PMP Lessons Learned


Kamal Sharma (PMP), India: Guard yourself against overconfidence!

PMP exam for me has been a tough journey as I failed once and passed in my second attempt. I have learnt a lot and now I am ready to share my experiences. I will list them down in the form of points with the most important on the top:-

  1. Don’t be overconfident:- I did my PMP Boot camp in April last year and based on what they taught and what I was practicing in my Job, I was confident enough to clear the exam. So I applied for the certification and fixed the date to be mid-May. I didn’t read the PMBOK and just practiced around 1500 questions available on different platforms.

To my surprise, not even a single question came in the exam. It was time for reality check as the exam seemed to be from a different world altogether. The language, the scenarios all seemed alien.

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Trey Deón (PMP), US: Leverage local PMI chapter study group

Shiv, my PMP lessons learned –


First, I acquired my 35 contact hours from ESI International-George Washington University.  Then, I read the PMBOK 5th addition cover to cover and took a Velociteach, timed PMP simulation to baseline my skillset and identify gaps.

PMP lessons learned TreyDeónI felt like I needed additional help, so I attended a Rita Mulcahy 2-day PMP Prep boot camp, which was extremely beneficial.  Following the boot camp, I participated in a study group with my local PMI chapter led informally by a PMP credential holder.  The study group lasted for 2 months.

Study Plan

After the study group, I developed my own personal intense daily study plan which included:

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Costina Barbu (PMP), Germany: Don’t shy from investing in PMP study resources

Shiv, Just wanted to share with you I passed my exam today. Thank you for your materials and questions and moral support!

costina pmp lessons learnedHere’re the PMP Study Resources I used

– (paid) HEAD FIRST – a nice relaxed and comprehensive option to walk one through the curriculum (includes chapter end questions & a mock exam)
– (paid) Grey Campus (via Udemy) as intro course – nice and crisp video sessions.
– (free with PMI Membership) PMBOK – dry, but helpful. Referred to it for clarifications during my studies.


– (free) PMZILLA forums – awesome for clarifying answers to tough questions (sometimes it is not enough to be told that the right answer is option a, but helps to understand the reasoning behind)

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Narayan Shanbhag (PMP): Make your PMP exam prep a simple & focused affair

I passed my PMP with a “Proficient” score in all the 5 Knowledge Areas, in my very first attempt. Here’s my PMP exam prep lessons that I hope will help people preparing for the exam.

pmp exam prep narayan1. Start with a Plan.

Plan on what to read, Plan on your study schedule, Plan on your exam date. Keep your plan brief so that you are able to stick to it.

2. Keep your studies simple and focused.

Read ONE book thoroughly, following all instructions in the book to the dot. Use the PMBOK guide as a reference guide all long. It is not essential to read / study more than one book / same book twice, if your first reading is thorough. But this may not be true for you, so kindly decide what works for you.

3. Attempt mock exams

..especially the Simulators that offer 200 questions to be answered in 4 hours (without a pause). It prepares you for the real test, in every aspect.

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Amit Londhe (PMP): Start with a formal PMP study plan for yourself

Hello Shiv,

pmp study plan amit londheI passed my PMP certification exam on 6th July 2015!

PMP has been a long journey for me. It took me almost 2 years to finalize on PMP (Prince2 and ITIL creating the dilemma).

Here is how I went about preparing for my exam, with my PMP study plan.


I attended the mandatory workshop organized by my current organization in December 2014. I sacrificed my marriage anniversary on Day 1, although a dinner date made up for the lost day.
After the training was over, my confidence level was ~55% (mock test being the measurement tool).

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Moin Kandoi (PMP): Treat PMP Prep itself as a Project!

pmp-lessons-learned-moinIt is always helpful when you can relate your study topics with real life examples. It makes you understand the concepts easily and you can remember them for a long time. This was the key of my study plan. I wanted to pass PMP Examination and that was my Project.

I considered PMP Certification as a Project and I started reading PMBOK. I started relating all Knowledge Areas and Processes trying to identify them as related to this Project.

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Swagat Vaidyanathan (PMP): Here’s access to my free PMP study resource

swagat pmp lessons learnedMy preparation method:

  • Read the RITA completely once
  • Read the PMBOK then completely
  • Completed the Questions on the RITA and mark the ones which are wrong. Ensured the wrong ones do not repeat again
  • Tried the numerical problems. (They are the easiest areas to score)
  • Attempted mock exams and ensured to score more than 80% (preferred) in at least 5 mocks (200 Questions)
  • Read Shiv’s notes, which is must before taking the exams

My free study resources are –

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Navroop Sehmi, Canada (PMP): Expect situational questions

navroop sehmiFinally, after a month of studying I was finally able to pass the exam. My method was different than what was recommended by a lot of people- including reading the books and attempting a few of the well known practice tests – but I thought I share the strategies that worked for me.
Here’s my PMP Lessons Learned

Reference books
PMBOK / I only read the PMBOK once. I really hate how dry it was and it was good enough to give me a good idea on the foundation of the guidelines of project management and process.

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