I am very happy to announce that after preparing for almost 8 months (not fully dedicated except for last 2 months), I finally achieved my PMP certification achieving Above Target in all the 5 process groups.
- Below is my journey and the experience that I would like to share with you all:
- I will suggest making a plan on a paper, no matter how long or short but keep it realistic and follow the plan every day. For me, I made a schedule for the last 2 months (dedicating 2-3 hours every day) and followed it through most of the time. Try to do “effective learning” by not multitasking and providing your full attention during these 2-3 hours.
- I started by searching for any groups full of PMP aspirants and found one on Whatsapp run by Vidhi & Vidyesh named WinningPMPlan back in Jan 2019. It was very helpful not just initially but throughout my journey where they posted questions every day and we discussed possible solutions and other topics.
- I purchased the videos from EduHubspot.com to understand what is covered in the ten knowledge areas and side by side, I went thru Rita.
- This was not enough as I was not able to grasp the full concepts in my first go. Therefore, I went thru the videos again but this time alongside PMBOK 6 and alongside, prepared my notes to highlight the important points.
- I also attempted the chapter wise mock tests in Rita and would go thru all the marked questions where I was unsure of the answer.
- Attempted full length (4 hours) free mock tests and this is where I got the confidence to book my exam date, but I knew that I still needed some time to fill the identified gaps in my knowledge. So, I booked the exam for 1 month from this time.
- I read the success stories online and identified the important topics for exams (CR, Risk, SH, Quality, Comm.) and concentrated on those topics as well.
- Went thru plenty of mock tests at this stage and reviewed the marked questions.
- For me, the best way to find and fill the gaps in my knowledge was to attempt mock questions and review the answers.
- Days before the exam, I went thru the notes that I prepared and the tips and tricks for exam.
- Key points to remember during the exam:
- Always follow the process no matter what. If a choice tells to skip a step, it is wrong.
- Always communicate directly and ASAP!
- Remember, as a Project Manager you are responsible. Don’t pass the blame to others.
- Always select the option that seeks to problem solving.
- Remember to document first before taking any actions.
- The questions were very tricky so at times, I had to concentrate on each of the 4 options to eliminate the wrong options by thinking: “why this is not the right choice in this situation”.
- Change Requests (CR) are very important. I got around plenty of questions regarding this. Remember the following sequence and you should be able to answer most of them:
Identify (What do you want to change, or CR received from stakeholder Document (the change request) Review (Do impact analysis) Submit (to the CR board) à Document (The Approved/Rejected change) Implement (the approved change and verify) Communicate (to the concerned stakeholder).
- You can answer almost 30-40 questions by adhering to the above points.
- My aim was to target 50 questions in 50 minutes. To cover for the time consumed during exam dump and also to have some time to review later.
- At the end of the exam, I had about 40 minutes to review my marked questions.
- Brain Dump
I did a brain dump at the beginning of the exam (took about 8 minutes) which consisted of the 49 processes chart from page 25 of the PMBOK 6 and the formulas (EVM, communication channels, EMV, CPM, 3-point estimates).
- I got around 3-4 questions related to the formulas.
- The brain dump of the 49 processes did not help me much but since I was nervous at the beginning of the exam, it gave me some confidence that I knew at least something. I referred to this chart 3-4 times during the exam when I was confused just to see to which process the question belong.
- Mock Questions
Below are some of the links for free mock tests. I am not going to name them all but only the one’s I found were better.
- Lite Mock Tests (13 to 18) from Christopher Scordo’s book
- I heard from someone that the questions from Tridib Roy are very good but never got to practice those. Here is the link: https://www.udemy.com/course/pmp-practice-test-2019-pmbok6/
- The questions by Oliver Lehmann are also good but I would not recommend it since there are no explanations.
I would recommend the following courses as I saw their videos and really liked them: