My 100-day journey towards PMP certification !!

Forming

My 100-day journey began in early March with the enrolling of weekend classes with Vidyesh Alve. It was around the same time COVID 19 started its journey in Melbourne. Somehow we continued the face-to-face learning throughout March. Vidyesh’s class was very interactive with ‘user stories’

I had no clue then how I would write the exams. Yet, things evolved gradually. I started with Rita Mulcahy, as PMBOK was Greek to me then. Although, in the end, PMBOK was the main book I referred to.

Vidyesh Alve added me to the global Whatsapp group that is managed by him and Vidhi Raj and being part of this global group of like-minded PMP aspirants helped me keep my study momentum going.

Storming

One month passed by. As encouraged by Vidyesh Alve to do so, I tried to build a study routine from the beginning, although it did falter at times. Around the second week of April, I managed to complete reading Rita Mulcahy once, along with having a go at the tests, at the end of each chapter. Around that time, for the very first time, I started with PMBOK.

Norming

This is the stage at which a   friend of mine shared his study plan. He uses to do sample questions (on a platform similar to Prep cast) for the sake of understanding the concept and approach. He never bothered about timing or the % of right answers. His only aim was a thorough reading of the explanations and learning.

Performing

I started with a question bank which had a good collection of the questions but no explanation, which I found illogical.  At this stage, I decided to try Prep cast and love PMP. Of the four question banks which I attempted, including Rita’s; I would suggest Prep cast.

Lessons learned or followed:-

  • Have a regular study plan. Start with 1-2 hours but increase to 3-4 hours in the last three weeks of the exam.
  • Fix an exam date once finished with 35PDU requirement session (if required). This will help to have a target and plan better on strategies
  • Read through Rita and PMPBOK at least twice. Take notes.
  • Do Prep cast/ love PMP questions 20-30 numbers at a time and review all the answers, irrespective of whether your response was right or incorrect. Spend time to understand the logic and explanation provided and even going back to relevant PMBOK pages.
  • Do multiple question banks for a reason: – The actual PMP questions are phrased differently to all the question banks I tried. It took me a while to settle down in the first session of 90 questions during the exam.
  • In my opinion, no need to mug up the planning sequence from Rita and discussed in the Whatsapp group, the planning Sequence Rita mentions is only her thought process and not aligned to PMBOK.

Exam day

  • I had two eggs and two slices of bread to make sure I have enough energy to sustain at least for 2 hrs  ( Check-in process took 30 min  and 90 min for me to attempt the first 90 questions)
  • Had strong black coffee for a pick-me-up!
  • First 90 questions were hard for me for probably three reasons:-

a)Took longer to understand the way questions are phrased and getting used to format

b)Personally was a bit challenging to convert the countdown timer  (which ticks down from 240 min) to the time taken to answer.

c)At least two of the options looks very similar.

  • During the 10 min break, I did some stretching to make sure my muscles were relaxed for the 2nd phase. It helped.

And voila! The hard work paid off! Eventually, I realised it was the sheer determination to bag this prestigious certification that kept me going. The entire journey would have been indeed difficult had it not been for my association with Vidyesh Alve and the global Whatsapp group managed ably by Vidhi Raj where the daily discussions on the PMP questions kept me going!

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