Student Profile: Narayan Shanbhag, PMP
I am a Chemical Engineer and have been working on industrial projects for the Chemical Industry ever since I started my career in Apr 1995. I have always been working in the project team either as a Project Engineer, Project Coordinator, Project Planner and more recently as a Project Manager. I didn't obtain any formal training in Project Management (didn't know about any, when I started my career). As I executed projects year after year I was drawn towards Project Management discipline due to the extensive overview this position offered of a complete project, as compared to other functional / discipline positions; a lot of responsibility and authority also came-in with this position.
I passed my PMP with "Proficient" score in all 5 Knowledge Areas on 23 Jun 2015. I had become a member of PMI in January 2013, with an intent to take the PMP exam soon and had obtained the PMBOK guide. But I couldn't progress with my studies, partly due to the commitments on the work & family front and partly due to the PMBOK language; the writing style (especially in the earlier chapters) doesn't quite encourage reading / studying. Late 2014, a slack on the work front tempted me to take-up the PMP challenge again. The changes in Jul 2014 weren't going to affect me, since I hadn't read / studied much of the earlier PMBOK edition. However this time I decided to start reading a much simpler-to-read book and went for Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep 8th Edition. While reading this book, I also browsed various websites & forums to understand what would guarantee me success in the PMP exam.
My recommendation to students wishing to crack the PMP exam would be to:
- Keep your studies simple & focused.
- Read One book, but thoroughly. If you do this, you don't need to read other books / even the same book twice.
- Use the PMBOK as a reference guide all along.
- Take the exam simulators, especially those which are similar to the real PMP exam i.e. offer 200 questions to be answered in 4 hours (without a pause).
For the week before the exam, I took the entire week off from work. Every morning I would take one of the nine PMP Exam Simulators that I had bought from OSP International LLC & by afternoon I would be analyzing the detailed report. I actually ended up spending more time analyzing the results, making reference to the PMBOK guide. I reviewed not only the questions I had answered incorrectly but also those that I had answered correctly just to ensure my understanding was aligned. The last week turned out to be strenuous since I took all eight of the nine PMP Exam Simulators. I could have settled for 4-5 exams, since I had managed to score around 80% in each. But what prompted me to take all the 8 exams was, I was never able to obtain a "Proficient" score in more than one / two knowledge areas.
Narayan Shanbhag, PMP