From the Trenches: First Few Questions of PMP Test Are Most Difficult


Mukul Saxena
Bangalore, India

No. of Attempt
Study Duration
2 months

PMP® Course
PM PrepCast™
Prep Book

Mock Exams Attempted
Rita FASTrack
PM Study

PMBOK® Guide Read
3 times

“Started the exam and realized that the first question was difficult so just marked it for later review. Didn’t get discouraged due to the bad start.”

Mukul Saxena wrote these lessons learned for PMP® aspirants. He spent more than 2 months on intensive study and preparation and achieved the PMP® credential in first attempt.


  • Became a member of PMI®, paid the fee and downloaded a copy of the PMBOK® Guide Guide PDF file.
  • Read the PMBOK® Guide to get an overview of the syllabus of the PMP® exam.
  • Filled the application for the PMP® exam
  • Purchased the PM Prepcast (Project Management PrepCast) released by Mr. Cornelius Fitcher for the 35 Contact Hours of project management education required for the exam
  • Completed my first reading of the PMBOK® Guide Guide in 2 weeks.
  • Scheduled a date for the real PMP® exam.
  • Practiced 2 free full length practice exams online to understand my knowledge gaps.
  • Read the PMP® Exam Prep: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP® Exam and finished it in 15 days. Scored on average 60% in all chapter end quizzes.
  • Re-read Rita’s PMP® book and PMBOK® Guide in parallel, i.e. read one chapter from PMBOK® Guide, update my notes and then read the same chapter from Rita’s PMP®
  • Attempt Rita FASTrack practice exam. Scored on average 70% on all exams.
  • Preponed the exam for as I knew I am ready for the PMP® exam.
  • Purchased the 4 full-length practice exams from PM Study, got 75% + in all of the practice exams.
  • Read PMBOK® Guide from cover to cover for the third time, reread the PMBOK® Guide glossary

PMP® Tips

  1. Please don’t ignore the PMBOK® Guide. It is very important for the PMP® exam. Don’t worry if you don’t understand it very much in the first reading. Keep on and you will see the improvement.
  2. Rita’s PMP® book and PM FASTrack are wonderful. However, they are difficult and might scare you for not passing the PMP®.
  3. PMStudy practice exams are also very good to prepare you for the real PMP® exam.
  4. PM Prepcast is a very good tool for you to understand PMBOK® Guide and give you the 35 Contact Hours Certificate.
  5. Some questions were tricky and wordy. I would recommend anyone taking the exam to read the questions thoroughly, think about the possible answer first, and then try to locate the answer from the last choice to the first choice. This helped me a lot.

~ PMP® Lessons Learned by Mukul Saxena


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Notable Achievements

5 Proficient Pass 2nd Try