How I passed the PMP in 54 days.

Review By: Robert



Expiry Month


Expiry Year


Time taken to Prepare

54 Days

Resources Used

  • Ricardo Vargas, PMMasterprep, Prepcast, Praizon

Detailed Review Of Preparation

I`m not an academic and never was a good student. Just hard work, dedication, supportive family, and my own money on the line.
I did not attend a boot camp and invested less than 400 USD  (not including the 405 USD PMI member exam fee)
Once the application to take the exam was approved, this is how I prepared for 54 days (3/8-5/1) and passed the exam on 5/2.

1)  Learning these processes first will set the foundation for the rest of the preparation journey. I watched Ricardo`s video and used his free tools. Yes,  print and then play around with the cut/paste processes as he suggest. This took me a couple of hours for three days.  

2)  Overwhelmed with the amount of resources out there, I was fortunate to find a reddit post mentioning a podcast by Scott Payne. I listened to all the episodes in one evening. I purchased the PM Masterprep book because style resonated with me. (More below)

3)  Prepcast Simulator and 110 Formula Questions.  The simulator is a must.  Purchased the questions later because it was a waste of time searching the the internet for EVM and math problems.

4)  I discovered Phill C. Akinwale on youtube and his free videos are gold, especially the mainline.  I watched his mainline video everyday. Then at 1.5x speed as the weeks progressed. You can draw out your own ITTOs, but to save time, I purchased his PMP Exam Key Techniques and Outputs E-Book. 

5) A lot of Pomodoros. Google it.

Study Plan:

  • I dedicated 2-4 hrs each day (not in one sitting) and more on the weekend.  Maintain a log.

  • I highly recommend listening to Scott Payne`s PM Master prep podcasts before starting anything. One episode suggested to go through his book in three waves which would knock off 40% study time. You can apply that strategy to any PMP prep book.  I learned everything in three weeks.  Write the EVM template once a day at the beginning until you have it memorized because this will save a lot of time when you actually start practicing EVM problems. Eventually, I purchased his exam simulator and flashcards (to save time) because he earned my trust.

    For each process group:
  • Read a section in PM Master prep book + listened to the same in his Audible. 
  • Reviewed his Flashcards for that process group. 
  • Complete a process exam in the simulator, kept an error log, reviewed weak areas, repeat.


  •  I printed Praizion`s Exam Key Techniques and Outputs E-Book and went through it once a day and added the Inputs myself. 

Did I read the PMBOK?
There were suggestions to read it.  However, I did not due to time constraints and felt that I plenty of resources.  Passing the two Prepcast exams on the first try was enough for me not to change or add anything.  

Simulator and Official Exam Experience

I passed 4 x Full length Prepcast practice exams on the first try during the weeks leading up to the exam. 

However, the official exam grounded me very quickly because the questions were so vague and did not get one EVM question!  Time management is the MOST important factor to pass this four hour beast.  I was in panic mode because time was running out. Check out Scott`s exam day podcast episodes on how to get momentum going.  On game day, I did not follow that advice and spent too much time on the first 90 questions.  Rushed the final 110 questions in 90 minutes by picking out key words and eliminating obvious wrong answers.  

PMI  postponed the last day to take current version`s exam to the end of 2020 from the end of June.  But, I decided to keep going because online proctoring is not available in Japan and wanted to be done with this because of the exam cancellation/rescheduling stories worldwide!  Actually, two weeks prior to my date, Pearson cancelled on me at one test center but I was so lucky to find a different test center -Shinjuku- for the same date. 

Benefits From Certification

  • Knowledge is Power