I prepared for the exam using only the Key Consulting coursework, the Key Consulting provided Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep book and the RMC PM FASTrack Exam Simulation CD which I bought for $299. Although I also bought Andy Crowe’s PMP Exam – How to Pass The First Time, the tone and approach of the Andy Crowe book was different than RMC and reading it felt counter-productive. I used the Andy Crowe book only for practice exam questions and the laminated “Quick Study” foldout that did a good job summarizing key concepts.
I found the Tucson Prometric Center on Williams Circle well organized and the staff professional and helpful. The Tucson Prometric testing room has only 8 partitioned workstations and provides a quiet and comfortable testing environment. Although you are required to place your wallet, mobile phone, and watch in a locker that cannot be accessed during the exam, I had a large thermal bag with ice packs to chill snacks and bottled water that I was allowed to place behind the Prometric reception desk to access during my exam breaks.
My test start time was 1:30 pm and I was surprised to have the opportunity to start my exam early. I arrived at the testing center around 12:45 pm and was allowed to start the test immediately as there were several empty testing workstations available.
The exam starts by explaining the online test software’s basic mechanics. From a time counting perspective, this intro material does not count toward the 4 hours you receive to work through the 200 exam questions. The test software includes an embedded calculator, but I requested a handheld calculator, which the Prometric staff provided.
Once I started on the actual 200 question exam, I took 3 breaks during the four hours, each break approximately 8 minutes. The exam clock keeps on ticking during your breaks. You are required to sign-in and sign-out during each break and perform a quick security check and metal scan before re-entering the exam room.
I used the entire 4 hours on the exam and completed the 200 questions with only 10 minutes remaining. Iused the remaining 10 minutes to review the “Marked” questions that I flagged for review.
About half way through the exam, I began wondering if I was doing well enough to pass the exam. I recalled however reading on the internet about a test taker talking about her sense of not doing well as she took the exam. She urged test takers to keep persevering through the questions and maintaining a positive attitude. This sense that things may not be going well is a strange phenomenon. For example, I felt sure I marked about 50% of the questions for Review, however upon hitting the “Review” button, I only actually marked around 15 questions out of 200 for review.