Ramya Ganesan has been working with SAP for the longest of her career, which spans close to 2 decades. A Computer Science engineer, Ramya has a master’s from the University of Illinois.
What made you take up PMP? Did you consider any other certification exams?
PMP is the coveted certification for project management. I’ve been a project manager for several years now and wanted to take the time to get a formal education in the field.
I had other certifications in mind but wanted to aim for them only after PMP 🙂 And with the vigor and experience of preparing for PMP the other certifications feel like a walk in the park!
I am super glad that I did PMP because initially, I looked at it mainly from the perspective of being a globally recognized certification. As I studied the course, I’ve got to say that I definitely gained a better perspective, deeper insights, and knowledge.
The fact that PMI itself requires regular PDUs will ensure that we keep up with the industry demands and also contribute to the community, which is awesome.
Which study resources did you consider, and eventually used for the exam preparation?
I had originally studied project management as part of my master’s program. Specifically for the PMP exam, I used the below:
- PM Exam Last Mile Preparation program by Shiv Shenoy (main course)
- LinkedIn Learning: Cert Project management Prep by Sandra Michell
- PMBOK Guide for reference
- Mock exams – PM PrepCast (get discount using coupon SN-PMPSIM) and a few others: Whizlabs, PM Study circle, Oliver Lehman and more
How did you approach the exam and what was your study plan?
I studied the Last Mile prep course, initially did two rounds along with a round of PMBOK. This gave me a rock solid foundation to start the preparation.
In between I had some false starts to my preparation (I would start with zeal and then as life happens put PMP on the back-burner) so the second round was more like a first-round after a break.
My study also included all the chapter-end mock tests with the course.
Then I took the LinkedIn course as it was shorter and wanted it for reinforcing my learning.
Next I began taking mock exams from different sources and realized it was a better way of testing my knowledge and fill the gaps as I found any.
I took all the mock tests from PM PrepCast simulator.
In addition, I took a few other mock tests as well though the above two were the ones I used extensively.
Thank you for being part of PM Exam Last Mile prep program. Could you please share how it helped you?
First of all, thank you Shiv for the course and all the guidance.
The Last Mile covered the course content very well with videos, mind maps, and then mock tests with video explanations – which helped cement the knowledge immediately into long-term memory.
While these were great, the best part for me was the weekly mentoring/coaching by Shiv – sharing tips and boosting my confidence.
To me, that personal attention and commitment to my progress and success from this program were priceless.
The week before the exam is crucial. What was your approach to study during this week?
I was taking full mock tests for about 2 weeks prior to the exam, with about 1-2 days break in between mock exam practice.
Plus, I wanted to get the experience of the actual PMP exam, so I feel at home when I get into the exam.
I also continued refreshing the ITTOs and liked the PM one simulator.
What was your exam experience like?
Although it felt convenient to take the online exam from home, I had some challenges with the logistics.
I found the 4.5 hours to be a bit stressful, longer than the actual test because of the initial verification with the proctor and set up etc.
During the test, the proctor was only available via chat, I could not reply video chat and only reply via microphone. This was obviously not very helpful and ate into my exam time.
In spite of taking so many mock tests I felt that the exam was quite complex.
While there were a lot of situational questions, I had some 8-10 formula-based questions.
Any specific study tips for those preparing for their test?
- I found the study strategies suggested in PMP Exam Secret Strategies course as part of my Last Mile prep program very useful. So if you can, go for it.
- Mock tests are important, so I strongly suggest taking quality mock tests and learning from those.
- While an 80% passing score in mock tests seems like a golden rule, from my experience I can say that a consistent 76%+ should be okay for a candidate to feel confident. So, don’t stress too much over the mock test score alone, is my suggestion.
I wish all the PMP aspirants all my best,
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