“PMP exam prep online is easy if you begin with a proven strategy and get a mentor to guide you along the way”, said Naveen as we began talking, “no one knows better than me, having begun PMP way back in 2013!”, he smiled.
This week I am super glad to bring PMP success story of yet another student of PM Exam Last Mile Prep program – Naveen Kumar Pulluri. Naveen studied his Master’s in Finance & Accounting and is working as Principal Consultant with a global company. Currently placed at Cincinnati, Ohio, he handles Financial Application projects (complete suite of Oracle Hyperion).
Naveen loves watching movies, cooking and experimenting different cuisines, gardening, and leisure reading.
Beginning his PMP dream in 2013, he experienced several ‘false-starts’ but never gave up. And last week his tenacity and perseverance paid off when as he walked out of the test-center – 3 inches above the ground. 🙂
Let’s hear about his PMP adventure!
What made you choose PMP certification over others?
Many years ago I was asked to take up a project and that turned out to be a disaster!
My second project fared much better. And I began thinking about the failure.
As I analyzed, there were plenty of things I did wrong and I wished I had guidelines to execute projects better.
That’s when I got to know about PMI and the PMP. With a little bit of research I understood that PMP exam covers all facets of project management, so I decided to stick with it.
That was at the beginning of this decade. In 2013 I decided to pursue PMP seriously.
I failed in my first attempt, which made my resolve stronger to pass the exam this time. Now that have passed it I am planning to take up PMI-RMP.
My PMP preparation helped me understand why I could not deliver my initial projects well. Now I feel more confident. Guided in the right direction.
I am looking forward to apply this knowledge and consistently get better at executing projects. And improve the skills in project management. With PMP now I can confidently handle projects and even ready to take bigger and more challenging projects.
What were your study resources?
I started my PMP exam prep online with the crash course that my company provided. But I could not complete the syllabus and failed the internal exam.
Though I bought Rita’s PMP book, I felt that the required rhythm is missing. That’s when I started searching for easier ways of preparing for the PMP exam. And fortunately got to know about “PMP Exam Notes, Tips and Resources”.
After I was able to validate the mind map based teaching methodology of Shiv, and all the cool mnemonics I enrolled into “PM Exam Last Mile Prep Program” – the unique combination of online self-paced course and weekly strategic 1-1 coaching with him.
I took plenty of free mock tests to practice the time-management aspects of the exam. The ‘Last Mile’ course has a specific strategy to take the exam that allows me to answer more questions in less time, that I used successfully.
What was your study plan & approach?
Thanks to Shiv’s coaching, I used a 7-week study plan that was customized for my situation. I enjoyed the complete course of PMP ‘Last Mile’ program twice – took 4 weeks for first round of study and 3 weeks for revision.
The weekly coaching calls I had with Shiv helped me quickly move past any and every issue I faced. They also helped me refine the plan when things did not go as per the plan.
I used to play the audio or video from the course during my free time. This course immensely helped me. You don’t believe, I used to play the audio lectures while waiting for my dentist appointments and I could study many processes. ?
The strategies I learned, best practices I followed, and techniques I practiced – they all came together well for me to enjoy the process of preparation that lead up to the exam.
Did you face any issues along the way?
To say the least I took PMI membership in 2013 and could not take the exam until 2018 due to lot many changes at work, frequent movement and so on. I could not put on enough reading hours and while reading PMBOK I felt sleepy.
Special thanks goes to my wife whose constant encouragement sustained my interest in taking up the exam. Then the PM Exam Last Mile prep program enhanced my interest.
Mnemonics, mind maps, quizzes, short tests and their explanations just kept me engaged on subject and instead of only reading I could understand the concepts in a personal way.
Then of course due to Covid and all the negative news that happened I lost track and could not concentrate on study. Thankfully my weekly calls with Shiv bought me back on track.
How did you study in the week before your exam?
I kept the complete week before the exam to take as many mock tests as I can.
How was your exam experience like?
I initially scheduled my exam on April 10, and due covid-19 lock down the center got closed and I had to reschedule 2 times!
I was skeptical to take the online test at home, I didn’t want to take any chance. Luckily the PearsonVUE opened their doors on June 10 and in a couple of weeks from there I got a test slot in the test-center.
The questions I got in the exam were all lengthy questions with lengthy options. That made me to skip the 10-minute break introduced recently by PMI. I also had many questions on Agile topics.
That is quite insightful. Did you have any study tips for PMP students?
PMP exam prep online can be quite challenging and here are my top 3 study advice –
1. Please choose your study resources carefully.
These should not only just cover the syllabus, but also make you understand intuitively. Only then you will be able to recall quickly on the exam.
Remember that on an average you must aim to answer each question within 1 minute. Understanding which type of question is, what is it really asking you about, what concept is required to be used, and then choosing the ‘best’ option from the 4 options – all is to be done in a minute.
This is quite challenging – and choosing the right study resource is the first step. And if you can get a rock solid mentor like I did in Shiv Shenoy, you will have 10X more chances of success.
2. PMP is a medium term goal, like 4, 6, 8 weeks, or more. Hence prepare a study daily/weekly plan and stick with it!
For me the first thing Shiv did on our call is to work with me to create a study plan for me. This was very useful, like I mentioned it helped me understand when lost track, and got me back on track.
3. Take as many mock tests as you can, this plays a crucial role.
The exam is not about how much you know, but how you can apply what you have learned and solve scenarios. For this you will need specific strategies, and taking mock exams is one of them.
By attempting mock tests you will be able to discover which topics need more brushing up. You will also be able to manage the 4 hours on the exam efficiently.
Best of luck!,