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How Should I Prepare for PMP Certification After Failing Twice


Failed twice????

How do you feel. May be a stupid question to ask, however I am strong believer of the fact that there is no question such as stupid question.

In real life, we all fail, don’t we? We fail to 

  • Meet expectations of stakeholders
  • Meet the schedule and cost estimates 
  • Deliver as per the quality parameters
  • Deliver as per defined scope
  • Meet commitments at work and home chores
  • And so on…..the list goes on and on, isn’t it

Here are my quick thoughts  

  • Failure is not fatal, however taking it as your defeat is cowardness, it takes courage to demonstrate your confidence and poise and continue with the PMP Journey
  • Failures might not be a choice however you do have choice to spruce up further and bounce back with more passion, rigor, and vigour
  • You learn more from failures (of course at your own cost of time and money) or more importantly from others failures and succeed even more.
  • Every failure brings lots of knowledge and wisdom towards futuristic success at much faster scale

Reasons that you would have failed twice

  • No lessons learnt capture post the first failure
  • You haven’t captured the doubts from your weak areas and solved them
  • You haven’t focussed on the study material as guided or instructed 
  • Back to back two attempts have been given without due diligence on preparation
  • No focus and not adhering to the “Exam preparation project plan”
  • Used too many resources rather than focussed few
  • Failed to understand the concepts mentioned in the PMBOK or RITA 
  • Took too long to attempt second time post the first failure
  • Haven’t done mock tests / mock questions

My Suggestions based on experiences of others

  • Go a little crazier, take it a challenge. Nothing is impossible (I m possible) in life
  • Evaluate your PMP exam preparation plan and modify to suit your constraints OR else modify your other constraints to fit your exam preparation plan 
  • Evaluate your study pattern, check if you have adopted your study routine as per the plan 
  • Go through the weak areas with full concentration, use failures and lessons learnt from others 
  • Do not mix the professional experience with what the framework says, though at time two options looks similar, however there might be slight difference between what framework says and what you practice in your profession
  • Questions are in English and there are questions which tests your knowledge of English too hence be ready 
  • Don’t take the third attempt before you are fully prepared and confident
  • Understand the processes and its inputs, tools & techniques and outputs well
  • Understand the mathematical formulae and practice questions based on them
  • Practice the mock tests (in single sitting) 
  • Don’t use too many resources. Please follow the guidance and instructions provided by your instructors. 
  • Do not assume anything, look at the situation well. All the PMP exam questions are within the PMBOK framework only, it’s just that how best you can apply it
  • Read all options thoroughly (worst case if no time left, you can use skimming strategy too)
  • Take enough rest a day before your exam and stay relaxed 
  • FOCUS, FOCUS and FOCUS on exam prep and on exam questions
  • ANALYZE your mock test results and make trend analysis.
  • Chat with like minded friends and colleagues, leverage your study group’s help

Parting Thoughts

  • I know it takes courage to tell people you failed twice. However, that’s still better than staying shut and not doing anything.
  • Failure is not an end, however if you quit, you lost the battle 
  • Every failure teaches you something. Think about all the failures you had so far in your life from childhood, did you stop growing personally and professionally?
  • Get going with double energy and focus, take failures in your stride
  • Believe in yourself and your abilities. If you suspect your ability to perform no one can help you further 
  • Don’t worry too much, life is too short for negative thoughts and don’t even bother about what others say on your failures, you are you
  • Last but not the least, you are not the only one in this journey of failures, there are many others too so don’t worry too much, focus on the future and get moving, I am with you.

Please let us know your comments and suggestions. You can write to info@prothoughts.co.in as well. 

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