I passed my PMP exam on my second attempt last week, and I’m proud to say that I achieved “Above Target” in all the domains. In this short article I am giving out the 4-point PMP study plan that I used to prepare for the exam.
I work as Senior Consultant in SAP-BI/BW in Bangalore/Mumbai having 10 years of experience in Software industry.
It took me exactly 9 months to achieve my goal.
And as it happens with most of us, work priorities did come in the way of my studies. This meant that I veered off the study track few times, but my experience with first attempt guided me to get back on track and march on.
If this happens to you and you lose track of your study due to higher priority tasks, just know that it is okay. Don’t be hard on yourself, just shake off the feeling and continue with your studies.
1. Pick limited number of study aids.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many study resources will waste time and make the whole studying exercise inefficient. Spend time researching your options on the internet but then limit to top 2-3 that you need.
And then stick with them.
Here are my top resources.
PMBOK 5th Edition – I just followed it cover to cover twice.
Rita Mulcahy’s book – I skimmed it twice but my only focus was on PMBOK right from the beginning
Sean Whitaker’s book (easy) – I’d focus more on the relationship between processes, the purpose of specific documents, and the flow of ITTOs.
2. Don’t miss Simulator(s).
Let me tell you – mock tests can be the difference between passing the exam and not. So don’t give it a miss, no matter what.
I did 2 full-length 4-hour exams Facebook questions in the PMP study groups, and then did several small exams focusing on specific Knowledge Areas and Process Groups.
However, I found that the real exam was different from the mocks I practiced. This was just me – in your case you may or may not get similar questions as the ones you encounter in mock tests.
Bottom line, be ready for surprises.
3. Take help from study groups.
I used to follow the discussions in ‘I want to be a PMP’ LinkedIn group and refer ‘Passionate PM’ daily questions. Followed few Facebook questions in PMP study group everyday.
For the final preparation I used Shiv Shenoy’s Blueprint and one liners and key words from different social media groups.
During my first attempt my score was around 55 to 65 percent and during second attempt scored improved to 75- 80 percent.
4. Leverage experience of successful PMPs.
I also got few mentoring tips by talking to successful PMPs, such as focusing more on Data Flow Diagrams given after each process in PMBOK and revising Glossary from it.
One of the best advice I got was to find a study partner. They can be our accountability partner, and discussion partner to exchange knowledge.
Study the PMP lessons shared by those that passed the exam. Copy their PMP study plan and see if it works for you.
My heartfelt thanks to my PMP study group members. The blessings from my family and God’s grace has been important to achieve this certificate. Hope this PMP study plan will give you something to improve yours.
All the best,
Annu Gupta, PMP