PMP certification takes a lot from you.
Commitment. Focus. Tenacity.
Markus Chizyuka battled and defied the odds to get his PMP.
His exam experience shows that with the basics done right, PMP is doable irrespective of the challenges.
Spend the next 5 minutes stealing some of his strategies.
Grab my free PMP course to supercharge your PMP study!
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m Markus. I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management.
Currently, I’m working as a freelancer for Vocal Motion Six as a Product Development manager, and I have experience working as a Project manager in the Hospitality and entertainment industry, as well as in Construction.
I live in a small town called Rundu, our capital city is Windhoek in Namibia, a country rich with natural resources with a population of fewer than 2 million people.
There is a lot to see in this beautiful country so I make it a point to travel a lot. Reading and making music with my friends are my hobbies.
What made you take up PMP certification?
My dream of getting PMP certified began back in 2018 while I was studying for my Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management.
During the course, the professors kept referring to the PMBOK, which aroused my interest.
After doing some research in regard to the best Project Management Certification Programs, I come to the conclusion that PMP was the standard. Even in the comparison with PRINCE2 or any other Project Management credentials out there.
I knew that it was exactly the credential I needed on my CV.
Now that you are PMP certified, how do you foresee the future?
I needed a change in my career path and I believe this credential is the right step in that direction.
This is helping me cement my authority as a knowledgeable Project Manager and to make a positive impact in my work, confidently running projects.
It’s exciting to observe that people are paying much attention to what I have to say, my opinion, my “voice” matters. Suddenly I can be heard, no longer invincible!
I can back up what I say and know all thanks to the PMP study, am looking forward to a brighter future already!
That’s fantastic! What’s the one thing you think is essential for a PMP aspirant?
As a PMP aspirant, the most essential thing to have is Vision.
Envision what difference the PMP credential would bring in your career and life. Moving you from your current position to where you aspire to be.
Then you create a plan to achieve this vision.
Treat the PMP study as a Project, and yourself as its program manager.
Choose the main resources for the study that you can rely on and trust.
Be excited about what you are about to become, what you are about to achieve, and go after it with everything you have.
Develop a habit of studying every day.
Just like an athlete trying for a marathon, exercise to develop endurance and muscles – in our case, study to gain a deep understanding of concepts.
You may come across a lot of roadblocks, and potholes along the way – commitments to family, friends, or work deadlines.
Take all these as part of the journey, our end goal or aim is to join the winning team, celebrate the milestones reached during the study, keeping our eyes fixed on the prize.
I am not the brightest of students nor the smartest. I never got a 90%, not even 80% on my simulation exams. I did not get all Above Target in all domains.
The aim is to study and show yourself approved. I am PMP Certified now and so will you.
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Can you share the study materials you used?
Get in touch with a coach, teacher, or someone who knows ins and outs of PMP preparation.
Get the right materials, stick to whatever advice and tips they give you, and do not get distracted by all the noise from outside.
Even if you fail in mock tests, take a short break, reevaluate your process and plan, trust the process and pass the exam.
I failed the first time I took it in April.
I took a retrospective of my process, and my study materials, and got myself
- Shiv’s new PMP Simulator
- Joseph Phillips’s course
- ‘Ace your PMP Exam’ book series, which become my companion
- Head First PMP: By Jennifer Green and Andrew Stallman, Amazon
- Agile Practice Guide: By Project Management Institute, Amazon
I’d say, do not memorize any concepts at all, perhaps only the formulas.
Thanks for being part of PMExamSmartNotes community. Can you please share how it helped?
In the first place, PMExamSmartNotes gave me the courage of setting up and locking in my examination date.
Shiv also explained and made clear to me that despite having a bunch of resources, it’s better to narrow it down to at least the top 2 or 3 that I enjoy learning from, in order to build a solid PMP preparation strategy.
I followed his advice & recommendation and here we are today, am actually amazed by him that he was not selfish in advising me or promoting only his resource. He did neither. I got respect for you sir, you are an amazing person and it’s great knowing you for sure. Thanks for having our backs in making us better at this trade.
Shiv’s latest simulator on Udemy cemented my confidence, I walked into the exam room confidently knowing what I knew because I had done the work and trusted the process.
The amazon books were my daily companion even now after passing my PMP, I still refer to them, they did it for me, and am confident they will also do it for anyone else.
It can be quite overwhelming to choose the right resources from all this noise. But thankfully with a friend like Shiv in your corner, you can not go wrong in making the right choices.
Did you face any challenges along the way?
Besides the everyday noise all around us, I had quite an interesting and eventful journey toward my certification.
During my preparations, my wife of 10 years left, and though things couldn’t get worse, due to Covid-19, the company I was working for had a restructuring and had to let me go as well, that was not an easy time.
Despite these issues & blockers, I had to keep my eyes fixed on the prize.
How did you prepare in the week before exam?
I took all of my simulation exams, identified my weak areas, and studied for the gaps.
I also reread my study notes and read the PMP cheat sheet, very powerful material.
On the morning of the exam day, I revised the concepts, got into the exam room & passed the exam!
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Can you share your exam experience?
My examination experience was like none other, in the sense that we can not really tell what would come in the exam, so have to be prepared for anything.
The time run by so fast that I did not notice 4 hours had already gone by.
I was the only one taking this type of examination, the staff was very warm, professional and friendly. They made me feel comfortable, I did not experience any type of issues at all, and I took both my breaks.
I had 65% to 70% Agile and hybrid questions, only a couple of questions with pairing & matching types.
The questions were pretty tricky and a few of them bit complex. They required one to really think as a Project manager or Scrum Master in all scenarios.
From my experience, one needs to pick up and maintain a healthy pace from the very first question.
When you get stuck with a question, avoid spending unnecessary time on one question. spending 2-3 minutes trying to crack the question is not advisable. I recommend marking it for Review and moving on.
What I found is that, you are being tested as a Project manager in decision-making in a tight project situation.
Would you have any suggestions for PMP aspirants?
- Get your study materials from tried and tested sources
- Study to feel comfortable, no matter how long it seems to be taking
- Trust the process and take in all the guidance, advice, and tips offered.
- PMP is not a sprint, so definitely take progressive elaboration to study.
- Avoid memorizing, rather learn to understand.
- Put a plan to study at least 2 hours every day, no matter the situation,
- Make it a priority to study and celebrate the milestones achieved.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity & privilege to share my PMP journey and experience. I’m hoping this can inspire at least one person to achieve their PMP goal, and then it would be truly a game changer for me.
Markus M. Chizyuka, PMP