What I did differently after I failed the PMP exam during my first attempt?

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When you are over 50 and planning to take the PMP exam you need all the support you can get. It gets worse when you are a busy executive and nomadic in your activities.  

I took the class work with Ciel in August 2016 and got busy until August 2017 when I received the notification that I had two months left to take the exam. Was challenging trying to prepare in two months and as expected missed the pass mark at the first attempt. 

My approach was all wrong. I hadn’t been studying for the exam when I decided to enroll in a week-long PMP Course.

After failing my first exam, I took the advice of some of the Testimonials shared on Ciel Consulting website and did the following:

-Studied Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book two hours every night. At least 5 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.

-Focused primarily on taking the practice exams from Ciel Consulting and watching some Youtube videos.

-I made flash cards.

-To hold myself accountable, I created a spreadsheet where I tracked what I studied every night, for how long I studied, and my nightly practice exam scores. This helped me identify sections of the exam where I was weak and track improvements. Once I was scoring high enough across all practice exams, I scheduled my 2nd PMP exam.

-One week before the exam, I memorized the formulas. I Googled “PMP Brain Dump” and put together a method for memorizing the math formulas.

-Forget what you know from your own project management experience. You will be tested on the PMI way, so it’s very much about learning as much as you can from the PMBOK Guide.

Working full-time, this is the method that worked for me. I had to gain the support from my wife and in-laws to help support me through the three months of studying. It meant sacrificing a lot of personal time, but in the end - I passed and am happy I did.

Good luck!

Dr Babatunde Obrimah (PMP)