My PMP Lessons Learned, and Strategies to pass
To begin, first I would like to thank Shiv for providing the smart notes. They are very useful for last-minute brush-up a day before exam.
Getting towards PMP requires a good amount of advance planning in terms of Time (picking up the right target date for exam), Cost (arrange exam cost, Class room/online training cost, PMI Membership cost). The other most important parts that one needs to succeed are positive mindset, motivation, attitude to pass and handwork.
It took me 3 months to preparations and go through all the material before getting into exam.
The strategy that I made for PMP was in 4 phases.
The 1st phase was to get eligible for PMP
It included following –
1. The classroom training for 35 PDUs.
2. Once classroom/online training is done, becoming a member of PMI (Save exam cost)
3. Completing PMP application and applying at PMI
The 2nd phase is about self-study
As I was already done with class room training in phase 1, I was clear with the high level idea of all the KA and process. But this is not enough you need to know all the concepts | Input, Tool &Techniques | outputs and how they interact & relate with each other. To make sure I understand them, I first started with reading PMBOK 5th edition by PMI. It took me about a 18 – 20 days to complete reading of all chapters.
I used to spend 3 to 3.5 hrs daily on reading.
This was just a beginning for me, after completing the 1st round of reading PMBOK, I was still not confident and clear on many of the concepts. This was the time where the positive mindset & motivation from friends, family and colleague did not allow you to fall back and pause.
The real handwork began now.
I began to go thought 2 books (PMP Exam Prep and the PMBOK) to make my understating more clear and I did both in parallel as following.
I used to read the chapter from PMBOK first and then go through the same chapter from PMP Exam Prep. It took long about 1.5 month to complete both of the books.
By this time, now I was confident on the concept and moved to phase 3.
The 3rd phase is about Self Evaluation and taking exam date
By this time, my PMP application was accepted and only process left was to pay the fees and take the exam date. I estimated that I needed 1 month of time for going through the simulation exam, analyzing the mistake made, correcting them and again reevaluating myself.
Once the exam date was booked, I started with simulation exams and then do the analyzing of mistake made. During this time, I also plan the strategy to give actual exam which is very important.
My strategy was simple. On an average I had to complete 35 questions in 30 minutes. According to which I can complete 200 questions in about 3 hrs. But the point here was to spare last 1 hr to review the questions that are marked as review. My plan was not to revisit the all questions for which I was 100% sure but to only revisit question there were marked as review this were the question in which I had some droughts.
I tried this strategy in simulation exam and it worked for me.
The last thing I did them was to just go thought the Shiv’s 10days notes that helped me to revise.
The 4th phase is about a day before exam and the final day of exam
A day before exam I to visited the exam center, just to make sure I am aware about the road map and the location of exam center. Next thing was to go through Shiv’s 10days note again the refresh
And on the Final Day, just relax and be clam.
To Conclude, everyone has a different style to study, remember, understand and based of individual style, they can create the own strategy for exam. I did that best suited me and it worked for me. Hope my PMP Lessons Learned will help you crack your PMP exam!
Also I want to thank like especially Shiv for such wonderful notes, Sachin Doke for providing me guidance & motivation, Hemant Israni, Digant Val, Friends, Family and Office Colleagues for all their support and motivation through my journey of PMP.
Yogesh Solanki, PMP