How I passed the PMP Exam

Last week I took the final step in becoming certified in Project Management.  I already had plenty of years of experience in Project Management, taken a 35 hour course, and received approval on my application by the Project Management Institute (PMI).  The last thing I needed to do was to pass the PMI exam.  I was teetering on whether to take it virtually or in-person.  I made the decision to do it in-person because I was too nervous I might run into a computer glitch at home or I might do something that would disqualify me like accidentally talk to myself, put my hand over my mouth, or lean away from the webcam area for too long which I’ve done on the practice exams.  

I was studying on and off for almost a year but really started cramming for about a month. I would credit Andrew Ramdayal as the biggest contributor to how I passed the exam. He’s like the king of Project Management. I repeatedly watched his training videos, attended some of his weekly livestreams on YouTube, took his practice exams, and bought and wore a lucky blue polo shirt. He is a Subject Matter Expert as well as a great instructor and always wears blue, often a blue polo shirt.

I had signed up to take the exam three days ahead.  I got lucky there was one spot open for that day, otherwise it would be at least a month before the next availability.  I continued to study and repeated my lessons on answering exam questions with the mindset for traditional projects as well as the mindset for agile projects.

I asked myself what else could I do to prepare for the exam. I remembered reading about a Chinese folklore that takes place in the Yunnan Province about how a scholar passed the difficult Imperial Exam. The scholar would study diligently everyday on a quiet island. His wife would trek across a bridge to the island to bring him lunch. By the time he got around to eating his lunch, it would be cold. The wife had the idea that a layer of fat on top of a chicken broth would stay hot, so she would separate that from the noodles as well as many of his other favorite ingredients. She would wait until he was ready to eat before she would combine everything together and it remained hot! He loved it and credited his wife and the dish for his successful passing.

I had to try to find this dish. I did some research with the help of yelp and found a restaurant specializing in this dish that happened to be 5 miles away from me. I had an early dinner the night before test day at Ten Seconds Yunnan Rice Noodles and ordered “the original crossing the bridge rice noodles.” I was impressed with the presentation. I got a tray that had raw beef in the middle surrounded by 10 individual bowls of ingredients – ham, preserved cabbage, corn, bean curd, snow fungus, chives, green onions, a quail egg, wood ear fungus, and gogi berries. The noodles came separately. I added a side of beef brisket (which I didn’t need and wish I hadn’t ordered). The broth arrived in a stone bowl and was piping hot. I was instructed to drop the quail egg and raw beef first and then the other ingredients before adding the noodles. Once the noodles go in, I should wait ten seconds and enjoy. I loved the interactive experience and it was truly delicious and perfect meal before test day.

Crossing the Bridge Noodles

So how did I pass the PMP exam? I’m confident the answer is All of the Above.

Celebrating with champagne after Preliminary Pass