Noise During PMP Test is Inevitable


Terri Levine
Oregon, United States

No. of Attempt
Study Duration
2 months

PMP® Course
Boot Camp
Prep Book

Mock Exams Attempted
PMBOK® Guide Read
1 time

“Even things that you know and use as a Project Manager in real life can look different on the exam, so it’s good to know PMI®’s perspective on things from people who have passed the exam.”

Terri Levine passed the PMP® on first try. Below is her lessons learned.

Lessons Learned

  • I started my preparations with an effort of about 15 hours per week and added a 10-hour PMP® bootcamp on four Saturdays before the exam.
  • I took the last week off from work to concentrate on my PMP® preparation.
  • I began reading the PMBOK® Guide Guide, but found it dry that I did not finish it.
  • It was better to read one of the PMP® exam prep books first. So I bought the Rita Mulcahey’s PMP® book and read it from cover to cover once. I didn’t do all the exercises included but took all of the end-of-chapter quizzes.
  • I then took a break for several weeks from my study. Then I re-read the whole Rita’s PMP® book in more details and finishing all the exercises.
  • I took my notes on 3 x 5 cards to act as my own flashcards for future revision.
  • The Rita’s process chart was very helpful, but one would need to integrate the Rita’s chart with the PMBOK® Guide knowledge to really make sense of the whole thing.
  •  I didn’t memorize any ITTOs but was able to use this system to answer the ITTO-based questions on the exam. I used logics to figure out the correct ITTOs.
  • I took my first Rita’s full-length simulation exam after reading Rita’s PMP® book twice. I only got 70% correct. But later, I discovered that I had taken the “Super PMP®” instead of the normal PMP® practice exam. I was able to get around 85% for the normal exams.
  • By this time I start reading the PMBOK® Guide. I try to compare the PMBOK® Guide with Rita’s PMP® to really understand the concepts.
  • I read also the PMBOK® Guide Guide glossary
  • I then read the Code of Ethics on the PMI® website trying to tie this with my own real-life experiences.
  • I feel that the PMP® preparation made me a better project manager in addition to helping me to pass the exam.
  • The Deep Fried Brain is very helpful to get a different perspective on the project management concepts for in-depth understanding.
  • It is good to know PMI®’s perspective.
  • I took many other practice exams in addition to the Rita’s practice exams. There are a lot of free PMP® practice exam questions online. But beware that some of them are of low quality and are poorly written.  You should always refer to the PMBOK® Guide Guide for the correct answers and definitions.
  • I felt that Rita’s exam questions were more difficult than the real PMP® exam.
  • The week before my exam I read Rita’s PMP® book for the 3rd time as suggested by the book. I did many of the exercises again but didn’t finish end-of-chapter quizzes. The 3rd reading helped me to solidify the knowledge. I got 92% in the final exam.
  • On the day before my exam I decided not to study more in order to relax.
  • I was very sensitive to noise so I took a pair of ear plugs with me to the exam venue. I practiced the brain dump.
  • It took me longer to do the first pass of 200 questions (~2.5 hours) than for the practice exams. I took a break reviewed my answers.

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Terri Levine


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Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try