‘Planning + 2Weeks Off = PMP Exam Success’, by Sai Rudramaina, PMP

pmp exam success saiSai passed his PMP exam recently and when I asked if he wishes to share his secrets of PMP exam success, he readily agreed to write an article sharing all that he did to pass the exam.

Sai Rudramaina is a versatile project manager with proficiency in driving projects and leading cross-functional teams to consistently meet key project deliverables. He lives in Canada, is a foodie, and a self-confessed basketball analyst, and when not doing anything he dreams of being a singer.

If you’d like to connect with Sai to get help for your exam prep, his LinkedIn profile link is available at the end of this article.

So here we go!

The trigger

pmp - saiI took PMI REP training several years ago at my work place but never really had the time to take the exam. I am now moving to another country and decided to take the PMP!

The study resources

I had about 2 months to prepare and I am more of watch-videos kind of a person and so this is what I did –

1. Went through Ricardo Vargas’ process flow video on YouTube. It gave me a perspective of the PMBOK 6.

2. Watch the video tutorial by Saket Bansal chapter wise.

3. Watch the same chapter tutorial by Joseph Phillips and complete the assignments at the end of the chapter

4. Read the same chapter in the ‘The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try’ book by Andy Crowe and complete the assignments at the end of the chapter

I repeated this process for all the chapters and only referred to the PMBOK when i needed more clarity.

Just a few days before my exam, I talked to Scott Payne who told me about his book titled ‘PMP Exam Master Prep’ – It is hands-down the best PMP preparation book I have gone through. He has a unique approach of presentation – process group approach, and the book is filled with loads of case studies which gives you an almost practical exposure to all the processes and procedures.

I took the full length exams of Joseph Phillips, Andy Crowe and Scott Payne and all of them were really very helpful.

Also Read: Ruth Hunter shows how to crush your PMP exam by being Slow and ‘Study’!

The study approach & plan

I prepared for 2 months; spent about 3 hours every day and on the weekends, I spent more time to revise everything I read that week.

The last 15 days, I took off from work and spent more than 10 hours per day to prepare.

I finished all the reading and videos in 45 days and then the last 15 days i spent on assignments, sample exams, revision, crib sheets for last min revision, etc.


Continued focus on preparation is what I had trouble with. Work, personal life always got in the way of my preparation.

It helped when I told people at work that I am taking the PMP, they helped me a lot. And of course family plays a major role in giving you the time you need.

The week before PMP exam

The last one week I just went through the consolidated notes that I prepared during studying.

I signed up for the cram session videos by Joseph Phillips on Udemy. I also spent time tying everything up together.

It is easy to read all the 49 processes and all the chapters of the PMBOK but it is important to tie everything together and see a bigger picture.

Also Read: Sayeenand shows a simple method he used to his PMP exam success.

The exam experience!

The actual exam was tougher and lengthier than the practice exams.

It took me a lot more time (3hrs 15 min) than the average time I took for completing the practice exams (2.5 hrs) leaving me with about 40 minutes to review all the marked questions (about 45 of them).

Study tips for PMP exam success

  • Do not rush into taking the PMP; take your time. It is not easy to read all the 49 processes with a full time job and a personal life to manage.
  • Once you have read everything, the most important thing is to tie everything together.
  • Passing the PMP is more of a mental challenge than anything. You need to believe in yourself during the exam, trust your judgement and if your experience and education says that this is the best answer choice for a question, then it is; do not doubt yourself and think too much.
  • Have a process in place and stick by it. If you are able to put honest effort, you will be a PMP without a doubt.

Good luck!

Sai Rudramaina, PMP

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