Ankita Ghag works in the IT sector as a Data Analyst.
After passing her PMP exam, she got promoted to the Assistant Project Manager position.
During her free time, Ankita enjoys dancing, and swimming.
She scored Above Target in her PMP last week. Being my student in PMP Last Mile program, I had to get her to share her detailed account of preparation and insights.
Here it is. Feel free to copy what you resonate with.
Why did you choose PMP?
Since I have been handling projects in my current company, I wanted to take PMP to enhance my knowledge of project management and build essential skills to handle projects efficiently.
Initially, I was thinking to take Certified Scrum Master (CSM).
But after consulting with my seniors, I took my decision to take PMP as it’s a blend of traditional and agile approaches.
I also realized it has the best acceptance in the market globally.
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What was the core benefit you expected from PMP certification, and now that you are certified, how do you see PMP helping you?
The core benefit I was expecting from PMP apart from the promotion was the confidence to handle projects more efficiently and definitely, it makes you more confident and changes your overall personality.
You become better at leadership and problem-solving skills than just a manager.
I got promoted soon after the certification! 🙂
According to you, what is the one thing a PMP aspirant should use, to prepare well and pass the exam?
I think one thing an aspirant must follow is the project management book i.e. PMBOK.
Nothing can stop you if you have a good understanding of PMBOK.
On a side note, getting salary hike, new job, or promotion is more likely post PMP certification. After an interview I did with Theveline Felix’s PMP certification she got a job with 100% salary hike!
Which study resources did you use for your exam preparation, and how did they help?
Apart from that, I read PMBOK thrice and prepared my own notes.
Also, a video by David for 200 agile PMP questions and answers was very helpful as well.
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What was your approach and study plan?
I used to study 2-3 hrs a day and 4-5 hrs on Saturday and Sunday.
Shiv helped me to plan my schedule as it was challenging to handle studies with work.
I really appreciate Shiv for always helping me keep a positive attitude toward this journey and introducing various study approaches.
I followed his video lectures and then read the same chapter from PMBOK which, made my concepts clearer.
Can you share any issues/blockers you might have faced along the way and how you overcame them?
The main blocker I faced was inconsistency of study.
Initially, I was following the study plan with enthusiasm but later it became a challenge. But Shiv’s Thursday follow-up 1-1 calls and suggestions approach kept me going.
Another interesting thing was: when I started my preparation, I focused on recalling all the ITTOs and documents. And would get tensed about not being able to recall them at will.
But then, I realized that that’s not required. All you need to know is the purpose of each document and logical process of project management.
And it is very important to keep your concepts clear from day-1 rather than just mugging up the theory vaguely.
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Thank you for being part of the PMP Last Mile prep program! Can you please share how did the course/support help?
I feel that the Last Mile prep program is the easiest way to achieve PMP certification.
The video lectures make it easy to understand new concepts quickly.
Shiv always made sure I am following my study plan and also helped customize it whenever I failed to follow them. He also solved all the issues I had during my preparation phase. His follow-up calls is the game changer, his personal attention is the key element of this course and my consistency.
The week before the exam is crucial. How did you prepare during this week?
The week before the exam was full of anxiety and I wanted to reschedule it out of fear.
I decided to take a week off and take full-length mocks. I revised all the knowledge areas and processes using mind maps provided by Shiv in his program.
Soon I was scoring more than 80%. I regained my confidence and appeared for the exam.
And passed it with Above Target!
How was your exam experience?
I preferred taking it from the test center.
I must say, PearsonVUE staff is very professional and helpful, they make sure you are comfortable and provide noise-cancellation headphones, which helped me retain my concentration for a longer period of time.
To manage time, I strategized my exam to complete first 60 questions in 80 min, the next 60 questions in 80 minutes, and last 60 quesetions in 70 minutes.
I utilized both my breaks. I would highly suggest taking breaks as the exam is very demanding and these breaks help you rebuild your focus.
About 70% of the exam was Agile based, surprisingly. I did not encounter any direct questions or formula-based questions.
Few people mentioned they’ve got PMBOK-7 based questions on the exam. Did you come across such questions?
No, I didn’t. I think PMBOK 6 is enough for the exam right now.
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Would you like to share any specific study tips for PMP aspirants?
I would suggest:
- keep the concepts clear,
- develop a project manager’s decision-making mindset.
You need to know how to resolve issues during the project and which strategies/documents need to be followed and how.
All the best!
Ankita Ghag, PMP