pmp lessons learned fahad usmani

Today I am going to share my PMI-RMP lessons learned. I hope this information will help you with your own preparations.

I passed my PMI-RMP exam on April 9, 2012, about a year and a half after earning my PMP credential.

I had decided to rest and celebrate for a few days after becoming a PMP, and then I became busy with my daily schedule. However, I always attended the local PMI chapter meetings. They gave me new insights into risk management and my interest in the area was steadily growing. So, I took it upon myself to apply for the PMI-RMP certification exam, and I began gathering information.

After equipping myself with all the knowledge I could get my hands on, I made a list of all the resources for my exam preparation. I also reviewed the lessons learned from a few PMI-RMP certification holders to get a clearer picture of the exam and the resources they used.

Finding these lessons learned was actually very difficult, as there are very few RMP professionals and fewer still who care to post their experiences. 

However, in my local Kuwait PMI chapter, I managed to meet with a few PMI-RMP certified individuals, and we discussed how to prepare well for the PMI-RMP exam.  I wanted to pass it on my first attempt.

Almost all of them suggested using the PMP exam reference books, but with more focus on the risk, communication, and procurement knowledge areas, and to restudy the PMBOK Guide.

Regarding the reference books, they suggested using Rita Mulcahy’s Risk Management book, Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti’s book, and Practice Standard for Risk Management. I searched on Amazon for PMI-RMP books and found only two: Rita’s and Al-Kuwaiti’s. I bought both.

I started reading my PMP reference books and the PMBOK Guide. Since I was familiar with these texts, the revision process was quick. Afterward, I studied the books by Rita and Al-Kuwaiti.

Now it was time to search for a good PMI-RMP training program provider for my 30 PMI-RMP contact hours.

I had attended a classroom PMP training program and I had suffered a great deal to do so. My lesson learned was never to attend an in-classroom training if an online version is available. 

I searched for online PMI-RMP training programs. Unfortunately, I did not find any.

(N.B.: if you are looking for an online PMI-RMP Training program, you can join it by clicking here. This program is developed by me and PM Simplify who are PMI-approved training providers.)

I did not give up, and, after some time, Google helped me find a hybrid training program by Mr. Carl Pritchard, which I could complete from home. I contacted the trainer from the beginning. He replied and agreed to accept me as his first international student, then sent me the study material.

The materials consisted of one reference book, one drill book, one question bank, and a CD of audio recordings. I had to go through these audio clips, books, and questions and then I sent him several assignments.

Once my training was completed, I received my 30 PMI-RMP contact hours certificate. It took about a month to complete the training.

After finishing the program, I reviewed the PMBOK Guide and other books once again. I was studying for four or five hours weekly.

I scheduled my PMI-RMP certification exam for April 9th, 2012.

At that point, I started studying for two to three hours per day. I focused more on concepts instead of practice questions.

I had also purchased uCertify’s PMI-RMP exam simulator but unfortunately, I could not fully utilize it. The quality of its questions was outstanding, and they were similar to the real exam.

My preparation was going in full swing, and the exam date was fast approaching. A day before the exam, I called the Prometric Center (now Pearson VUE conducts the PMI’s certification tests) for my exam location, and I went there to ensure I had no problem finding the place. They had changed their location since I took my PMP exam.

I reached the exam center forty minutes early on the day of, I completed all the paperwork, and then started my test.

The questions were more straightforward than the PMP certification exam, and most of them were from the risk management knowledge area.

A few questions were about time management (especially PEART), procurement, human resources, communications, and quality management.

I took two breaks during the exam; the first after I completed one hundred questions and the second when I finished all the questions. It took me two-and-a-half hours to complete the test.

The rest of the time, I spent reviewing the questions, and then I submitted the answers. A short survey followed the submission and then I was shown my result.

I passed the PMI-RMP exam. I was PMI-RMP certified.

After collecting the report from the Prometric staff, I left the examination hall and let out a sigh of relief.

This was my journey to becoming a PMI-RMP.

My PMI-RMP Exam Lessons Learned

Below are my lessons learned.

Lesson Learned #1

Revise all PMP exam study materials and the PMBOK Guide if you are already a PMP.

I strongly recommend you buy a good PMP exam reference book and read it thoroughly, cover to cover if you are not a PMP. Then read the PMBOK Guide completely, at least two times.

This will help you in your PMI-RMP exam preparation.

Lesson Learned #2

I have mentioned this before in my PMP lessons learned blog post, and I am repeating it: You should attend only online training programs unless you have a strong reason to choose a classroom training program.

Online training programs are much cheaper, more flexible, and allow you to complete the course from your home.

Lesson Learned #3

Schedule the exam after completing the training program. This is important because you may lose interest if you do not do so promptly.

I have seen many professionals who have completed the training program many years before, and they do not take the next step of applying for the exam.

Schedule it for three months in the future, as this is enough time for you to prepare for the PMI-RMP test.

Lesson Learned #4

The risk management knowledge area has only six processes. You will see many-ITTO based questions from these processes in the exam.

Therefore, I recommend you review these processes as many times as you can and try to take notes on the ITTOs. This will help you solve many questions on your PMI-RMP exam.

Lesson Learned #5

Please make sure that you understand the following:

These are essential, will see many questions from these topics on your exam.

These are all my lessons learned from my PMI-RMP certification exam.

Resources for the PMI-RMP Exam

I used the following resources with my PMP exam reference books for my PMI-RMP exam preparation:


Preparing for the PMI-RMP exam was not difficult for me because I had already passed the PMP exam, which gave me a better understanding of risk management concepts. I referred to all my PMP exam reference books and the PMBOK Guide before starting my PMI-RMP exam preparation.

I studied the Practice Standard for Risk Management, but it did not help me much in the exam. However, I still recommend you to read this standard, at least twice, before the exam.

These days, PMI has changed the exam pattern, and you will see many questions from the Practice Standard for Risk Management.

Have you attempted the PMI-RMP exam and are interested in sharing your lessons learned? Please contact me at [email protected]

I have written an eBook PMI-RMP Question Bank and developed an online PMI-RMP Mock Test. This eBook and Mock Test Simulator have 170 sample exam questions. If you are preparing for the PMI-RMP, I strongly recommend you try these resources.