Arumugam P. (PMP): Getting All 5 Proficient Levels Is Possible

I have passed my PMP with 5P on 28th January 2015. I need to thank my husband for this, who was pushing me all the time.

I have started my PMP preparation somewhere in June 2014, I have started with Rita Mulcahy and Head First PMP but because of my day to day schedule I could not concentrate much. In my company they offered access to Skillsoft online course through which I got 35 PDU and access to 200 PMP mock questions. Even after completing Skillsoft course I felt something missing at the same time I thought unless otherwise you set your target you will be just dragging the time, so I first got my PMP membership credential on 29th October 2014. I have applied for my PMP exam, luckily my application was not considered for audit, but I was not confident enough to schedule my exam.

I was searching for all possible resources online regarding PMP preparation, as part of my hunt I came across PMPrepcast freebie video in youtube explaining the Organisational Process Asset, I was impressed with the video.

But I could not decide on the purchase, so I further checked about PM Prepcast, I came across Shiv Shenoy’s site, Shiv has recommended PM Prepcast and also provided free books including Formula guide and 250 PMP questions. He keeps posting the discounts offered by Cornelius along with his bonus PMP books.

I believed the tagline of PM Prepcast “Watch.Learn.Succeed”, I have purchased PM Prepcast + PM Simulator bundle through Shiv on 11th November 2014 so I got 5 free e-books from him, especially formula guide and situational questions and PMP exam mock up questions were really helpful for my preparation. After purchasing Prepcast my PMP preparation geared up, I spent 3 hours per day watching the videos, instead me reading the PMP material when it was explained by somebody with proper modulation (So you won’t feel sleepy !!!) I was able to grasp things easily. Cornelius Fichtner explained the concepts clearly. My sincere thanks to Cornelius Fichtner and his team who are all involved in the Prepcast video preparation.

I have not stopped my hunt for resource, I have got access to Edwel Programs Student Edition, I liked the way Edwel explained the concepts. I was able to understand things better by going through the Edwel’s book. I used only Edwel’s book thereafter for my reference.

I watched Prepcast video, then gone through Edwel’s book finally I read through PMBOK this helped me a lot. I followed this strategy for all knowledge area.

Project management Professional Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman, helped me to understand relationship between different processes and data flow between each process better. Personally I prefer this book to have a better understanding of relationship between the processes mentioned in PMBOK.

I was just preparing by going through all the materials even now also I am not that confident to take up my final exam. Finally I decided to schedule my exam, I have scheduled my PMP exam on 28th January 2015 @ 12.30 P.M.

I have taken PMStudy free exam, I secured only 69%, I was very disappointed with my score. I analysed my weak area, I was lagging in ITTO. I started concentrating on the ITTO (some members have suggested to memorize ITTO but I would suggest to understand the data flow between different processes)then I attempted ITTO exam from PMSimulator, I have secured 85%. I was happy and felt confident about my preparation. Explanation given for the questions was very useful.

I have gone through the free mock up tests available online and started working on that, part of this activity I have gone through the explanation given for each question and got better understanding. By practising mock up exams my confident level was increasing day by day.

I started my last round of brush up one week before my exam. I have got a free e-book “Demystifying The PMP Exam_ PMCampus – Kahina Morisset” from PMcampus. This helped me to organize my revision for the exam just one week before my schedule.

My advice would be try to attempt more questions don’t bother if you score low for the first time. But try to concentrate on your weak area and go through the explanation given for each question and start thinking in the PMBOK way.

I have attempted nearly 5000+ questions from different sources including PM Exam Simulator (1800 questions) and PMZilla 300 Questions (Paid).

As part of Lesson Learned shared in PMzilla, people have shared their study notes (one liners) it helped me a lot. Even I started noting down the things and prepared my own notes for last minute revision. I keep on updating this whenever I came across any material (Explanation for the questions even if I got it right, books and explanation given in the forum for the questions raised by other members) which helped me to understand things better. This is my secret of success.

On the exam day I was very nervous, I reached the centre on time, after completing the formalities I sat for exam. As mentioned by all the people who have attempted the exam I used my 15 minutes time to write down all the formulas in the scratch sheet and important points like different estimate range and sigma values. Clock started ticking. Most of questions were related to change management and EVM. I have not got any direct ITTO questions. I have marked few questions for review during my first pass. After completing my first pass, I have gone through the questions marked for review slowly and corrected few answers.

I started my prayers and clicked End Exam, I was just starring at the screen and losing my patience before the result was shown (actually it didn’t even take 2 minutes to show the result). I was so excited after seeing the message “Congratulations on passing” on screen. I was bothered about my overall result first, then I have just gone through the result slowly, to my surprise I have cleared my exam with 5p. I was thrilled to see that result and so happy. I could not explain that feeling in words.

Special thanks to Shiv Shenoy, Edwel, PMCampus and Dave Litten

Books I have used:
1) Edwel Programs Student Edition 5.0
2) Project management Professional Exam Study Guide by Kim Heldman
3) PMBOK Guide
4) 5 free ebooks by Shiv Shenoy’s site
5) Demystifying The PMP Exam PMCampus – Kahina Morisset

1) Prepcast
2) Learn PMP Earned Value in 10 Minutes Flat, Learn PMP Critical Path In 17 Minutes Flat! by Dave Litten – YouTube Videos

Paid Exam Simulator:
1) pmp-exam-simulator
2) PMzilla 300 Questions


Arumugam P., PMP

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