PMP Lessons Learned: Mirza Azfar Baig, PMP

Dear All,


Finally! I passed my PMP exam. Here is my PMP lessons learned.

My journey started almost 2years ago. I failed PMP exam but didn’t lost the hope and it was my passion to achieve this certification because I know how to manage a project while dealing with PMP processes.

I prepped myself again after 08 months of last episode and give a kick from May 2011 and here am I writing my LL to you. WOW!

I took time to read LL’s from others which was very helpful but the process I took wasn’t as disciplined as I can. And here is my story.

  • I read PMBOK twice and yes it was boring in the start but it gives you formal understandings so please bear with it.
  • I read Rita’s study guide and practice the simulation software as well
  • I read Headfirst which really gave me a thorough understanding while using its graphical approach
  • I skimmed through the whole Rita Simulations with knowledge area wise with explanation to each question…..I don’t think that I missed a single explanation either it was correct or wrong selection which really helped me out in understanding the concept and approach to answer.
  • I was subscribed with EPMC daily PMP question (please google it) which also helpful in practicing question.
  • Rita Flash Cards was also provided some Aid in my preparation, which normally I used to copy in my mobile and listen while driving.

Read More

PMP Lessons Learned: Nikhil Dave., PMP

Passed PMP on Tuesday 27th July 2010.

Thanks to all in the community for sharing their valuable knowledge. It helped me a lot in preparing for the exam.


Initiation Moderately Proficient

Planning Proficient

Executing Proficient

Monitoring and Controlling Proficient

Closing Moderately Proficient

Professional and Social Responsibility Moderately Proficient


Lessons Learned:


Classroom training:

Attended classroom training provided by EPMC –

Became member of PMI in mid of May and started preparation by reading PMBOK.

Books Referred:

Went through PMBOK Guide – thrice (1st from page first to last, 2nd process wise along with EPMC material, 3rd after reading the Head First)

Read Head First PMP once

EPMC course material – once along with PMBOK

Time taken to read:

1st time, PMBOK reading took 20 days (2 hrs daily, 5-7 hrs weekend)

2nd time around 8-10 days (3hrs daily, few more on weekend)

3rd time 4 days (8 hrs daily)

I was out of touch for around 14-20 days. I strongly suggest not to remain out of touch for long, unless you just can’t which was my case.

Rest spent on reading Head First and cracking few tests

[ad code=1 align=center]

Scheduled Exam:

Submitted the application in mid June for which I got the approval in five working days. Registered for the exam on the same day for 10th August but then I felt ready so preponed it to 27th July just a week before.


I kind of liked reading PMBOK from first to last than process wise. I guess it doesn’t matter provided you understand what happens after what. For me it worked. It may not for you! You will know what you prefer when you will finish reading it for the first time. Many of the PASSED PMPs have mentioned here that they had gone through PMBOK twice with a reference book and I think reading twice is OK, but I had a huge gap between the 1st and 2nd round. So I had to go through it again. That certainly helped a lot! While reading each sentence/topic just try to relate it to questions as to what kind of question can be asked. That will help you remember it well. You can do that once you go through few questions to get an idea about questions that can come up. As everyone says, understand the usage of ITTO rather than memorizing it. I found HEAD FIRST a good source to understand those. Also it has some more info which is not described briefly in PMBOK so that may help you in the real exam.

Tested the knowledge:

Head First 200 Qs: scored 91%

Oliver Lehman 175 Qs: 75%

EPMC free test: 74%

PMSTudy free test :75%

After cracking Head First with 91% I was stuck with 75% in the rest of the tests.

Solving papers will help you determining the questions and what to expect. Also it will get you the experience of sitting for 4 hours which is must. Take breaks to reduce the burden on your brain. That will help you a lot. You may find some of the similar questions from these papers in the actual test!!

I had registered myself on:


EPMC – free question everyday, – free question everyday, – free question everyday

[ad code=1 align=center]


Woke up at 6:00am and went through the glossary section of PMBOK in an hour – didn’t read the ITTOs at all. Reported to the exam center at 8:00am. I was assigned desk at 9:45am!! There were two more guys for PMP who were assigned the desk at sharp 9:00AM. Mentioning this just to keep you aware that it may take long though I think mine was an exception case!

Started the test with the tutorial. I was given a scratch pad and pencils in the beginning of the tutorial. I wrote down 5×9 table (PMBOK page#43) and formulas of Cost,Schedule,TPE,EMV, Communication Channels on the scratch pad in 7 minutes. During the test, I didn’t look at the scratch pad even once to refer those. You should do the same scratch pad exercise when you do tests at home.

Ended the tutorial and started the battle. Read each question very carefully, almost twice. Took little less than three hours to finish the test. Was confused on 4-5 questions so jotted down their possible answers on the scratch pad to review it later. Revisited those at the end, changed answer for one and then didn’t have much to review so ended the test. Filled out the survey and within few seconds, reached on the “Congrats” page.

Highlights on the exam questions:

Got 4-5 Qs on EV calculation and they were pretty easy. Didn’t require calculator at all. Most of them were provided with SPI and CPI and were asking the project status.

Few wordy questions on Direct and Manage Project Execution.

1-2 Qs on evaluating which project to choose based on IRR, NAV calculations. This was a surprise for me as I was not expecting it but had gone through the calculations before so could crack it.

Project framework Qs were little tricky.

1 Q on float calculation, 1 on the relationship.

No Qs on communication channel J

Overall found it easier than the tests I had gone during the preparation.

All the best!

Best Regards,


PMP Exam Academy gets new home

PMP Exam Academy was hosted under URL:

Now on the website will be hosted under new URL, that is one “p” less than the earlier URL.

The change is made to avoid any copyright violation issues by using term “PMP” in the URL.

If you have bookmarked the old URL,  please change it to

Thank You.

Bheema Prakash

PMP Exam Academy

Launching PMP Exam Academy!

Welcome to PMP Exam Academy!

Today, we are delighted to launch PMP Exam Academy, your one stop destination for PMP Exam preparation. Checkout the site for valuable and useful resources for your exam study.

Don’t know what PMP is? Check out the Newbie section.

Have unanswered questions? Go to the FAQ page.

Trying to find out which training class is right for you? Click here.

Need suggestions on what book to read for PMP exam? Popular Books page will guide you.

Come back and check again… You will be pleasantly surprised to see lot more!

Good luck with your PMP examination.

-Bheema Prakash, Your friend @ PMP Exam Academy