My Winning Plan for PMP – Jens Dickmeis

Hear it here straight from the horse’s mouth… 🙂


Hi everyone,

As promised a little rundown of the exam experience I had on Tuesday (12/09/17). First things first I passed above target, so I guess the amount of preparation I had was sufficient. Now a few things, that might be of interest for yur study phase and the exam.

Clearing PMP

  1. How long did I prepare for?

In total I estimate a dedicated time of 120 hrs I have put in. The course is 35 hrs, trial exams and questions for practice around 40 hrs and reading PMBOK® Guide fifth edition, Rita and the course files the remaining time. I have to say that my company works based on PMBOK® Guide fifth edition and the perspective taken in the questions is similar to my real life.

  1. The exam centre:

I was not aware until I went there the day before, that you need to be there 1 hour in advance of your scheduled time. I am not a morning person, so if I would have known that I would not have taken the 9 AM slot, but the afternoon slot. Keep this in mind when you book your exam.

They give you a locker to store everything in, but your ID. The centre is having a separate room with around 8 cubicles where you will take your exam. They provide ear muffs, which are needed, because it is quite busy with 8 people in a 12 sqm room and in my exam they were all taken.

This might sound like the room would heat up quickly, but I was more fighting the cold of the AC than the heat. So better bring a layer more, that you can take off then.

They are very strict with their rules, so plan some time for the breaks, as you will be body scanned every time and your signature will be checked against the one on your ID, so make sure they look similar when you sign.

  1. Start the exam:

The exam is done on the computer and you will receive a calculator, paper and pencils. So there is no need to bring these. The exam tutorial starts first and they will watch, that you are not writing down anything on your paper at this point. That is only allowed once the first question is on the screen.

  1. The questions:

I have to say I was a bit surprised by the level of ambiguity the questions actually have compared to the trial exams and practice questions. In the practice ones you find hints and keywords to resolve most ambiguities. In the real questions I had many questions, where this was not possible for me and I had to give my best guess. Also the grammar of some questions was not proper, which doesn’t make it easier.

I was missing the calculation questions in cost, schedule and risk management, which I counted on a easy gains. In total of my 200 question, I had only one calculation to be done.

In addition I can confirm Vidyesh’s analysis, that situational questions are predominant on the exam. I had almost none of the clear ITTO or simple questions asking for a definition. It was very text-heavy and therefore tiring.

I had also three questions, that were around a situation outside the project lifecycle, which I did not come across before.

  1. Review:

I marked up all questions I was not a 100% sure about on my first way through, which brought me to about 120 marked questions after the first run, because of the ambiguities. I had still two hours left, so I went through all of them again and had then about 40 left for a last round. I was already getting very tired at this stage, so I ended the exam with about 15 minutes left to not make mistakes.

  1. Result:

After the exam you are asked to rate your experience with the centre and then after a few seconds get your result. They will print it for you and you are on your way.

I hope this helps all of you a little in your preparations. If you have any questions let me know.

Was great learning with all of you and I wish you success with your exam!

Kind regards,



Good luck to all the PMP Aspirants!!

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