I am done with my PMP…I am back!!!

Hi Dear Friends,

I have been MIA in the past few months. My sincerest apologies for leaving you all without much information. There were multiple contributing factors. But needless to say, my blog and my followers were on my mind the whole time.

Let me tell you more about my past few months experience. I had been preparing for my PMP (project management professional) certification exam for past 3 months. It was a long road of three months of prep that led me to September 26th, my exam day.

I started my preparations in July after I realized that it is in my best interest to finish my exam before my parents leave for India. I figured that if I am unable to finish this with my mom helping me out, then there is no way I will be able to do it with her gone. Parents rock!!!

So with that realization, I finally started my preparations seriously. The toughest part was getting prep time away from my son. But it certainly helped that my mom was there. Since she took care of the cooking, cleaning and feeding my child, I could steal an hour to two each day.

I do have to confess that I took the PMP crash course or boot camp in February. That certainly helped me pick up speed since I had context of the material. The boot camp I took was from ProjectManagementAcademy (I am not a sponsor of them, you are welcome to choose anything). What I would suggest is that you continue to work towards the certification right after the camp as the material is fresh. Best don’t do what I did which is wait for 4 months after :).

I started with reading the Rita book that my friend generously lend to me. Once I did the lessons, I did the questions in the back. That took around a month. I thought the best way to internalize the content was to get to the questions. Behind each of the chapter was around 30 to 40 questions. The first round I did all the questions and I scored around 60 – 70%. What took time for me was analyzing my answers and find the gaps in my understanding. So sometimes I would split the questions/answer session and analysis session in 2 days.

For the next month, I started revising the material and read through the slides from the class.  I still did not start the mindless rote of the ITTOs. But I did start the test questions. Throughout the entire preparations I did around 5 exams but only 2 of them was timed. The rest 3 was just for content and figure out my pain points. It became clear that my weakness was the ITTOs. So that was August.

September began with a clear timetable of how to cover ITTOs. I spread across the different knowledge ares across 2 reps of 2 weeks. Rather than blind rote of the ITTOs, I tried to reason out the inputs outputs. Where they didn’t make sense, I tried to come up with some memory hints. For e.g., I matched the “R” between Record management and P”r”accruement to connect these 2. I would suggest you to come up with such memory hints to help you with ITTOs. Also, I used the flashcards that I got from my boot camp a lot. That really helped mind meld the ITTOs.

So with this preparation, I went ahead with my exam on September 26th. My prep for the exam day was very simple. I put all my study material in a bag in the morning and after that I didn’t touch them after that. I had a good brunch at 10:30am so that I won’t be hungry during the exam. My exam timing was 12:30 – 4:30. I took some water but didn’t take any food. (I won’t suggest that to others, but I have a low appetite).

My exam room was a bit chilly, so I would suggest all of you to take a light jacket. The worst thing was the noise cancellation headphone. They were so hard on my ear and was pressing so bad on my glasses that I got a headache. But unfortunately, I couldn’t take it out since there was too much typing by the other exam goers that it was too much chaos that I had to drain out.

My exam itself was very well. I felt over prepared 🙂 I finished my exam in 2:45 minutes and passed in flying colors. Out of the 5 areas, I got extremely proficient in 3/5 of them. This was very good validation of my exam prep. I am proud to say that I am done with it with success.

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