They say ‘Practice Makes Perfect’. It was so true for me in the context of PMP exam. The more mock tests I took the more confidence I gained to face the PMP exam.
Here’s my PMP Lessons Learned.
This was my first attempt at PMP exam and it took me about 7 months of preparation. I am specially thankful to my dad, whose constant encouragement and support helped me pass this exam.
I was looking for a structured approach to managing projects and when I came across PMP, I was sure this had to be my savior.
PMP Resource Used
I attended the class room training in Synergy business school to get a overall sense of PMP syllabus and to fulfil the requirement of 35-hour contact project management education.
Then I used the following study resources –
I did not use Rita Mulcahy book, I found that it did not fit my learning style.
The study plan I used
I started for preparing the exam in the month of January. My aim was to take up the exam in one month, that is to complete the PMBOK by 15 days, take the mock exam on every weekend, and to take the PMP exam by 30 days.
But I ended up taking it only by July. My schedule was 2-3 hrs of study every day – slow and steady.
- Things turned out completely different from the plan. I could complete the PMBOK only by 45 days, I referred Head First book in parallel.
- Once I completed PMBOK first time, I took a 4-hour mock exam for which I scored only 65%. It was quite dampening but then I was able to identify the areas that I really was lacking in.
- As there is thumb rule I focused on obtaining 80+% in mock exams.
- My second innings started with PM Exam Smartnotes, which made me visualize the concepts of PMBOK thoroughly.
- After the second time I again appeared for the mock exam, and at this time I achieved 76%.
- Next, I revised the PMBOK for the third time, simultaneously taking mock tests. I took a lot of sample questions, which make me to gain confidence about the real exam.
- My next 4-hour test I got 85%! I was able to maintain this constantly over 5 consecutive mock tests.
During the week before the exam I solved Oliver Lehmann questions and scored 80%.
Blockers I faced
Need to spend considerable time on job, and my office timings were the challenges I faced during my preparation.
I started making use of break time during office hours and this helped me make steady progress. Also, during my daily commute I began solving practice question.
The exam day!
I went to Prometric centre a day before my scheduled exam date, and got familiar with the route and time it takes to reach in time.
I reached the Prometric centre got the security checks done within 10 min. Prometric center staff told me that I was not allowed to write the brain dump during 15 mins of pre-test time. They also explained me the Dos and Don’ts to be kept in mind.
I started the exam at 10.30 am itself. I completed the exam within 2 hr 45 minutes, and it was quite a surprise to me. After completing the 200 questions I took a break for refreshment and I utilized the balance time for reviewing my answers.
During review I changed answers to about 12 questions.
On submitting the exams, I saw the magic word “Congratulations” on the screen.
Also Read: The Complete PMP Exam Guide
My tips for PMP study
- Don’t get overwhelmed due to the amount of PMP materials available around, just select the one which suits your study style.
- Solve loads of PMP questions. I solved over 4386+ questions.
- If you want to take sample questions available on the web, make sure you choose PMBOK-5 based questions. Else purchase a good simulator.
- Schedule the exam date as soon as you attend your 1st mock exam, by planning study schedule based on your commitments.
- Don’t skip PMBOK, study it at least thrice
- Make sure you sit and come up with a study plan upfront and try to stick with it.
Best of luck!
Rahul Raj Nagarajan, 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.
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