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Katie Hong: I Passed the PMP Exam Today!

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I passed the PMP exam today – July 05’11, after 2 months of dedicated work (commit 2-3 hours each night, and at least 8 hours during weekends). I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in this Forum. It was very helpful for me; special thanks to those had passed and had motivated me with various lessons learned. Now, here are mine:


I believe the following 2 books are more than enough for PMP preparation, Read thru both books twice.
• First Read Rita’s “PMP Exam Prep” without taking any of the chapter tests; this is to get better understanding since PMBOK was named “ the best sleeping pills” ?, then 2nd time read along with PMBOK chapter by chapter.
• PMBOK: read it twice, detail chapter by chapter along Rita Book first time, before my exam skimmed thru within 2 days.
• Also try to use PMBOK e-Copy downloaded from PMI for quick searches. Print out Page 43 and ITTO summary page of each knowledge area.
• Use BrainBok for ITTOs references (No need to memorize, understand them)


I joined 2 Forums and 1 online Study Group, they are very helpful, I read discussions, and lessons learned and work on some free Questions from there. … tudy-group

Timeline: (typical for approx. 10 yrs of PM Experiences)

• Wk1 – Read Rita book Chapter 1-7
• Wk2 – Read Rita book Chapter 8-14 + Code of Ethics&Prof. Conduct

– Took sample test (4 hours on Sunday, Practice the 4 hour endurance)
Took “Head First PMP” Free Test to get baseline of my standing, this exam was easy, so gave me some confidence. Found my gaps (weak processes or knowledge areas, so I could focus more in the next few weeks’ study)
– Go thru some YouTube clips on EVM, CPM topics during first couple weekends

• Wk3 – Read PMBOK & Rita along, Chpt (1-3) + Post Chpt Exam
• Wk4 – Read PMBOK & Rita along, Chpt (4-6) + Post Chpt Exam
• Wk5 – Read PMBOK & Rita along, Chpt (7-9) + Post Chpt Exam
• Wk6 – Read PMBOK & Rita along, Chpt (10-13) + Post Chpt Exam

– Read PMBOK Glossary and Appendix G
– Took more sample tests
Oliver Lehmann 75 + 175 (Some degree of difficulty, recommend you not to wait near exam to take these, to keep your confidence level?)
o … stions.htm
o … stions.pdf
– Took more sample tests, this one is no longer available after July 1st.

• Wk7 – Focus on my weak Chapters, and took more sample test
Used the following free test (PM_ABC, couldn’t access today somehow)

• Wk8 – Focus on the weak Chapters, and take more sample test
Used the following free test

• In Week 9, took 2 vacation days + July 4th to be more relax, so no work stress.
a. Watched 1 movie and went to the mall shopping
b. Did 1 more 4 hour simulation test – 2 day before my exam
– Use the following free test, very good.

Exam Day

• Have a good night sleep the night before
(for me pretty hard on July 4th night w/ all the fireworks going on ?)
• Arrive @Exam Center 30 min before scheduled time
• My exam was 8:30 AM, so had a good breakfast before going to the exam. My Exam center allowed me to access food and drink during my 2 breaks (I took break @ Q100 and @Q200, you can find your comfort # of breaks from your simulated test).
• Took me 5 mins to go thru Tutorial, one important remark to make: please click start tutorial within 1 minute, or your exam will end. I took 10 min for the brain dumps (actually I never need to go back to check those since I prepared well)
• There is Calculator on the screen, so practice using the Windows Calculator and get use to it. ?
• I brought my own ear plugs (make sure you cut the cord, or bring the cordless ones. The exam center could have a lot of distractions even you have small cube look separation, there are lots activities and I happened to be the one set by the door. ?.
• I wore a light sweater too, since it was so cold in the exam room.
• With good prep and stay calm, “PASSING” is a definite. I was very happy when I saw the word “Congratulations”. I had following result:
– Initiation – Proficient
– Planning – Proficient
– Executing – Proficient
– Monitoring and Controlling – Proficient
– Closing – Proficient
– Professional and Social Responsibility – Moderately Proficient

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3 comments to Katie Hong: I Passed the PMP Exam Today!

  • Vipul Gaur

    Hi Katie

    Congratulations for passing the exam

    Your debrief is one of the best I have read. Thanks for adding all the resources.

  • Pramod Nair


    well summarized, will be of good help.

    Thank you.

  • Shail

    Congratulations Kattie, It was truly good explanation for how to prepare fr PMP.

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