Ten Lessons for the PMP Exam


William Arneson

No. of Attempt
Study Duration

PMP® Course
PM PrepCast™
Prep Book

Mock Exams Attempted
Free Online Mock Exams
PMBOK® Guide Read
2 times

“Four hours of concentration is a lot of time and mentally taxing. Practice taking the exam in full.”

William Arneson shared his lessons learned with aspirant PMP®s on the following 10 important points:

1) Get enough project management experience

William struggled with the initial terminology in the PMP® requirement as he has never been with a large organization and used the Project Management Institute terminology in his work. It would be best if one has the experience working in large organizations with project management office or use PMI®’s project management framework. Otherwise, it would take much longer to understand and apply the concepts in the PMBOK® Guide Guide.

2) Read the PMBOK® Guide Guide for the first time

Read the PMBOK® Guide Guide through for the first time and read it fast. Do not worry if you couldn’t understand the concepts and details. Just keep on reading.

3) Read the PMBOK® Guide Guide again

When reading the PMBOK® Guide the second time, read it slowly, take notes of any concepts, terms, or acronyms you do not fully understand.

4) Get the 35 contact hours for PMP® application

PM PrepCast™ is William’s choice for the contact hour as but he prefer working at my own pace. While listening  to the podcasts, no matter at home or work, one can pause the video and take notes at the same time. The purpose of the contact hours is EDUCATION and preparation for the exam, not just earning them with low cost choices.

5) Take some PMP® practice exams

William did terrible for the first PMP® practice exam with a score as low as 31%. He did not worry about that as it takes time and dedication to improve.

6) Work on your application

The application process would take a lot longer than one anticipate as a lot of time is spent on filling in the details of project management experience. Also one should be prepared for an PMI® audit too which will be immediately made known upon settling of the payment. The audit would take an extra two weeks.

7) Revise the PMBOK® Guide and do more practice exams

It is like “wash, rinse and repeat as necessary” until one can get over 85% for practice exams. Though it is guessed that a score of 65% is enough to pass the PMP® exam, getting a higher score will make you more confident. You can find time by printing out practice questions and answering them during lunch.

8) Try full practice exams

Take full-length 200-question practice exams at least 3-4 times before the real PMP® exam. Do not underestimate the difficulty of having to sit for an exam for 4 straight hours. One would really need to be prepared for this.

9) Schedule the real PMP® Exam

It is advised to schedule the PMP® exam on Monday as you would not be burdened by work. You can also get a full day’s preparation before the exam. Arrive at the exam venue early to play safe.

10) Pass the PMP® Exam

Relax and be confident. Today you will become a Project Management Professional! William completed the exam in 2 ½ hours. He took a full 15 minute break 90 minutes into the exam to get fresh air. You may do anything during the break except think about the exam which helps you refocus on the exam.


~ PMP® Lessons Learned by William Arneson


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