Document Your Project Hours As Soon As You Start Thinking About PMP


George Monsalvatge
GA, United States

No. of Attempt
Study Duration
6 months

PMP® Course

Prep Book
Kim Heldman

Mock Exams Attempted
PMBOK® Guide Read

“… you should start documenting your project hours as soon as you start thinking about the PMP® exam to cut down on the time spent sorting out the application requirements.”

George Monsalvatge passed the PMP® exam in first attempt. Below is his lessons learned.

  • Last year several of my co-workers began suggesting that I should take the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification exam. My supervisor and my sister encouraged me to go for PMP®.
  • My original plan:  fill out the application, take a practice exams to identify my knowledge gaps, do more self-study to close those gaps, schedule the PMP® exam, and then pass it.

The Bad News

  • The PMI® requires me to document 4,500 hours of project management experience for the PMP® application. Also a 35 hours of formal project management training is required. I need to find the time for the training course.
  • After I finished the Project Management training course, I tried a practice exam which I failed miserably.
  • I then found a good book: PMP® Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman for further self study.

More Bad News

  • My plan did not work out as expected. I could not sit continuously for 4 hours with a break. The knowledge gained from reading the PMP® exam prep book seems to go aways continually.
  • I searched the internet and found out that many people suggested having to remember every ITTO’s for the exam. I tried but cannot memorize even several of these.
  • I tried the CD that comes with Kim Heldman book, listening to it while driving. I began to see progress on my practice exam results.
  • I decided to read the PMBOK® Guide from cover to cover as this is an important book for the exam.

The Dire Warnings

  • I scheduled a date for my PMP® exam. Though it took a fee for re-scheduling, it is much better to set a goal for the PMP® exam.
  • The lighting at the exam venue was so dark that I could barely see what I wrote.
  • Luckily, I passed the PMP® exam.

Finally, the Good Advice

  • The exam was not impossible.
  • One should begin documenting the project hours as soon as you start thinking about the PMP® exam. This would help to cut down the time spent sorting out the application requirements in the application process.
  • I would have tried to take the test within 6 weeks after getting the approval for taking the exam from PMI®.
  • It is better to take several days off from work and concentrate on the exam preparation continuously.
  • The best way to know about the PMBOK® Guide Guide is to do as many practice test questions as possible. Going through the questions revealed my knowledge gaps. This was the key to the whole process. I then concentrated on my weak areas.
  • Try to schedule the exam not too far from your study as you might forget about the important facts as time goes.

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by George Monsalvatge


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Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try