PMP Exam Prep Notes is The Key to Success – Neetu Bodhi, PMP

Neetu Bodhi is a Bachelor of Engineering – IT from Mumbai University, with work experience of 8 years. She worked as a SAP BASIS consultant on implementation projects and decided to take up PMP as a way of enhancing her project management skills. Her core strategy was self-creating PMP exam prep notes.

Neetu is a voracious reader, swimmer, trekker and traveler. She is a passionate artist and runs a small setup where she makes Tiffany style stained glass items and mosaic items, as a hobby.

What triggered your desire to take up PMP exam?

PMP neetu bodhiAfter having worked for almost 8 years in consulting environment, I decided to go on a sabbatical and explore other areas of my interest. It was a conscious decision to take a break from chaotic work life and see if I could make a living out of my passion for art.

Since, it didn’t work out the way I expected I wanted to come back to work life. While working on implementation projects, I’d realized I was enjoying managerial challenges more than technical (I happen to be a SAP Basis consultant). The former role needed me to juggle multiple aspects of project management and helped me realize I multi-tasked well.

This is what triggered me to look for project management education – something that would help me prepare for PM role better.

After some research I decided to go with PMI PMP certification because it covers all aspects of project management.

Now that you are PMP certified, what changes would you foresee in near future?

First, PMP will help me greatly to make a “come back” in corporate career. I am armed with fair bit of knowledge to tackle PM challenges, and my previous experience will help me take this up confidently.

Now that I am more confident about my choices, I shall explore opportunities which are more aligned with project management.

Which study resources did you consider?

I used PMBOK (PMI members get free pdf) and Rita Mulcahy for my preparation.

Also, I enrolled for classroom training at my local PMI chapter, and used the PMP exam prep notes they gave me. It was a condensed form of PMBOK.

Other resources would be notes from PM Exam SmartNotes (access from the menu above), and few random YouTube videos.

Brain-friendly techniques to ace your PMP exam, used by toppers

Video explanations of knowledge areas, memory aids, mind maps, exam simulators, secret techniques to identify and answer any questions in seconds, techniques to answer ITTO questions, knowledge capsules, flashcards, cheat sheets, brain dump – this PMP certification training contains everything you need to ace your PMP exam on your first attempt. Grab to pass your exam before the NEW PMP exam kicks in!

How did you approach the exam and what was your exam study plan?

I decided to study Knowledge Area wise, taking up one at a time.

This is the sequence I went with –

Study notes by PMI -> Rita -> PMBOK -> Rita again ->PMBOK again.

Also, I always made my own handwritten notes since childhood, and I followed the same practice with PMP prep as well.

My self-made PMP exam prep notes were enormous help as I referred to these the day before exam for revision.

I made a chart of ITTOs which I had put up on wall where my study table is placed. It was always there in front of me to refer to.

I’d recommend you too prepare your own study notes & process chart, and stick them to someplace you can see every day.

Did you face any issues?

I stuck PMP process chart at my study desk

I realized early that PMP preparation in not a easy task to deal with. It needs total dedication and logical approach. Unless you understand the process flow thoroughly, it will be difficult to crack.

Since it is a very dry subject, maintaining interest and concentration for a long span was a challenge.

I would divide study hours evenly on all days of a week rather than studying on weekends only. This divide-and-rule approach helped me make faster progress.

Also, to test your preparation, try attempting questions which are freely available on social media (join this LinkedIn group and this Facebook page).

Taking mock tests is a good idea.

Mock tests are a good way to,

  • understand which knowledge areas need for study
  • get a sense of time-pressure you feel in the exam (so that you can plan better)
  • practice solving situational questions

But do not procrastinate taking the PMP exam based on results of these tests.

As an individual, you may find certain knowledge areas more challenging than others – for me Cost and Quality were challenging. Hence I spent more time on them.

Identify which ones are challenging for you and refine your study plan to dedicate more time for those.

Also read: Point of Total Assumption

– PMP concept you need for the exam which is NOT in PMBOK!

How did you prepare in the week prior to the exam?

Self-prepared PMP exam study notes were very helpful

Self-prepared PMP exam study notes were very helpful

Contrary to the popular belief, I reduced my study hours in the last week to just 2 hours a day!

It was more of revising the content than learning anything new.

I referred to my self-created PMP exam prep notes and ITTO charts. I’d vouch for this to be a crucial prep strategy.

What was your exam experience like?

I reached the exam center well before time, and I was asked to take the test immediately as they had test terminals available.

Security checks do induce some amount of nervousness and yes, I was nervous.

Half an hour into the test, I felt like I would never make it….everything seemed confusing.

That’s when I recollected my nerves and started attempting every question calmly.

I took one break of 2 mins to drink water.

By the time I attempted all the 200 questions, I was left with 9 mins of spare time to go over marked questions.

What are specific study tips and advice you’d like to share?

  • No part of the PMP syllabus can be left as option, you have to understand everything.
  • Make a study plan which is realistic and evenly spread across all days of the week. You may have a cheat day in between.
  • Going through PMBOK is a must, it helped me a lot.
  • Stick to one or two study resources. More than that as it will only add confusion.
  • Though I did mug up ITTO initially when I started, I think it only makes sense to understand them thoroughly.
  • Do not over prepare, do not fall prey to student’s syndrome. 2 months of sincere effort is more than enough to sail though.
  • Knowing myself well, I took the exam date first and then started preparing. It worked for me to have a target date.
  • During the exam, time management is very important; make sure you don’t lose sense of time.
  • Lastly, make sure you know well whatever you have learned.

Best of luck,

Neetu Bodhi, PMP


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