Ganesh Gajare works as Deputy Manager, Project Management at Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. and passed his PMP exam earlier this year. His innovative approach to study was something that ought to help PMP students looking for effective ways of preparing for PMP exam.
Let us hear his study approach and his PMP lessons learned in his own words.
-Shiv Shenoy, PMP
I’m working in project Management for the past 4 years and my constant urge to learn more about project management triggered my quest for PMP.
It took me about 5 months from decision to result, and I’m very happy to say that I cleared PMP exam in 1st attempt with Above Target in all 5 domains.
Important thing in my PMP Project was to manage 2 main stakeholders i.e my wife & my 3 year old son and keeping them engaged. 🙂 They really supported me throughout my course.
I prepared for the exam in the following way.
1. I started with RITA Book
I know. Everyone says to begin with PMBOK. I got this advice too. But I wanted to start with something simpler, easier – so I could sustain interest in study for a longer period.
As RITA is much descriptive, I used it to study process group wise. While reading I kept copy of overview of each knowledge areas from PMBOK in front of me.
This way of beginning PMP study helped me a lot.
2. Next, the PMBOK
I agree that PMBOK is a must-read book, even though not many people agree that it is an easy read.
My thought was that since I was able to trace most of sample questions to specific pages of PMBOK, it would make sense to study from it thoroughly in order to prepare myself to answer most questions on the exam.
I aimed to do one chapter at a time.
It was not be easy, I must say, but this narrow focus was very helpful in negotiating PMBOK.
3. Got high-level understanding using Blueprint course
While reading PMBOK I was going through the PMP Blueprint by Shiv (get it for free here).
This blueprint email course is very good for understanding the fundamentals and clear the concepts. My biggest thanks to Shiv for sharing the notes on daily basis and for keeping me motivated.
4. Used sample questions to study
Then I started solving questions from RITA and PMP Exam Mentor Mobile App.
Mobile apps are great source of study for short durations and while on the move, or even when you have to wait for something or someone. I find them great use of study time that you can squeeze in here and there.
I learnt a great deal by attempting these sample questions. While reading lengthy chapters we tend to overlook some of the important concepts, and when a question tests you on it you realize the gaps.
Having benefited most with this method of study I highly suggest you use some of mock tests in between your study – only as a means of learning the content.
Such short study sessions helped me maintain study momentum, and gave the much needed confidence during those time when it seems things are not moving forward.
5. Study guide I found
I referred PMP® Study Guide by Amol Kshirsagar, Available on Projectmanagement.com, This is very good book for final revision once you are done with Rita and PMBOK.
This was more like a quick summary of PMBOK guide.
6. Then few serious mocks
I solved three mock tests from Simplilearn and others.
Practice as much as possible questions to deal with situational questions, to analyze wrong questions and start thinking as per PMBOK way. Remember, only PMBOK governs the exam.
7. Took it easy before the exam
I completed most of my studies a week before the exam.
Specifically for those who get tensed before exam or have anxiety, I’d say don’t take any mock in 4-5 days before exam.
Reserving last few days to only revise is a good approach to gain confidence.
If you know of a friend studying for PMP or CAPM exam that can use this article please considering tweeting –
All the best for your exam,