This week we’ll look at the PMP® journey of Basheer Baba, who got his PMP® certification earlier this month.
Hey Basheer, Congratulations on your PMP success, and thank you for sharing your prep advice with PMESN audience. When did you start your PMP exam preparation?
Basheer: I started my preparation in February, 2016.
Q> What was your study approach and what study resources did you use?
My study approach was in 3 parts.
In the first stage, for each Knowledge Area (KA) I first read the HeadFirst PMP® book along with Shiv Shenoy’s blog posts on PMESN. He’s given all the topics in simple, short and easy to understand format. Next I went over the same KA from Rita Mulcahy’s book and finally from PMBOK guide.
The reason I started with FeadFirst was because I liked the way they explain concepts. It is easy to understand the topic as it has pictorial representation. For details I always have PMBOK that I studied in the end.
During the second stage of my study I focused only on Rita and PMBOK. This time I went about studying Process Group wise/vertically.
In the last stage I focused only on mock exams.
Q> That seems to be a nice way to cover enormous PMP syllabus. How many mock tests did you take?
I did almost 3000 questions…this was very crucial for my success.
Q> What did your last week prep look like?
In last week I watched Saket Bansal’s videos, focusing mainly on areas that I felt I was weak in. I referred to his videos in between my preparation as well. The way he explains is very easy to understand.
Q. What are some of the major challenges you had to overcome to get your PMP?
My main challenge was time management. To maintain study momentum and to read every day 2-3 hrs, while maintaining my work and personal life as I have two school-going kids (ex: for their homework).
The other challenge was lack of peer support. I did not have anybody in my network who completed PMP recently.. so I had to research a lot to get some support…at the same time I found you through PMESN blog…. you gave me good support for my roadmap and your material helped me a lot. Even while filling the application.
Q. Did you come up with some specific study plan, if so can you share it?
Yes, here are couple of them – includes the road map (high level initial plan) and the other one is for last 2-3 weeks.
Q. How do you think PMP certificate will help you in your career?
PMP certification has been my dream to achieve for a long time. Now that I have realized it, I believe PMP will help me to grow in my career and help me stand out.
Q. Would you have any specific study tips for PMP students?
My main suggestion is not to discontinue in between when high priority work comes up.. Follow a study plan and have patience.
In practice exams I was getting average 65%-70%, initially it was very disappointing because I had read about mock exams on the Internet, every one used to say that we need to get 80% minimum in practice exams. Initially it is hard to hit this threshold. Don’t lose heart. Later I discovered that it is more important to understand our gaps and study them well. It is not a matter of getting 80%-85% score.
I’d like to thank you for your support during my preparation and application process….after I found you I got motivated to continue in my journey.
Lastly, my special thanks to my family – my wife Haseena and my kids (Hania & Sania) who have supported and encouraged me a lot.
Basheer Baba, PMP
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