Passing PMP on first attempt on December 16 – Meena Bahuguna

Hello All, though quite late to share my learning journey (I was busy enjoying much deserved vacationing after 4 months rigorous hard work and it was Christmas time!), I took the PMP exam on 16th December 2019.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Vidhi Raj and Vidyesh Alve for their hard work and for their wonderful knowledge sharing platform, a WhatsApp group “WinningPMPlan“. Special thanks to Vidyesh Alve for his constant guidance and for the help to resolve my queries. Many times, when I needed quick explanation to understand the topic/question to study further, Vidyesh has always shared his knowledge me.

I got Physical copies of PMBOK and Rita’s Book. Initially I read from Physical books and then while revision I used soft copies for easy search. Please note by my study pattern as below.

  • Step 1: I started with Reading the PMBOK book, each chapter one by one. underlined lines which I thought important.  
  • Step 2: Read Rita Mulcahy’s Book. I read each chapter from Rita with underlining the important points.  
  • Step 3: After reading both the books, I was little confused that what exactly should be my next step to make sure I clearly understand the topics which I read. I contacted Vidyesh Alve to discuss what should be my next. As per his valued suggestion, I went through each DEFINITIONS from PMBOK sixth edition page #689. I watched many videos, read articles, and made notes of each terms where I was not clear. I prepared an Excel document which got elaborated as I studied, having multiple sheets. 
  • Step 4: Quick re-reading of Rita Mulcahy’s Book. Since I gone through many materials in Step 3, reading again many topics started making more sense to me. 
  • Step 5: Started taking Knowledge Area wise 30 questions learning quizzes. Please note most of the time I used project-management-prepcast.com. 
  • Step 6: Started taking Knowledge Area wise 50 questions timed quizzes. 
  • Step 7: Started Process Group wise learning and timed quizzes.
  • Step 8: Started Mixed bag timed 50 questions quizzes. 
  • Step 9: Once I was little confident, I took my first full mock test. Interestingly, I was very nervous, more than the real exam. It is the first time my couple of months learning was going to be tested!  
  • Step 10: I took 7 full mock tests. After each full mock test, I spend good amount to time to understand what went wrong and why. I also went through various materials for topics which were not clear to me. Simultaneously I was making notes of my learning. 
  • Step 11: To go through different perspective, I went through Udemy Course by Tribid Roy. as of now they have 1 full mock test and other practice questions. I found the full mock test useful. I did 2 full mock tests from examspm.com. I also did some questions from Heldman-Kim’s PDF. Each time I learned new stuff, I made sure to add notes to the excel document.
  • Step 12: Before a week time, Twice I read all my notes, Specifically the short notes I made after each mock test learning. Very Quickly, I Went through the Risk, Stakeholder, Communication, Quality and Procurement chapters from PMBOK. I made sure to read the change management process from both the books. In excel document, I prepared a table, Wrote down the Process group and knowledge area wise processes and its Key outputs.  
  • Step 13: Quickly went through “Cynthia Snyder – A Project Manager’s Book of Tools and Techniques (2018, Wiley).pdf” is good source to understand some important tools and techniques.

I also made thorough use of http://www.acethepmpexam.com/ppe/index.html Basically it’s a hyperlink base information great way to quickly get information on Input, Output and Tools and Technology of each process, or which Tools and Technology is used in which process. I always kept this web open after first time reading of the books. Another website I found useful is https://openpm.org/, questions shared is on it is of good quality.

I watched many videos along with videos from Mr. Sanket Bansal, his way of explaining in simple words helped me to get clear on some important concepts.

Final Exam day, I was very calm and relaxed. Questions in the exam was combination of very simple, straight forward to complex questions. Most of the questions were 2 lines. I needed full time in the exam. I could not revise the marked questions. So time management is very important in exam if you are slow reader like me!

Overall it was great learning experience. I got help from many during the process.

To all aspirant,

  • Reading PMBOK is must!
  • For exam perspective Change management, Stakeholder and Communication management, Lesson learned, Issues are very important topics. I got approx. more than 20 questions on change management.
  • Formulas related questions initially seems to be difficult but as you study and as you practice questions, it gets quite simple. In exam it was very simple calculation based 2-3 questions, basically to check your understanding.
  • Do not waste time on memorizing the ITTO, just understand the logic why it is required in the process. I kept revisiting the http://www.acethepmpexam.com Writing down table of the Process group and knowledge area wise processes and its Key outputs, helped me.
  • Understanding when each plan and project document gets created is very important.
  • Reading the exam content outline is helpful. You should be able to get it from PMI.ORG.
  • Practice good amount of questions. I found the Prepcast to be the most trustworthy source of exam simulator which is quite near to the real exam. Prepcast gives very good explanations for each option, correct and incorrect both options. You can easily connect to the Prepcast team on any question confusion, they quickly turn back with answer within 1 business day most of the time.

The challenge is to be focused, as there are many not so good quality and unnecessarily complex questions available in the market, which may distract and confuse you. Stick to good quality to materials only.

Along with the WhatsApp group “WinningPMPlan”, I strongly suggest being part of the LinkedIn group “I want to be a PMP®” you get to know many important stuffs from people like you and experts who are PMP.

Finally, If I can pass the PMP, surely you can too. It requires hard work but its achievable with dedication! I wish best luck to all the aspirant.

Meena Bahuguna

http://www.linkedin.com/in/meena-bahuguna

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