How to Pass PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) Certification Exam in First Attempt

I have cleared my PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) exam in my first attempt, and it is imperative that I share the lessons learned. I am both happy and relieved. I just have to get it out of my system.

Difference between other exams and PMI PfMP is that we can clear the exam only when we learn and understand the PMP concepts and gain the sense to answer scenario based questions. Please don’t go through the books just for the sake of finishing the book but try to understand the PMP concepts and the ‘PMI way’ of project management.

My Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) Exam Preparation Journey
  • Submitted PfMP application then I got a mail next day from PfMP averring that my (PfMP) application has been accepted and asked me to proceed to make the payment.
  • Made the payment same day and immediately was notified that my application was selected for auditing.
  • In the handbook, it's stated that Panel review take ten working days and I was getting impatient as the days passed because it took more than ten working days when finally got the mail stating that I have given the first Panel review evaluation.
  • Referred my PfMP notes, below reference materials and sample exam references and scheduled for taking the exam (exactly one month after applying), obtaining PfMP credential.
Resources that I used for PfMP Exam
Exam Content Outline
The content outline does not show the questions in the PfMP exam; rather it will serve as your guide on what to expect once you sit down for the exam — and prevent jitters all over the place.

The Standard for Portfolio Management – Third Edition.
You can also trust on The Standard of Portfolio Management for your PfMP exam training. This book covers the latest practices and approaches in portfolio management. Want more resources? Then get yourself a PfMP Examination Reference List to guide you on your PfMP certification preparation and study journey. Take note that these references don’t assurance your ticket in passing the PfMP exam.

PMI chapters
You can also take PMI chapter near your part or institution that are Registered Education Providers recognized. You will get the feeling of being back in a classroom, with the teacher, and a face to face interaction with fellow PfMP candidates.

Some More Tips to Prepare for the  PfMP Exam
  • The exam is 4 hours long so make sure you are cerebrally preparing yourself to sit for that long and devoting with full concentration. Even though this looks very obvious but professionals who have been managing portfolios would have empathy that in our professional daily life, which is packed with meetings, presentations, submitting/reviewing proposals, training and mentoring resources, one seldom gets an occasion to sit in front of system for that long and not to mention retorting bunch of questions while directed in which answer to eliminate as more often than not, more than one answer can be applicable.
  • One can answer some questions based on their practical Portfolio practice, but not all Portfolios are accomplished ideally the way it is described in The Standard for Portfolio Management, it's significant to think from what is defined in The Standard for Portfolio Management while answering the questions in the exam .
  • It's essential to understand Strategic Alignment, Governance, Portfolio Performance.  
  • Assume few questions that are related to analyzing which Portfolio component to select or not to choose (NPV, IRR, Weighted Ranking & Scoring, etc.) 
My exam day experience
I took 15 minutes to read the instructions which are easy to understand. Doing this brain dump in the 1st 15 minutes time slot was right in referring to that info when I was answering the  Questions.  This would save your time in thinking a lot while solving the relevant Questions.
Finally, the exam started. 95% of the Questions were scenario based, and very few were direct Questions.

Don’t spend too much time on PRMs There were only a few Questions on that. Better understand and analyze them while studying and then and leave it and concentrate on other concepts.Once We have an understanding of the concepts, we can easily relate the PRMs from the scenario.

Finally, At the time of result, my heart pounded for a couple of seconds till it was loaded with the result. Happy to see it say Congratulations!

I believe my experience in passing PfMP will help you.