My 2-Phase PMP Exam Strategy: Mukesh Singh, PMP

pmp exam strategy mukeshHello Shiv, I Passed PMP and would like to thank you for your smart notes. Thanks for your good work and contribution to PM Community and here is my PMP Exam Strategy and Lesson Learned [trust me while writing it I am feeling very proud :-)]

I came to know about your blog just 3 weeks before my exam day but still found it very useful. Though I missed subscribing to PM PrepCast through your blog I recommended because it helps saving exam prep cost & additional exam material.

pmp mukesh singhI planned PMP study in 2 Phases.

Phase 1: Prepare yourself and Apply to PMI (2-3 months)

Find out a mentor or Join PMP Forums like PMzilla/ PMHUB/LinkedIn forums and go through lessons learned to understand basics of PMP.

Subscribe to Study Blueprint for your daily study notes and guides. Also, use the offers to get video lessons of PM PrepCast & Exam Simulator bundle together as it is cost effective.

Register to PMI to get yourself a PDF copy of PMBOK & guidebook for EVM for free.

Complete pre-test and chapter end tests of PM PrepCast (must).

Obtain your 35 contact hours and apply for PMP. It will take 1-3 weeks (depends if you are audited or not).

Complete your first round of study for PMBOK guide along with PM PrepCast and other guidebook (I used one written by Kim Heldman).

Go through the exam notes sent by Shiv or visit PMStudyCircle, Edward-Designer, Deepfriedbrain  and similar sites. These blogs are maintained by veteran PMPs. They explain difficult concepts really well.

Take pre-course and chapter end test of your PMP book. Also take minimum first 5 mock tests from Christopher Scordo question bank (its free for PMI registered members).

Also read: PMP Certification – How I Earned Mine Without PMBOK, By Jackie W. Gibbs

Phase 2: Schedule your Exam and become a PMP (2-3 months)

Find out a study partner to discuss your understanding about PMBOK topics. Not necessary your partner should be preparing for PMP. I made my wife as my Study Partner and started explaining PMBOK concepts to her. I was amazed by her out-of-box and innovative tips to understand and memorize difficult PMBOK concepts (she is ex-professor of an Engineering college and now a happy homemaker).

Based on Phase 1 tests result and your gut feeling please schedule your examination date. I scheduled within 45 days but due to busy schedule at work I felt It was a mistake. Please consider worst case scenario before scheduling your exam date.

Activate your Exam Simulator. it’s still waiting for your command 🙂 – really great thought of Cornelius.

On weekdays please try 50 Questions Quiz (Timed or Learning || Random or KA Based or Domain based). Every weekends, go for full 4-hour simulation tests. It was the best feature I liked about exam simulator (though I tried only 1 full exam due to aggressive exam date, I recommend that you go for as many as you can. You fill find comfortable in actual exam.

Complete remaining mock tests from Christopher Scordo question Bank (Specially Ch#13 to Ch#18). Get it from PMI PMI, here or from Amazon, here.

Please take maximum possible mock tests from below free sources.

  • Oliver Lehmann 175 Q & 75Q, PMP For Sure, PM Study, HeadFirst, Edwell, Frank T Anbari etc.
  • Create your own notes for quick revision. Also, revisit blogs mentioned in point (8) in phase 1. You will understand these blogs better now.
  • Try to understand and align your thoughts with PMI Ethics (Think like an Angel).
  • Please memorize Pg 61 of PMBOK and EVM, Communication Channel, EMV, Standard Deviation formulas and practice them as much as possible.
  • Please do not try to memorize ITTOs. Understanding them is enough to answer ITTO based questions on the exam.

Also read: PMP Success Guide for ‘Old School, DIY Project Manager’, By Tom Harvey, PMP

1 Week before Exam

  • Start telling yourself that your PM Concepts are amazing. You know it right.
  • Close your eyes and revise PMBOK Pg 61, above mentioned formulas or write it down on paper on daily basis.
  • Writing it down will help you creating Braindump quickly.
  • Attempt an exam simulation with Braindump to be prepared on how to refer it in exam.
  • Take a very good rest and sleep well, night before examination.
  • Visit your examination center. Confirm about your understanding of Identity Card which you will produce. (I took examination in Osaka, Japan so just in case I confirmed it as well.)
  • Understand the temperature at Exam center and plan your dressing for examination day. I found Osaka Test center very cool so planned 2 layered dress so that I am comfortable dressed.

Also read: My PMP Certification Journey, By Jideofor Ebeogu, PMP

Examination Day

As my mentor (Mr. Jitendra Maharana, PMP, PMI-ACP) mentioned “ATTEMPT LIKE A KING”, I was filled with confidence and energy and attempted like a King.

Guru-Mantra: Your Exam is Unique and do not follow what other says about number of questions asked to them on a particular topic. Please prepare for all 5 Domains, All Knowledge Areas & Processes. Please do not memorize but understand them thoroughly. And yeah.. Attempt Like a King….


Mukesh Singh, PMP


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