Avishek Patra has over a decade of rich experience, with 5+ years in various roles of project management.
When not working, Avishek loves to listen to music, watch movies, or play football.
Avishek faced the challenge of not getting the right profiles as he does not have an IT background.
He discovered during his research that PMP would help him.
And yes, Avishek did this only with PMBOK.
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What made you take up PMP?
I took up PMP after researching a lot about project management certifications.
I wanted one that adds value in terms of not just knowledge, but also credibility. With PMP, I could capitalize on the demand from recruiters.
I’m from non-IT background, and PMP gives me a lot of credibility as a project manager and helps me change my industry.
I have heard a lot of about Scrum certification, but I came to a conclusion that is favorable and more suitable for Software and IT people.
My next goal is to get a Scrum certification as an add-on to my PMP credential.
I’m super happy to have made the transition, thank you PMP!
That’s awesome! Which study resources did you use for your exam preparation?
Only two resources – one for study and one for practice!
- For PMP preparation, I religiously followed PMBOK and prepared notes from it.
- For the simulator, I chose the PrepCast simulator. It’s great with over 2000 questions, with great explanations. Using it also felt like a learning experience when I was analyzing my wrong answers.
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What was your approach and study plan?
My approach was simple right from the beginning.
I started studying for 1 hr every day to start with.
Then I slowly started building up my study hours.
Since I was having a six-day week, I hardly got time on Sundays. So weekend planning was not possible. This was a blessing in disguise because it meant I had to make time to study every day. That was key to my success.
I completed studying PMBOK a month and a half before the exam. Then used the remaining time for another round of study and full-length simulator exams.
I learned many concepts during my mock tests also. PrepCast Simulator helped me a lot.
Can you share any issues/blockers you might have faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?
I have heard people talking about the challenge of finding study time.
Like I said earlier, Sunday was the only day I get, and I needed it as a break, I planned for daily study. In a way, this took away the ‘lack of time’ issue for me.
Studying every day is HARD in the beginning, but in a week or 10 days, it becomes a habit. Then it gets easier!
The real challenge I faced was sitting for 4 hours continuously and concentrating on all questions.
I overcame this by taking plenty of mocks. As they say, practice makes you perfect. In my case, though, it wasn’t ‘perfect’ but ‘efficient’.
Also, I found it extremely difficult to remember ITTOs.
Then a chance discussion with a friend made me realize that remembering ITTO is not necessary, just understanding them is sufficient to answer questions.
The week before the exam is crucial. How did you prepare during this week?
I studied as usual while attending office till Thursday. Friday and Saturday I took leave.
Traveled to Kolkata on Thursday and studied all day on Friday.
Saturday, I just revised my notes in the morning and stopped. Relaxed throughout the day.
Sunday was my exam. I revised brain dumps and started my exam.
How was your exam experience?
The exam center was comfortable, and the staff was very good.
They will guide you in every possible way if you have any doubts. Only the locker key and passport were allowed for me. Nothing else. While reading instructions, I tried to write some brain dumps and then straight away started my exam.
Questions were very difficult, as expected.
A lot of questions on Change management, Communication, Scrum, and Agile.
Would you like to share any specific study tips?
First of all, you have to have loads of patience for PMP. At times, it seems impossible, but you hang in there.
- Study regularly, best: every day.
- Revise as many times as possible.
- Analyze wrong answers with a good simulator.
- Build concepts based on ITTOs and you’ll be able to answer 16-20 mocks.
Best of luck!