I completed my PMP successfully in my first attempt, and here is my PMP study plan. I hope this could be of help to people preparing for their PMP exam. And no, it didn’t cost me a fortune in coaching or resources.

pmp study plan 4wk gayathri

My PMP Study plan

gayathri narayanan pmp1. I booked the exam date a month after to give me enough time to prepare.

I would suggest you decide on your exam date not too far in future, but not impossibly near. Take into account any exigencies at work or in personal life, important events and so on.

2. In the first week, I prepared all my resources – including the free pdfs from Shiv Shenoy’s emails, and free books that were offered during that time, and then collected mock questions to try out later.

3. In the second week, I began to prepare by spending 2 hours every day.

I studied the PMBOK completely once. It took me a one whole week to do that. I understand that it is a bit dry to read, and can take more time or lesser for you than me. I used to take notes while studying to help me revise at the end of every chapter.

4. Third and fourth week were crucial to me and so I spent slightly more than 2 hours daily, and during weekends, around 5 hours with sufficient breaks in-between. [click to continue…]

With 55 days of PMP test prep, I passed the exam. In this article, I’d like to explain my 5-step process to succeed in PMP quest. If you are preparing for your PMP exam, your approach may differ from mine, but my hope is that some of this will be useful for you as well.

pmp test prep rahul

The intention of writing this article is to share the lessons learned from my PMP journey along with the tips and tricks that could help you get over any inhibitions.

Why PMP?

pmp rahulEach one has a reason to pursue a relevant certification. For me personally, the Project Management Professional PMP is one of the most valuable and sought after certifications among the project managers. Yet, this can also be the most dreaded endeavor to pursue. An endeavor that often gets postponed and eventually abandoned or compromised with some other ‘equivalent’ certification.

The reasons are many. But most commonly, lost focus due to unexpected workload and demands of professional, family and personal needs.

Also Read: 2 P and 3 MP in 2.5 hours. PMP Prep Experience of Mostafa Adel, PMP

My PMP test prep approach

I got my 35 contact hours of PM education early in 2014, but it was not until quarter-1 of 2017 that I felt the burning need to put together an effort that would earn the three sought after alphabets next to my name. In the meanwhile, I had had few false-starts and had almost come to a decision to pursue another certification instead of PMP.

Now that I have got my certification, here’s how I look at it from a systematic process perspective. [click to continue…]

I recently passed my PMP exam with the highest ‘Proficient’ rating in all 5 domains. Here is my PMP preparation experience, along with few tips that you may find useful for your PMP exam.

PMP preparation 5P SELVARAJ

PMP study materials I used

  1. Rita Mulcahy’s PMP preparation book – I read this twice, along with chapter-end questions
  2. PMBOK 5 – read this just once
  3. Full mock exams (4 Nos. – all free resources) as suggested in many other posts in this group
  4. Analysis of ITTOs from PMBOK guide
  5. Video of Ricardo Vargas on PM Processes
  6. Small mock exams (max. 50 questions – Total approx. 300 questions) from Christopher Scordo

Also Read: How to study in the last week before exam and increase the odds of acing it

pmp selvaraj ramasamyUnderstanding concepts by making notes

I wanted to start with a simple PMP book and so took up Rita Mulcachy’s book to completely understand concepts in detail. I figured that going with each process group will be easier for me. I started with Planning process group and as I went over the chapters I took the chapter-end questions to test my understanding.

Then I memorized the sequence of processes in Planning process group.

This way I was able to get a firm understanding of concepts of all process groups.

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project manager certification dee pmpSetting my PMP goal

My background is in computer science but I have been doing project management for over 6 years. Getting the project manager certification has been in the back of my mind for a while but with two kids who have very busy schedules, I knew it was going to take a lot of commitment to pull it off so I kept thinking, “maybe next year”.

However, since last year things have gotten shaky at my job and realized that I had to take this leap and take my project management career to the next level. So, in November of last year, I started working on my plan.

PMP Damalie OyanaI had a goal of studying 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week (weekends were too busy for me to find any time). I fell off the wagon during the Christmas holidays, come mid-January I realized a needed a PMP crash course. So I did my research online for some tips on how to stay focused.

Below are the resources that helped me work through my PMP study journey.

Study Plan and material

1. PMP study blueprint (free email course) from PMExamSmartNotes.com – gave me a good starting point.

All the daily reads and the PMP Exam preparation tips– great resource! These really kept me motivated since I received one email every day for each knowledge area.

The ‘Last Mile’ prep books gave what I needed in the last week of my study. These are a must have!

2. Introduction to the Project Management Profession (PMP) certification exam preparation with Sandra Mitchell on Lynda.com – these are great videos that are based on the PMBOK and her PMP exam tips came in very handy! Also, an equivalent of 35 contact hours (a requirement for the PMP application) certification helped me fulfill exam needs. [click to continue…]


I have this mantra, “If I can do you it, you can do it; If you can do it, I can do it.”

And the same held me in good stead when it came to preparing probably one of the toughest exams of one’s professional career – PMP.

In this article I’d like to share my PMP exam tips, tricks & lessons learned.

pmp exam tips tricks & lessons learned by ramya

The seed

I was keen on earning this most coveted credential in the Project Management world. It all started around June 2016 when I started researching ways to kick start my PMP studies. Soon I learned that it demands lot of commitment, concentration, dedication and hard work.

Actively, I spent 4 months with 2 to 4 hours of preparation everyday. Here is my study plan, resources I pmp ramyaused, tips & tricks I learned in during the course of my PMP study.

Study Material and Study Plan

  • Head First PMP – I spent about 3 weeks to finish this book. This book explains PMP concepts in a pictorial and a fun way, using many memory aids. If you need a light reading of PMP and a fun start, I would recommend you begin with this book.
  • PMBOK – This is THE book to consider for your PMP study. Majority of questions appear from this book so as much as possible try not to ignore this. It took me 1 month for first reading; took less than a month for 2nd reading; and took about a week to skim through the book for the 3rd time.
  • Rita MulcahyI’d suggest reading this book after reading PMBOK for the second time. This book is gold for Quality Management, Procurement Management and Human Resource Mangement. Actually, I started reading only the pointers for tips and ended up reading the whole book. It is so interactive that you feel this book talks to you in person.
  • Saket Bansel’s Videos – I watched his free videos for the concepts I felt I need more explanation. His white board sessions are awesome.

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PMP certification exam was the first big exam I took after a gap of 18 years, after my college. I had to overcome my own doubts and self-imagined limitations and prove to myself that this is possible. I took up the challenge with a couple of thumb rules and it all worked out well.

I’d like to share my PMP journey, what worked for me and what did not, hoping that this will help PMESN readers prepare for their own PMP exam with some insights.

pmp exam preparation shalima


In my view, PMP journey itself is a learning experience, so enjoy this and you will find it much easier to pass your PMP exam.

My study resources

shalima pmpMy entire PMP prep duration was 12 weeks. I did not want to include too many study resources as it only made me get overwhelmed. So, the first rule was to stick with 1-2 main and 1-2 ‘gap’ study resources. I chose the following after some research –

For detailed study –

For ‘last mile’ preparation –

Also Read: PMP Certification – How I Earned Mine Without PMBOK, Jackie W. Gibbs

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