This Easy 1 hr-a-day Strategy Got Me PMP on First Attempt – Robin Singh, PMP

Shiv, I passed my PMP exam! Here is my account of PMP Lessons Learned. I have tried to keep it brief and to the point. Hope it helps PMP aspirants and your blog readers.

What triggered my interest in PMP

I started my career as a Project Management trainee 6 years ago and fell in love with the role. New products products to build, new problems to solve, this role is something that gives me innate satisfaction at the end of the day.

I wanted to get structured education in project management and chose PMP as I felt it gave the most well-rounded project management knowledge. Something that I can apply at my job immediately.

Study resources I used for exam prep

My organization provided me the necessary training which helped me fulfill the 35 contact-hr education requirement needed for PMP. Apart from that I just skimmed through PMBOK and Rita’s book.

I tried reading through the chapters, however, what worked best for me was to first do the exercises and then study based on the questions I got wrong.

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My study approach and study plan

As I mentioned, my study approach was to first attempt the exercises at the end of each chapter and then read/go through what was not answered correctly.

This approach worked marvelously well for me because I felt that when I attempted the question and got it wrong there was an inner thirst to learn that part of PMP material. So it never felt like a tedious thing to do.

I carved out at least 1 hour for PMP study every day. I did this for about 8 weeks before the exam.

Then I gave mock exams on multiple websites during the last two weeks.

I did not study anything for 36 hours before the exam.

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The issues I faced

It was hard to focus on the preparation and actually do it every day for a long period of time. Even before that making up my mind to seriously start PMP preparation was a tough too. It took me close to a year to get my head down and plan to give the exam.

So I did something that put me on the line.

I actually applied for the certification by giving myself 3 days of time for study.

I began spending one hour every day for the preparation and began made notes to understand the questions I got wrong.

Then things started to move quickly.

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My preparation steps in the week before the exam

As mentioned above, I gave mock exams (50 questions, every day for 4 days) and a complete 200 question mock exam on day 5 and 6 before the exam.

Day 7 was a rest day. I didn’t study for 36 hours before the exam.

The real exam experience

I hope these points will help you prepare for your exam better.

  • The exam was not the toughest one, however, it was long and all questions were scenario based
  • I took a break after every 50 questions (water/ washroom) and a mini-break after solving 10 questions (deep breathing for 10 seconds)
  • The entry to the exam hall is time-consuming, therefore try wearing a half sleeves t-shirt/shirt so that you don’t have to unfold the cuffs
  • Ask for noise-cancellation headphones, and check if they work. If they don’t work, get them changed as you will need them to focus better and answer questions faster.
  • Ask for a physical calculator!

My study tips for PMP aspirants

Now that I am a certified PMP, looking back I find these to be extremely helpful in my preparation.

  • Don’t just read the material. Relate it with your experience
  • Go through as many mock questions as you can (here is a free mock simulator for you!)
  • The questions in Rita are purposefully long and tricky. Don’t stress too much if you are not able to get ~ 80% in those tests
  • Focus on the steps we take as Project Managers for planning- For example, Planning always starts with identifying stakeholders and finishes with refining the schedule (compress the schedule)
  • Practice giving at least one exam every day (50 Questions is enough) in 30 minutes especially during the last 2 weeks

All the best!

Robin Singh, PMP

About Robin Singh

  • I am a certified PMP working as a Senior Consultant in United Health Group. I manage projects with a team of industrial engineers to identify bottlenecks in the business processes cohesively with the technology teams to deliver solutions which maximize the output of businesses.
  • I excel at developing innovative, customer-focused solutions to drive organizational efficiencies and help meet strategic goals.
  • Beyond my professional achievements, I climb mountains and travel to see new worlds within worlds.


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