My Simple PMP® Test Preparation Mantra, Akanksha Jain, PMP

PMP test prep became easier by studying every day, explains Akanksha JainAfter passing her PMP® test, in this post, Akanksha Jain explains how she went about preparing for it. Her insights are quite significant for PMP® aspirants, the one I liked most is how studying every single day builds the compounging effect.

Akanksha has over 9 years of rich experience in IT field. She’s a winner of prestigious awards such as Chief Minister’s Bal Shri award. Bogging, singing, and writing poetry are some of her hobbies.

What made you take up PMP®?

akanksha-jain-pmpHaving the letters “PMP” after my name has been one of my dream since I began my project management career.

When I used to see PMP® certified project managers, it always motivated me to gain the knowledge needed to be a professional PM one day.

Finally, that day came recently when I passed my exam.

Also read:This particular practice made the exam simpler for me“, shares Ashish after passing his PMP® test.

How do you see PMP® helping you now that you are certified?

PMP® certification holds global recognition hence its value is way more than having any other certifications, in my view. PMP® certification will definitely help me grow into project management world.

Also, this is a chance for me to keep updating myself with the latest development in the project management field.

I love the newfound confidence that I can manage any type of project in any industry because I understand the principles and I am equipped with the necessary tools now.

Which study resources did you consider for your exam preparation?

I started going through Udemy course which gave me basic knowledge about what is PMP® all about. Then I went through PMBOK to understand all the processes and their use.

I didn’t go through Rita’s book (ad) but tried some questions from the book to test my knowledge after getting prepared from PMBOK.

Also I used Udemy mocks, random mocks, Andy Crow questions etc (find more resources here).

Also read: How to gain confidence to face your PMP® exam? Learn from first-hand experience of Marc Montana here.

How did you approach the exam and what was your study plan?

The study approach depends on each individual so I would suggest creating own study plan, and sticking to the time of the day you feel fresh and energized.

Early into the study process I realized that studying every day is very much needed.

I made it a point to study 1-2 hours daily and 3-4 hours on weekends.

In my view there are many benefits of being able to study every single day.

  • it made study continuity easier and thus build on top of earlier studied concepts.
  • I was able to create a hobby of studying each day
  • setting up weekly goals became easy, if I slipped on the goal I had the weekend to cover it
  • over few weeks I was able to pick up pace due to the momentum that was created

Of course, as a working professional it was hard for me to find out time to study every day, but then I told myself, “if you are passionate about something then you have to manage it“.

I made it a point to pick up and go through any project management related book to gain related knowledge.

Did you face any difficulties along the way?

I’d rather look at them as challenges to tackle.

Every step was a challenge for me as I had to manage my study routine, understand PMP® criteria, application and own thought process. It is important to understand things as project manager and get into the habit of thinking like a project manager.

Challenge lies here as we tend to apply our professional experience to answer the exam questions, but that may not work well. I realized that I need to grasp PMP® methodologies & practices and answer the questions in same way as PMI requires.

Also read: Srija shares her magical 3-step approach that earned her PMP® certification, here.

What was your approach to study during the crucial week before the PMP® test?

My plan for the week before the exam to spend on revision. So I went through notes which I had prepared by my own, revised all processes and important ITTOs, definitions and terms.

I think that if we have prepared yourself well enough during the previous weeks then the week before the exam would not make us that much scared. 🙂

Can you share your test experience?

I decided to lower the risks associated with taking the test online, and thus opted to take the test in a test center.

The staff was strict, and had taken proper security measures after entering the premises. I would say my overall exam experience was tough but happy one.

When my exam started I felt a bit of nerves but somehow I managed it as my aim was to complete all 200 questions within 4 hours of time and with proper attention.

I noticed that the level of complexity kept on increasing with number of questions.

Questions were really tricky but if with proper understanding and clarity of concepts, these could be dealt with; I had to be very careful reading and interpreting them properly.

After attempting all 200 questions and reviewing few when clock stopped, my heartbeat was increasing in anticipation of results of my hard work.

After clicking submit, my eyes sparkled with joy seeing the words – Congratulations, you have passed!

I had worked so hard for several months to see this message on computer and it was always in my dream.

My eyes got filled with tears of pleasure and gratitude. I was so eager to tell result to my family as they had been praying for me.

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That must be a great feeling! Would you have any specific study tips for students?

Here are few pointers based on my experience.

  1. Don’t hurry for this exam as it really tests you from every possible perspective – commitment, patience, knowledge, and perseverance.
  2. When you are reasonably confident to take the exam then only you should go for it.
  3. Go through PMBOK® or any resources that you find suitable, prepare your own notes, understand what every process is all about, how it is connected with other areas and processes. This is important because to answer questions you need to quickly understand which process it asks about.
  4. Time management is essential on the exam, as of course choosing the best option out of the given 4 options.
  5. Last but not the least, believe in yourself that you can do it!

I would like to thank my parents for always motivating me to achieve this crucial milestone. Special thanks to my younger one, my mentor Sriram who always guided me whenever I needed help, and my best friends who believed in me that I can do this.

You can pass PMP® test by taking time to create a study plan, and simply following it up to the best of your ability.

Finally, I would recommend waiting to book the test slot till you feel reasonably confident about your preparation. Truth be told, it may never feel like we are ready 🙂 But once you are done with one round of study, taking a couple of mock tests gives us a sense of preparedness.

Good luck to you,

Akanksha Jain, PMP



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