Anurag Kajra is a seasoned project manager working with Ericsson, and he decided to take up PMP test to grow futher in his career. He aced it with perfect score – Proficient score in ALL 5 domains!
In this post, Anurag spills the beans on what it takes to ace PMP like a pro. No matter where you are in your run up to the PMP exam, you will find something of value in this post.
Basic Preparation for PMP Test
I primarily focused on Rita Mulcahy’s PMP prep book as I firmly believed that this is the Bible of the PMP Exam. So much so that I studied it 4 times thoroughly!
Apart from this there was another book I considered important: Head First PMP.
This is a brain-friendly book that gave me excellent examples of application of PMP concepts in real-world. I understood how PMBOK processes can be applied in the context of a real project more from this book than any other PMP study resource.
Additional PMP Study Resources
I realized early during my preparation planning that a good Simulator that mimics the real exam should be an essential part of prep plan.
I used Rita’s PMP exam simulator for almost a month.
During this time I cleared about 4500 PMP mock questions.
I got many of them wrong of course, but the best part was that the simulator helped me strategise how to tackle PMP exam. Each mock test impoved my end-to-end understanding of the exam, the approach to take while selecting the right answer out of 4 available ones.
My main focus was on Human Resource management as it had 4 processes in the Executing Process Group. I expected a large amount of questions from HR Management Knowledge Area in the PMP exam.
For Initiating and Closing Process groups I researched a lot on the Internet, like the templates of the Project Charter, all the documents need for closing a phase or project, and so on. I felt that these two Process Groups can swing the results of my exam either way, and focusing on these will help me get most of the questions right with confidence.
I went through PMP study notes (linked from Study Notes.. menu above) and the PMP books from this blog. These undoubtedly gave me a solid understanding of the PMP concepts and gave me the confidence to clear the PMP Exam with all the 5 P’s.
Avoid this Trap!
There is a point I want you to understand here.
Initiating and Closing Process Groups are the ones from which least number of questions appear on the exam.
Now you know that there is a threshold in EACH Process Group to cross, else you will fail the exam. Since the number of questions appearing in these to PGs are less, the passing threshold is smaller as well. Therefore, there is a very small number of questions that you can risk answering incorrectly.
That is the reason you will require a clear understanding of concepts in these two PGs and give additional attention while taking mock tests from these PGs.
Consistency & Motivation is Key
I didn’t miss the preparation even for a single day. I made sure that I was in touch everyday for the duration of my preparation time of 4 months.
For me Procurement Knowledge Area was a challenging area, and here’s what I did to generate interest in study.
I start analyzing the concepts practically. I went to my Program Manager to get me all the procurement documents and understand how they relate to Procurement Processes. Studying them helped me relate to the Procurement processes and internalize concepts.
As I did not have first hand procurement experience in my projects, I had few sessions with my Program Manager, to understand how he executes procurement in projects.
I have kept these tips brief and to-the-point. Anyone looking for ‘shortcuts’ to PMP success will do good to consider these above pointers.
My Good Wishes!
Shiv loves to help start-ups build software products, PMP aspirants ace the exam and shine at work, and help individuals and SMEs get most out of their internet presence (read 'earn massive money' 🙂 ).
Shiv lives on the picturesque suburban Bangalore with his wife and two lovely kids and in his spare time he plays flute and paints.
Reach him at these social networks and say Hi, he'd love to connect with you.