    • Take a walk if you become tensed to take in fresh air or practice other stress relieving techniques

    • If possible, take CBT as you would spend less time ensuring quality of the answering process and also it is easier to track questions to be later reviewed plus the benefit of seeing the result immediately

    • Ensure you are scoring at least 70% in each process group before taking the exam, this boosts your confidence to pass the exam

    • It is not advisable to be reading on the day of the exam but instead have free mind and relax