top of page
  • Ellsa Group

Project Management Professional Exam: Lessons Learned

You are ready to take your online PMP exam.

You are in front of your computer, talking to the proctor.

Your pet barks and you get up for just 15 seconds to let him in.

The proctor terminates the exam, right then and there.

What would you do?

Exactly what happened with Tiffany.

Well, she took charge and got PMI to reschedule.

Then she took her ‘revenge’ by hitting the home run, perfect Above Target score. 🙂

She answers all the questions you need to know answers to, including whether she got PMBOK 7th version-based questions on the exam.

After passing the PMP exam with flying stars, I’m here to share with you my successes and challenges with the hopes that you will sail smoothly in your quest to obtain the PMP certificate.

Here’s how PMI determines your score.

PMI uses subject matter experts – project professionals from around the world and many different disciplines – to determine how many questions you must answer correctly to pass the exam. Each scored question on the exam is worth one point; and your final score is calculated by totaling the points you have earned on the exam.

1. What made you take up PMP? The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is incredibly valuable for companies like mine in the professional consulting industry because it offers professional recognition and credibility to project management consulting line of work.

2. What was the core benefit you expected from PMP certification?

We anticipate the following core benefits resulting from the PMP Certification:

- Access to more job opportunities that require a PMP designation

- Increase in salary/pay rates

- Enhance skills and knowledge in the areas of leading people, managing change, and applying project management processes to work orders be it in the IT sector, government, healthcare, or private business

- Increase communication skills to work effectively with other project management professionals and stakeholders

3. According to you, what is the one thing a PMP aspirant should have/do/use, to prepare well and pass the exam? (any personality trait, strategy, mindset, particular resource, or anything else)

For me, I passed the PMP exam the first time. If I had to estimate the efforts and convert to hour/time, then I would say 20-30 hours per week for 4-6 weeks. Of course, the time spent learning is based on your existing knowledge and experience in project management. For me, I have been working on numerous government-sponsored projects ranging from health programs to workforce development programs for the past decade. Therefore, I felt familiar with terminologies and knowledge required for project management such as developing a project charter, managing stakeholders, managing project costs and resources, tailoring strategies for different projects, etc.

4. Which study resources did you use for your exam preparation, and how did they help?

In my experience, I found the PMBOK 6th edition, the PMBOK 7th edition, and the Agile Practice Guide to be helpful. These resources may be accessed on Project Management Institute | PMI for members to download free of charge. Purchasing the PMP practice test on PMI will also assist build confidence in test taking.

5. The week before the exam is crucial. How did you prepare during this week? The last month, before I took the PMP exam, I studied for approximately 20 hours per week. I also enrolled for an online PMP practice exam and practiced through the exam twice before I felt confident.

6. What was your exam experience?

Save yourself the headache and your computer. I highly recommend going to a test center over taking an online proctored test at home. For those who are considering taking an online proctored test, be aware that you'll need to prep your computer, and remove any incompatible apps with the PearsonVue system and the PMP exam. Till this day, some of my calendars have not synced properly.

10. PMI has recently begun introducing questions from the PMBOK 7th version. Did you come across such questions? Yes. For those looking to take the PMP test, I would focus on development approach and life cycle performance domain. I find that both the PMBOK 7th and PMBOK 6th, and the Agile Practice Guide will be useful knowledge.

11. Would you like to share any specific study tips, advice, techniques, or strategies for those preparing for their PMP exam? Aside from the information provided above, I would also recommend registering as a member with the Project Management Institute as you will find numerous resources that will help guide you with the exam. All the resources mentioned above were through PMI including PMBOK 6th and 7th editions, and the Agile Practice Guides are provided for PMI members. You can purchase the PMP online practice exam through PMI.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading my experience with the PMP exam. All my best to your journey in becoming a certified Project Management Professional. This story may also be viewed on #pmexamsmartnotes

PMP Exam: I'd Recommend Taking At Test Center - Tiffany N. Budzinski, PMP - (


About the author:

Tiffany N. Budzinski is the President and Founder of the Ellsa Group.

She has over 20 years of experience in business start-ups. And 13 years of experience in administration of public programs.

Tiffany has received the 2009 Environmental Justice Award and the Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award from the U.S.EPA.

Reach out to Tiffany at

2 views0 comments
Ellsa Group 5D.png
bottom of page