Kamal Sharma, PMP – Guard yourself against overconfidence!

pmp-lessons-learned-kamal-sharmaPMP exam for me has been a tough journey as I failed once and passed in my second attempt. I have learnt a lot and now I am ready to share my experiences. I will list them down in the form of points with the most important on the top:-

  1. Don’t be overconfident:- I did my PMP Boot camp in April last year and based on what they taught and what I was practicing in my Job, I was confident enough to clear the exam. So I applied for the certification and fixed the date to be mid-May. I didn’t read the PMBOK and just practiced around 1500 questions available on different platforms.

To my surprise, not even a single question came in the exam. It was time for reality check as the exam seemed to be from a different world altogether. The language, the scenarios all seemed alien.

Another thing I did wrong was to waste time. I reached Mumbai for the test a day ahead but wasted it by roaming around. The result was that I failed.

  1. Don’t just rely on practice questions:- If you think that by just practicing dummy questions available all over the internet, you can clear the exam, then you are in for a rude shock. Clearing your concepts is crucial.
  2. Enroll for a study program:- I always wanted to enroll for Shiv’s study program however being on a global project and with no fixed time for my Job, I couldn’t do it. Still I went through all the topics shared with me by Shiv and it helped clear my concepts.
  3. PMBOK is the Bible:- If you just read the PMBOK and plan to appear for the exam, you may still face difficulties. You will need more study resources. However, you cannot afford to not study PMBOK. The Inputs, Tools & techniques and Outputs for all the processes are very important as quite a few questions ask you the question:- what comes next?
  4. Page number 224 of the PMBOK is critical:- It contains all the formulas for the cost management knowledge area, which can be used in the schedule management knowledge area as well. Remember it well.
  5. Think USA :- Many questions test you on your knowledge on contracts. If you are an Indian, the understanding of how contracts work in India won’t be helpful. While answering contract questions, you need to think the way US contact managers think otherwise you will get it wrong. In general, stick with PMBOK content for your answers.
  6. Change Control:- Integrated change control is an important topic to study as you may get around 10-15 questions on this topic alone.
  7. Brain Dump:- Create your own Brain Dump. I took help from Shiv’s blog and created my Brain dump, which contained all the formulas and ITTO’s from Risk Management and Procurement Management (I found these two to be most difficult for me).
  8. Power/Grid :- Memorize Page 397 of PMBOK to understand the Power/Grid for stakeholder Management. There are definite questions on this area.
  9. Take Rest :- I took a 5 days off from office before the exam and took rest for one whole day before I started my final studies.

Wish you a successful PMP journey,

Kamal Sharma, PMP


Click here for my recommended PMP study resources.

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