Earning PMP cert wasn’t easy for Jeff, don’t let the title mislead you. šŸ™‚ In this article Jeff explains the unique strategies he used and the lessons he learned along the way, and finally how his preparedness enabled him to take a decision to appear for the exam on the spur of a moment while on vacation with his family, and nail it! I trust his experience will help you improve your study plan.


pmp cert jeff verdon

Hi Shiv,

I am so happy to inform you that I successfully passed my exam and earned my PMP cert. Lot of this success is due to the approach that I took. I brought on board two other friends with me in order to share the common goal of obtaining our PMP certification.

pmp certification exam jeff verdonThis in itself was part of the effective formula in obtaining the PMP certification. For instance, each team member motivated one another and each of us had strengths that complimented the other while being fully committed to achieving our desired PMP outcome. Many a times team membersā€™ insights about a circumstance helped other team members to grasp PMP concepts.

“I was about to go on a vacation for a week when my boss suggested to try and take the PMP exam while I was in a relaxed state of mind on my vacation. At first I laughed it off, but 3 days into my vacation, that thought still resonated in my head. It got to the point where I ran the idea by my family, and they agreed that I should go and take it while on vacation and in a relaxed state of mind.”

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pmp study material anantha chethanMy PMP journey started almost 3 years ago, when one of my manager recommended it to me. I did some research on this exam and PMP study material then, but couldn’t plan much due to work commitments.

In Nov 2014, I enrolled to a PMP prep classroom session, which provided me insight into what PMP was all about and how to approach the exam. But, I hit another road block and had to drop my plans for PMP exam.

Then, in the middle of 2015, got to know about the change in syllabus for PMP exam. I wanted to complete the certification before this happened, so started preparing again with a plan to take the exam in Dec 2015.

Primary PMP study material I used

pmp exam tips anantha chethanI completed my study of Head First book – which is very easy book to read and understand the concepts. In the 2nd pass, I started with Rita’s book and PMBOK.

I studied them simultaneously, reading one chapter from PMBOK and then the same from Rita’s book. With this approach I could understand the concepts better.

I had also applied for the exam and my application got approved without any audit. Then came my 3rd roadblock. I had to drop my plans to take the exam due to personal and work commitments again! [click to continue…]

pmp exam tips ramamoorthyMy PMP exam tips to be shared with PMP aspirants

After I passed my PMP exam many people have asked me to share my PMP exam tips and study resources. I hope these points will help.

1) Study Resources

Ramamoorthy-pmpWe have so many resources available online – free as well as paid ones. Select just one or two more resources along with the PMBOK. Don’t take too many books and study, you will not have enough time for your preparations, and worse, you may feel overwhelmed and not make progress.

I have not used Rita Mulcahy’s book and HeadFirst PMP book, but I’ve heard that they are worth including in one’s study arsanel. I found PMESN notes are very useful. Some of the reference materials I used are,

2) Practice the PMP Essentials

Practice the 47 processes thoroughly and daily at least once, for last 10 days before the exam date. This is very important to pass the exam. The ITTO’s will be easy if you have thorough idea of the processes and how they are related to each other. Don’t try memorize the ITTO’s, rather just understand the concepts. For the first few times you may not get it, it’s okay. Just continue reading the flow (use Data flow diagrams given after each process in PMBOK).

Click to get Cornelius’ The Complete PMP ITTO guide!

Below is an awesome way to remember 47 processes (Table 3-2 in page 61 of PMBOK). [click to continue…]

My PMP certification journey was an eventful one. After an initial unsuccessful attempt, I had to re-plan carefully. I first defined the quest to pass the exam as a Project, listing all the resources I would require as well as working out a schedule to guide me through my study.

pmp certification journey jideofor

I wrote the exam after about 2 months of dedicated preparation. Please note I have been reading and practicing for about 8 months intermittently.

Locked down study resources

pmp jideoforI selected a few authors in order to avoid conflicting paradigms as the internet is replete with so many resources. Therefore I stuck with Rita Macaulay, Cornelius Fichtner (Shiv’s review & bonus books here) and Shiv Shenoy.

This helped me focus better as it cut down information overload.

I also studied PMBOK (5th Edition) and numerous practice questions (there are so many free ones online). The regular updates by Cornelius Fichtner’s [email protected] was invaluable. [click to continue…]

paper based test pbt test shishirShiv, I took my PMP PBT (Paper Based Test) and passed!

Thanks for your informative blog posts on PMP and specially “The Complete ‘Ace Your PMPĀ® Exam’ Series: Essential PMPĀ® Concepts Simplified” books that I had bought on Amazon and went through as a final revision to everything that I had learned for my PMP exam. The material is very useful and covered the concepts in a precise way!

pbt test shishirI took my PBT test (Paper Based Test) in my home city Pune, and came out with flying colors. I scored “Proficient” in 3 and “Moderately proficient” in 2 domains.

Exam experiences and advice of others really helped me gain insights into preparation for the exam. More importantly they helped me gauge where I stand and gave me confidence to take the exam head on without procrastinating any further (I had been planning for it for about 2 years!)

My approach to the exam was a little (or should I say a completely!) different. I hardly went with any structured planning, and I took mock exam route to study the content more.

I was a bit skeptical initially to sit for the exam, as I wasn’t sure if I could take time out from my work and manage to give time to my 2 year old child at home, and prepare for the exam. But I am glad I’m done and dusted with the exam now!

Here are few points about my preparation – [click to continue…]

“You used just 2 PMP study guides?”, I asked Sivaram. I just wanted to be sure I heard it right.

If you are just starting your PMP journey you may be tempted to collect as much of information as possible from the internet.

This can be a bad move.

Too much information leads to Information Overload and Analysis Paralysis (though these are buzz words, they indicate exactly what the words suggest) – two traps that may get you overwhelmed and/or not let you make steady progress.

It happened to me when I started out, I kept collecting information like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter, and eventually kept on jumping from one information resource to another – mostly judging their quality and usefulness than studying anything seriously.

[That’s one of the reasons I decided to create this blog, so ALL the necessary information, tools and techniques required for PMP prep is available in ONE place. That’s another story.]

Anyways, to cut to the chase, few days ago Sivaram wrote to let me know that he completed his PMP exam, and I requested him if he’d be interested to share his PMP prep advice on the blog. I was glad to see so many great tips he had for a PMP student, and noticed the fact that he had used just 2 PMP study guides.

Here’s his story!

Oh, and by the way Sivaram is an accomplished flute player of Karnataki style. If you are into music you’ll love his stage performance here.


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