Shiv, thank you for your support, emails, great tips, and the PMP prep books. I became PMP certified a few weeks ago with 2 ‘Proficient’ and 3 ‘Moderately Proficient’ score.
I would like to share some advice and study tips here based on my PMP prep experience, for the benefit of PMP aspirants.
It started in May 2017 when I decided to get PMP certified. I opted for one of the local training center and opted for weekend batch, which was for 2 weekends, May 13-14 and May 20-21.
My Study Approach
I come from a non-project management background, therefore everything was absolutely new for me.
I completed PMBOK twice before giving mock exams.
Shiv’s mnemonics and formula guide are awesome ones to refer to. They helped me remember critical concepts and formulas without spending too much time, or effort to recall them.
The PMP exam Simulator helped me gain confidence. I learned to manage the 4 hours of exam time in an optimal way to answer all 200 questions ahead of time.
I prepared my own notes from all sources and referred to data flow diagram in PMBOK. The diagrams in PMBOK are the best, it clarifies the concepts.
I managed to get 47 processes in sequence, but ITTOs, I just understood them, did not mug up.
I then went on to complete practice exams to gauge how I was performing in each Knowledge Area.
PMP Mock Tests
You can get a free version (but limited questions) of PMP simulator from here and see if you like it before investing.
In all, I gave around 15 online mock tests. I scored between 79 % – 83 % in Rita’s Fast track, between 80 % to 87% in Prepcast simulator, and 93 % for ITTO mock test.
There is one other small trick I followed at the end of each test, which ensured I prepared much better for the real exam.
After each practice exam, I would review the questions that I got wrong to develop a list of knowledge areas that I needed to re-review.
Be Careful About This Possibility
I had an issue with mock questions that I got from the Internet, and I think you need to take notice of this if you too are collecting questions off the Internet.
I had around 4000+ PMP sample questions. But they were not as difficult as you would get on the exam. In fact, I had some of the PMBOK-4 based questions (example, Administering Procurement process) which can confuse you and create havoc – so I suggest stay away from any PMBOK-4 based questions.
Preparing For The Exam
I booked my exam in last week of June, and the date I chose was 5th July.
Last week prior to the exam, I just referred to my notes and gave one swipe of PMBOK.
I also completed the PMP Formula guide by Shiv, and updated my notes.
I made sure that I gave enough time to myself to relax between study sessions.
I travelled a day early to the exam centre as it is not in same city where I live in. It was
The exam was a nerve-racking experience for me and I settled in slowly in around 40-45 minutes after the exam started. I finished one round of questions in 2 hours and had 2 hours left to review marked questions.
Due to stress, I had more questions marked in actual exam than mock tests. So, I had about 140 questions to review. I got almost all situational questions in my exam.
While reviewing, I took deep breath and stared and validated all answers.
When I finished my survey I saw the “Congratulations” message and that feeling of being PMP certified is something that cannot be expressed in words!
I have seen people studying for 3-4 months.
But I managed to complete it in a month and 10 days, July 5th is when I completed my PMP and passed with 2 P and 3 MP Score in my first attempt.
Being PMP certified was my dream, because it was my ticket to professional growth. Sure, PMP is not one of the easiest exams I have faced. But I now know that anyone can pass PMP exam with good study resources, good planning, and good old determination.
I wish you all the best. I know PMBOK 6th edition based exam is approaching fast, and I hope you are planning to get it by the end of the year.
It is definitely possible, go do it!
Daya Patil, PMP
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.