Spend Just 10 mins a Day to Gain Enormous Confidence in Your PMP Study!

ninja tips to get most out of PMBOKHow comfortable do you feel about your understanding of PMBOK so far?

For a long time I struggled to get a ‘hang’ of PMBOK. I knew that irrespective of which other study resource(s) I used I must go through PMBOK few times. But none of those resources really taught me how to get a hold on PMBOK’s contents. In this two part post series I will share my key findings (I’d like to call Ninja Tips 🙂 ) that have helped me do just that.

It is absolutely critical that you remember the names of all knowledge areas, process groups and processes and know which KA and PG each of the processes fall in. This is so important that I am going to repeat it –

It is absolutely critical that you remember the names of all knowledge areas, process groups and processes and know which KA and PG each of the processes fall in.

If you are able to recall these at will, you can feel so much more confident about overall PMP study.

The good news is that you can get this understanding within 1-2hrs of overall effort spread over only few days. As little as 10-15min every day is all that you need! Here you go!

Step 1 – Know your Process Groups

You pretty much should know the process groups names by now. If not, no worries, understand this example below.

Project process groups explained

  1. Initiating: You decide that you want to have coffee.
  2. Planning: You put together the necessary vessels, sieve, sugar, tea powder, milk and filtered water.
  3. Executing: Put the vessel on stove, pour water, boil it, add tea powder, milk and sugar. Stir as needed, and sieve into the cup.
  4. Monitoring and Controlling: Make sure you are adding right quantity of water, tea powder, milk and sugar. Take caution to not over-boil the content. While sieving ensure that tea doesn’t spill over you.
  5. Closing: Throw out the left-over tea powder. Do dishes.

Step 2 – Know your Knowledge Areas

Let us now see how you can remember the knowledge areas.

Remember this mnemonic (or create a wacky, silly, or even ‘sexy’ one yourself). It is all about creating something out of the ordinary that your mind finds it easier to recall.

Integrating Scope and Time Costs Our Quality Resources to Communicate with the Risk of Procuring Stakeholders“.

Do you see 10 knowledge areas in the right order?

Step 3 – Know your Processes

Now the final part – processes under each knowledge area and process group.

Everyday, for first 10 minutes of your scheduled study period, open a Excel spreadsheet and replicate the table 1-4 from page 25 of PMBOK 6th edition. As you type in get the sequence of processes across process groups as well as across knowledge areas.

After first 3-4 days, try to create table without looking into PMBOK. If you can’t recall, refer to PMBOK by all means.

Over several attempts you will have this by-heart. Know that this is the first thing you write before the exam starts as part of your brain-dump. Don’t worry if you are not able to get the whole table even after several attempts. Just try to understand the sequence of processes as you write them. Tame your brain into ‘getting it’ by repeating the exercise every day. It is important to write consciously and not mechanically.

Soon you will start identifying certain common characteristics such as –

  • All planning processes start with a process of the type “Plan [KA] Management”
  • Most of the monitoring and controlling processes are of the type “Control [KA]” or “Manage [KA]”
  • Initiating has just 2 processes and and Closing process groups has just one – which means you need to study them REALLY well to cross the small passing % threshold to get Above Target score in these 2 domains on the exam

and so on.

This is your brain making connections.

That’s about it. Do these without fail and within few days you will see your confidence level surging up. In the next post I will write about ways to get most out of PMBOK study in the easiest way.

Write your experience/results to me or leave in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy: www.WikiHow.com]

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Pankaj September 19, 2017, 11:47 pm

    Hi Shiv,

    I planning to give PMP exam, can you pls share some material to plan out and prepare for the journey

  • Bev July 18, 2017, 8:36 pm

    Hi Shiv

    I think it is very admirable of you to share all the ‘FREE’ tips and tricks and resource material to assist others in acquiring their CAPM and/or PMP Certification.

    You are a true humanitarian and I am hoping all of your tips/tricks will help me to pass these certification exams.

    I have also purchased ‘Rita’s’ book to assist with the learning.


    • Shiv Shenoy July 24, 2017, 4:18 pm

      Hi Bev,

      Thank you for the kind words. Hope you will find PMESN Content useful in your PMP exam prep.

      Good luck,

  • Venu July 26, 2016, 4:14 am

    Hi Shiv ,

    I just want to clarify one thing with you regarding the PMP Preparation.Do we have to follow the same order given in PMBOK? Integration->Scope-> etc……Or we can shuffle the order while preparing.Please advice and thanks in advance .

    • Shiv Shenoy August 15, 2016, 11:55 am

      Hi Venu, you can take any order that you feel comfortable with. Questions on the exam do not follow any order, they are given at random.

  • rads April 19, 2016, 3:10 am

    Hi Shiv

    It was great to learn to remember the KA and the PGroups ! I am reading the PMBOK guide , but its really hard to remember everything, if we don’t make notes and your blog has helped a lot on that. Can you send me the free books to my ID : radsm1234@gmail.com

    Would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks, rads

    • Shiv Shenoy April 19, 2016, 12:32 pm

      Hi Rads, thanks for the kind words. I’m glad to see you are finding the notes useful. There’s much more you can get from PMESN and Start Here menu page is a great way to start from.


  • sujatha May 4, 2015, 4:32 pm

    can you send me the free books to my Id:sujata.d.achiever@gmail.com, i dont have tritter/facebook account.

  • Pankaj Dwivedi February 21, 2015, 10:40 am

    Hi Shiv… I can’t express in words how pleasant I felt when I reached your blog site after navigating through tens of similar CAPM/PMP prep sites. It was like a breeeeeeze of fresh air. Everything about your site is just wonderful- the lay out, content, presentation, tricks & techniques, brain maps… really everything. I’m in love with this site 🙂

    By the way I’m aspiring to take on CAPM exam in near future and looking for guidance from specialists like you. Your site is really of a great help for me. Please let me know if you can impart specific guidance for CAPM as well through your blog.

    Thanks a ton !
    Pankaj Dwivedi, New Delhi

    • Shiv Shenoy February 21, 2015, 11:23 am

      Hi Pankaj,
      Thanks for your kind words. Please schedule a free Skype call with me and lets go over your study plan.

  • Gopal January 18, 2015, 8:12 pm

    Thanks Shiv for this wonderful, charitable piece of service. Though I bookmarked your URL some months back, i dwelved into it only today. Voila! You are bang on with the sexy mnemonic to remember KA. Honestly, i was thinking what is the best way to remember these KA. I just read two times and i was able to recite this without looking at the site. I read the dreaded PMBOK once. My confidence level went for a toss. Then I started reading Rita. It is work in progress…. Not giving up. But, feeling a bit better now after visiting your site.
    Thanks, Will reach out to you again soon.

    • Shiv Shenoy January 20, 2015, 12:52 pm

      Hi Gopal, thanks for the kind words. I’m glad to see that you are finding the blog useful. Please feel free to reach out for any help you may need in your prep. Good luck!

  • wilmer November 9, 2014, 9:29 pm

    I want to take my test as a PMP I felt the test 2 times. I really need your help.

    Wilmer Chaves