Sanjiv Ebenezer is an engineer working in a leading Bank in the IT division at Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His main focus of work is online banking, mobile banking, web site administration and integration. He passed PMP exam last week and being my student I couldn’t wait for him to spill the beans for PMESN readers!
So, here are some real study gems you can use.
– Shiv Shenoy
What event triggered your desire to take up PMP exam?
I had passed the Prince 2 certifications, both Foundation and Practitioner levels. That helped me in my role as a project manager. I was looking for something that helps me learn all-round aspects of project management.
After some research I was convinced that it would be PMP certification. So I decided to take it up earlier this year.
How may PMP impact your work now?
I am working as a IT administrator in a bank, and I take keen interest in Quality control and Risk processes. I feel that the PMP has given me necessary perspective and the knowledge to implement these at my work.
Now I am conscious about the cost of conformance, and I have better control over the spending on Quality function.
I see myself applying more of PMP concepts at work and use more of the tools and techniques that I otherwise wasn’t aware of. This sure helps me get better at my job and I’m thankful that I chose PMP at this stage of my career.
Which study resources did you consider, and eventually used for the exam preparation?
I started with Examspm but then decided to invest in PMP Exam ‘Last Mile’ Prep Pro course. The videos and the mock questions there helped me a lot.
I had bought Cornelius’s PMP Exam simulator. This increased my speed from 150 questions in 4 hours to 200 question in 3 hours 40 minutes on the exam! I could use the remaining 20 minutes for review my answers.
I learnt the 49 processors and the flow of the execution from it.
Rita’s process charts was helpful in visualizing the functions of each process.
I recommend taking time to do some research and invest in a good PMP certification training program. It reduces your overall prep time, and gives you focus.
How did you approach the exam and what was your study plan?
I knew that preparation for the PMP would require a lot of time and effort based on feedback received from other PMP certified professionals.
So I planned to prepare for 3 months.
And then life happened.
I was unable to give the preparation all my time, and due to work commitments, it took me around 4 months to be thorough with the material.
Can you please tell our readers about some of the issues you faced during your PMP journey, and how did you overcome them.
The main hurdle I faced was being unable to spend long hours reading and preparing for the exam.
So I had to dedicate my weekends for this. My wife and kids have been very supportive.
Understanding and remembering formulas was another challenge I had.
I was able get my formula doubts clarified by Shiv, which was a great help.
How did you prepare in the week prior to the exam?
I took the week off before the exam so that I could practice on various simulators and brush on that areas I was scoring less in.
The simulators helped me improve my speed and answer questions quickly.
What was your exam experience like?
I made sure to complete my PMP certification training course before I reached the last week stage.
As I had practiced on the simulators, I knew that I had to use my time wisely approximately 1 minute per question.
At the exam center in the first 3 minutes I wrote all the formulas and the 10 KA process chart.
For the questions I was unsure of, I did not waste time but chose the best option and marked the question for review later.
Majority of the questions were scenario-based. For instance, they would give a scenario and ask what should the PM do first, or where would the PM go to find this info.
I got a few formula based questions as well, and a couple of questions on Agile.
Any specific study tips or advice for PMP aspirants?
Preparing for the PMP requires a lot of dedication and time.
So give yourself adequate time to prepare for the exam.
At times you may feel like not being ready, and you want to push the exam. Do not postpone it unless there is an emergency. Maintain a good study momentum and get through the exam.
PMP is a challenging exam, but if you work hard and remain focused, you can pass the exam quite easily.