My PMP Exam Prep In 3 Weeks: Swati Popli, PMP

PMP exam prep under 2 weeks or 3 weeks is not impossible, but such instances are mostly considered outliers if you were to draw an exam prep Bell curve. Another such instance I recall immediately is of Noorulayn, who did it in 2 weeks.

If you have spent a long time preparing and still not very confident of it, it is okay. If it is of any help, I took close to 3 years (yes, years!) from the first time I planned my PMP exam prep to finally really get it done.

The idea is to make a plan, stick to it as much as possible, make adjustments along the way, and get it done.

-Shiv Shenoy

pmp exam prep swati

My PMP Exam Prep: Beginning of the long, short journey: Swati Popli

Hi Shiv, I want to share my PMP exam prep story with your readers. It indeed is a great feeling passing the PMP exam. Actually feels nothing less than conquering Himalayas. 🙂

pmp swati infosysMy PMP journey started last year in August when I had enrolled for training program for a week. Post training I did do one round of study for PMBOK as well as Rita Mulcahy but that was more of scanning.

These books were not able to bind me well as they were too exhaustive and verbose. Post one reading of books, from October 2015 to June 2016, I was pretty much held in my assignments, which did not leave me with much time to study.

My books were packed away and it was like out-of-sight-out-of-mind story. In late May I received Paper Submission event from PMI and I logged into their site, only to realize that my membership was expiring on 31st July. I was planning to take personal time off for June and it worked perfectly well with my plans of passing PMP exam.

So essentially my PMP preparation was 3 weeks. And here’s my schedule.

My 3-Week study schedule (little over 150 hrs)

I studied from June 1st to June 20th and cleared my PMP exam on 21st June. During these 3 weeks, I did plan the breakup. Below is the snapshot that I followed.

pmp study schedule swai pmp

Since the material for PMP is vast, post my one read, I jumped on to mock tests.

Initially my score was too low and I started with 50% but I spend equal time analyzing where I had gone wrong.

On a daily basis for around 5 days, I gave 2 mock tests everyday and analyzed where I was going wrong.

Primarily I took tests from the following resources –

..and found them very useful.

Shiv: Find my recommended free PMP exam prep tests here.

I also scanned questions on Rita, M Fahad Usmani and Internal Infosys Portals which helped me bridge my gap.

All in all, I believe my preparation was question based approach and it clarified lot of concepts. I would have practiced over 4000 questions.

With just 5 days of exhaustive mock exams, my score had reached to about 85% to 90% and I felt more confident.

Then I decided to do one last round of PMBOK and Rita’s book for the topics where I had more incorrect answers.

I was traveling on 20th June as exam was in Delhi and I scanned through both books while on the move and it helped brushing up finer details.

Also read: How you can use this blog and resources as a ‘PMP coach’ to accelerate your PMP prep

Other PMP exam prep resources I used

  • Besides this for almost 3 weeks during my preparation, on a daily basis I answered question posted by Shiv on PMP Exam notes, Tips and Resources group on Facebook. Quality of these questions are really good and thought provoking.
  • I also installed 2 apps on my iPhone which had good question bank which I usually used to scroll before signing off for the day. Explanation on these questions is pretty detailed in these apps.
  • I also mugged Process Chart as per PMBoK, it definitely helps you get few questions correct on exam.

If I had to give one solid prep tip..

that would be to use the 15 minutes given before the exam for exam interface study to draw the process chart and brain dump on paper.

This can be very valuable during the exam. You also won’t have the pressure to recall formulas and lists etc during the exam.

Ad: Master PMP concepts using the series ‘Ace Your PMP Exam’ – 12 books of pure, filtered, simplified concepts to learn in brain-friendly way, so you can answer any question on the exam.

ace your pmp exam series kindle

The exam day

Though I had my exam scheduled on 21st June at 12.30 noon, I was anxious and called Prometric to check if they could accommodate me in first batch – 8.30AM. They obliged and it worked well for me.

During 4 hours on the exam I felt that I managed my time well.

  • For initial 100 questions I took almost 2 hours 10 mins.
  • I took 5 mins break and did another 100 questions in 1 hour.
  • I had approx. 30 mins to re-visit marked questions.

The moment you click on Submit button and anxiousness is on its peak, system presents you with 7 question feedback survey.

I quickly sculled through to get the output. Needless to day I was elated to see the ‘congratulations’ message on the screen. 🙂

I hope this will help people in their own PMP exam prep. Good luck!

Swati Popli, PMP

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Mohammad February 1, 2023, 2:38 pm

    in 2014 , I passed my PMP exam in 12 days , 5 hours a day . the only motive to do so was that I did not have an option .. it was either take it or leave it .. I guess if I were given more time I would take it all …

  • Omar January 9, 2017, 7:10 pm

    Hi Shiv,

    I was impressed with your plan you stick with it to pass PMP exam. I need your advice about Fast Track Rita questions. And If I want to buy Mock Exam . where shall I go (8) or (9) mock exams ?


    • Shiv Shenoy January 18, 2017, 11:46 pm

      Hi Omar,

      Thank you for your msg, am glad to see you found PMESN content useful.
      Unfortunately, I have not validated all simulators in the market. I know there are good ones and I have validated only two top simulators. You can read me review of them here and here. Hope you’ll find enough pointers to help in your research.



  • Soni December 12, 2016, 8:55 pm

    Truly inspiring. Many Congratulations

  • Najeeb November 28, 2016, 7:01 am

    Can you please share the Apps you used for this preparation.

    I also have 3 weeks to prepare and would be following the schedule you posted .


    • Shiv Shenoy December 16, 2016, 6:49 am

      Hi Najeeb,
      Please refer to the PMP Resources.. -> Resource List menu page above to see suggestions on PMP apps. Hope that helps.

  • Kalander August 3, 2016, 2:45 am

    This is one of the best site I came across. People sharing their journey in preparing for the prestigious PMP credential is truly inspiring to others. Great work shiv !!

  • Puneet July 27, 2016, 7:26 am

    Truly inspiring