Use PMP® Effort To Grow As Better Project Manager – Jino Ranjit, PMP

Want to better project manager? Take your time for PMP preparation, says Jiino Ranjit, PMP.“What helped me really was using the Simulator exams, to find out where I am lagging and improving that bit”, said Jino.

I was trying to pick his brain to understand how he passed PMP with the perfect ‘Above Target’ score.

“Also, I realized that just by giving myself enough time for a thorough preparation, I have become a better project manager”, he concluded.

Wise words, I thought.

I have seen many students taking a ‘slam-dunk’ approach to PMP preparation.

They give themselves 2-3 weeks and cramp their daily schedule with 5-6 hours of daily study schedule.

This might work for some.

Although, this might be also a great recipe for burnout.

I think what might be prudent to do is to make small adjustments to the daily routine.

Add a 1-hour slot or 2 slots of 30 minutes (one each in the morning and evening) for study.

Then align it with a study plan.

Reflecting on what you study, applying it to your current project.

I mean, TRULY enjoying the study process, and passing the exam becomes like a predestined side effect.

What’s great is that you come out a better project manager in the process.

Jino gave himself 5 months to do exactly the same.

And did it in style – all 3 Above Target score. ?

Jino Ranjit has a master’s in computer applications and working as a senior consultant for an IT company in Tokyo, Japan. In his free time, Jino plays piano or joys cycling.

Read on to know how he did it, and maybe how you can use some of his techniques to ease your PMP efforts.

What made you take up PMP®? Did you consider any other certification exams?

Project Management Professional is a globally recognized professional certification, and I dreamt of being a part of that elite group for a long time.

PMP certified, Jinoi RanjitAnother reason for me was the better prospects that “PMP” against my name can bring. No matter how many projects one has worked on, PMP teaches valuable skills including management of personnel, tasks, and complex projects, to contribute to the organization’s growth.

In my research, I did not find a better alternative than PMP certification.

Now that I am certified, I think this will enable me to take on more challenging responsibilities.

While studying, I have been able to learn and demonstrate project management skills, which is such a win. I am aware of terminologies, processes, and developments – a much broader perspective of project management.

Which study resources did you use for your preparation?

I used the following –

I did go through a lot of YouTube videos – mainly for mock exams with an explanation of answers.

I took many free mock exams, which helped me a lot during the final stages of my preparation.

Also read:

You mentioned you made a 5-month study plan. How did you structure it?

Yes, I went with a 5-month study plan where I first completed reading PMBOK, then I started going through Rita, and ended with a lot of simulator exams. Some may feel 5 months is a long time (initially I did too), I have realized that by giving myself enough time to really truly understand the concepts and reflect on them as applicable to my own work, I have become a better project manager.

I didn’t spend too much time on formulas as I already knew there not going to be much asked on the exam.

After understanding the concepts mentioned under various processes in PMBOK and Rita, I finally jumped onto the Agile practice guide, where I made sure that I understood the concept of Agile and Hybrid approaches.

Finally, mock exams were truly the game-changer for me.

I went for one paid mock exam and the rest all were free mock exams on the internet.

Watched many YouTube videos and learned the selection techniques for scenario-based questions. I’d suggest completing the study and then taking as many mock exams as much as you can. There are many free mocks scattered on the internet – but choose them well! Older ones (not updated for PMBOK changes) might cause a lot of confusion.

Study hall provided by PMI is very useful that prepares you for the final exam.

Great point on how the prep helps to be a better project manager! Did you face any challenges along the way?

Sitting 4 hours for a mock exam was a big stress (:-)) and managing these study plans amidst busy work and family life was the biggest challenge.

I’m a morning person. I found more time in the early mornings to practice these exams. Sacrificed many weekends for executing my study plans, and it was worth it.

I took 4-hour mock tests twice a week for 2 months to make myself comfortable with the challenge of the real exam.

The week before the exam is crucial. What was your approach to study during this week?

I took a day off from studies the week before my exam and went to Disneyland to let go of some exam stress. It was much needed to recharge my batteries. I would suggest taking a small break, which helps you to regroup yourself before exams.

In the last week, I went through all the notes I made during the initial days of my preparation.

Did not stretch much on the previous day, slept well, and didn’t even bother looking at my study material on the day of my exam. Simply went in and gave it my best.

Also read: Here’s how to study in the ‘golden week’ before your PMP exam

What was your exam experience like?

I opted for the test center exam, as I did not want the unnecessary risk of a dropped internet connection, or the additional time for the pre-checks and onboarding, for example.

The ambiance of the test center also helped me get into the ‘exam-mode’, I guess.

I took the mandatory 10-minutes break after every 60 questions. During the break, I had snacks and juice.

Questions were mostly Agile and hybrid with situational questions and all it required was being project-situation-awareness and common sense to know how and what would you do first in these situations.

Time management is very important.

I spent less time on easy questions and more time on difficult questions.

Kept checking on the timer for every 5 questions or so, which gave me an idea about how to pace the exam. On average, I kept one minute per question.

Overall, I had just one formula-based question. The moment I felt a question was tough, I selected one of the options and moved ahead without wasting time.

This was my personal approach to the exam, and I would recommend coming up with one when you take mock tests.

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Would you like to share any specific study tips, advice, techniques, or strategies for those preparing for their PMP® exam?

Of course. I did learn from other successful PMPs’ experiences, so I hope some of my insights might help others as well.

  1. Don’t worry about ITTOs – focus more on understanding the concepts, and don’t waste time memorizing content.
  2. Pick all the important keywords in PMBOK and go through them one by one – this enabled me to understand concepts easily.
  3. Make your own notes throughout the course of your preparation. This will come in handy for revision before the exam.
  4. Take as many mock exams as you can. One paid, and the rest can be free mock exams (again, make sure they are aligned with the current exam syllabus).
  5. Take the advice shared by PMP experts on how to approach the exam.
  6. Go over your wrong answers on the mock exams and work on those areas. Most of the errors might be due to carelessness or being impatient in reading the questions!
  7. Take a break from your studies now and then to let your brain process the information.
  8. Lastly, don’t hurry with your preparation. Take the time to internalize and reflect on what you study. Take PMP as a vehicle to become a better project manager. It most certainly helps you in discussions with your hiring manager as well!

Talking about becoming a better project manager, do check out these 81 tips.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the success.

Jino Ranjit, PMP


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