A Researcher’s Approach to PMP Goal – by Hassan Aboelnga, PMP

pmp goal hassan aboelngaI am a Civil Engineer by profession and my focus is on the Asset Management of Urban Water Infrastructure Systems.  Since beginning of this year I began to work seriously on my PMP goal.

PMP Certification, which is one of the most demanded credentials in project management was my step to the career progress. It is my belief that it would be a solid step for project managers in dealing with difficult and emerging challenges, especially when it come to the water crisis and climate change.

hassan aboelnga pmpSeveral challenges confront managers today and these challenges are mainly arising from the significant change in the outside world. Dealing with complexity and diversity requires visionary leadership in managers. The managers will need to shift their approaches and philosophy to resilience management in face of the water crisis and climate change.

Thus I achieved my PMP goal on my 1st attempt.

In this article I would like to share my experiences with you.

Exam Preparation

First, I made up my mind 3 months ago on why I should acquire this certification. Convincing myself on the need of this certificate for my career growth ensured that I got into the right mindset.

Keep it simple – I chose just 2 books and a bunch of mock tests. When it comes to PMP, less is more!

Next, I defined a strategy for preparation and tried to stay on the target.

I studied approximately 4 hrs each day on weekdays and 6-8 Hrs on weekend during initial 2 months. In last month of exam, I continued same vigor on weekday but increased my efforts on the weekends to 10-12 hrs.

Also Read: Preparing for PMP or CAPM exam? You can’t afford to miss this information.

Study Material

I studied from just 3 resources –

Here is a bit detailed account –

  • In the 1st Pass, I read Rita’s book in about 3 weeks.
  • Then I spent next 3 weeks to go over and understand the PMBOK guide.
  • Next, I studied both Rita and PMBOK books in parallel, chapter wise, and resolved questions given at end of each chapter. This took me approximately 2 weeks of time.

Special technique to study ITTOs

While there is fear about ITTO based questions, I think most of this is unwarranted. Nevertheless, it is important to understand how ITTOs work in any given process. This understanding itself will prepare you to answer those ITTO based questions on the exam.

With over 615+ ITTOs it is not easy to go over and understand. If not anything, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

So, here’s what I did.

I took prints of ITTO pages from PMBOK and simply went over them everyday – in last 3 weeks prior to exam.

Also Read: How I used KISS Principle for PMP success, by Arijit Dutt, PMP

Shifting gears in the last 3 weeks

I cannot stress enough the importance of last 3 weeks before the exam. Just by being aware of the limited remaining time, your prep is bound to get into a new level.

I created a small 10 page summary sheet and started updating important terms and concepts during my study of Rita Book & PMBOK guide.

During revisions too, I kept noting down important items chapter wise and as I encountered new terms (i.e. Peter’s Halo Effect or Vroom Theory).

The last piece of the PMP study puzzle

..was mock tests.

I simply took lots and lots of online mock tests (sources shared above).

This included 3 complete 4-hrs 200 questions tests.

In the exam, I created a brain dump during a tutorial time of 15 mins. Although this strategy seemed like wasting 15 minutes of the time upfront without answering even a single question, this helped me in 2 ways –

  1. Happy frame of mind. I knew that I had access to all formulas and difficult stuff whenever I needed. If it came to lack of time at the end of the exam, I wouldn’t be going blank, or making any mistakes with formulas
  2. Actually using what I have studied by 100% focus during the exam and making quick progress.

I definitely recommend you take this approach, at least during your 4-hr mock tests, and see if you find it beneficial.

Go ahead, write down your PMP goal and get set to achieve it.

I wish you good luck in the exam.

Hassan Aboelnga, PMP

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