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TOPIC: Passed PMP exam with 5 P

Passed PMP exam with 5 P 3 years 1 month ago #3992

  • Sachin Vehale
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Hi All :)
Happy New year !
I’m glad to inform you that I’m a PMP now . I passed my exam on 30th Dec with 5 Proficient score. I intentionally took time to review my entire preparation period and now here I’m with my experience & LL

Experience :

Throughout my preparations, It’s been an enriching experience for me in terms of professional & personal development. Journey started in June .I spent quality time doing my homework i.e. learning about the PMP certification. I got a hardcopy of PMBOK and was reading few chapters even before I took decision. During this period, I got know about PM Prepcast. First look, I liked it because it was providing me the flexibility of studying anywhere , anytime using my phone.& as I started going through the episodes, I knew I had taken the BEST decision.I applied to PMI in September and once application process was completed, I set up myself little over 3 months’ time and scheduled exam at Year end. I made a high level study plan and my actual studies geared up.

As a full time IT professional could find little time on week days for studies.I managed to squeeze an hour in night on weekdays. On weekends I used to utilize time left after my family commitments and responsibilities but I made sure I’m doing atleast a little progress everyday. Most of the people complain that PMBOK in all is very dry to read.I agree, but some how I managed to grow interest in reading it mostly because I was discovering gaps in practical world of project management :lol:
& yes, my school of thoughts matched with Cornelius. I wanted to go through PMP certification because I want to manage my work & projects better and develop professionally & personally. That might have also helped me to keep my interest running.

The Preparations :

I found Rita Mulcahy & Kim Heldman books as very good sources along with PMBOK.I studied PMBOK cover to cover only once and then continuously referred it throughout my preparations as and when I wanted to confirm the ‘final word’ on anything. While my first pass of PMBOK, I kept my hand-written notes and then when I referred other sources, I kept updating those notes. I found it comfortable to study by knowledge Area(as in PMBOK), rather than by Process groups.
I made flashcards using cardboard, however I did not find flashcards much useful.may be it was just me.
I never tried to memorize the ITTO. The BEST way to understand & remember the ITTO that I found is- PM Prepcast . I paid attention to the way Cornelius has explained the ITTO for each process and it becomes easy to relate them together. You must understand the T&T concept and then it’s really not required to memorize them. I think plain memorization ITTOs will confuse a human brain :lol: . So please avoid plain memorizing. I watched selective precast episodes again to refresh the understanding and bridge the gaps.

I found all mathematical part of studies, as a bonus to me as I am good at maths(if not the best :P ). You need to thoroughly understand the concepts of EVM , EMV,CPM etc and then what remains is simple algebra.

Practice tests/exams :

I counted solved practice questions after passing PMP exam :P . I had practiced around 3000 questions, including 6 full length practice tests. Irrespective of length of the practice test, I always reviewed all wrong answers and also the marked questions which I felt were tricky while solving. I also kept a record of my ‘unforced errors’ (mistakes I should not have made while answering a question) & tried not to repeat them as I went through practice exams. Before a month of my exam date, I started taking full length tests. weekend was the only right time for me to take a full length test. I scored consistently in 6 full length practice exams, mostly in 80s.By exam day – I felt prepared. A day before exam, I just did revision of my notes, formulae and tricky questions which I had sorted during my preparation. Solved couple of 10 question practice tests and then brushed through PMBOK glossary , and got my bag ready to travel to exam center.
Be prepared as unknown risks and known risks might get realized as your exam date comes closure. In my case, Prometric informed me that the exam center has been relocated, so I had to replan my travel to test center

On exam day :
My exam center was in another city , normally takes atleast 3 to 4 hours travel time considering traffic. I could not visit my test center in advanced. But I knew the city and also I had got directions and all doubts clarified with Prometric test center guys over phone several times during last month.My exam slot was in evening, so I setup double travel time and started in early morning. I reached at test center very well ahead of time. The ID verification and sign-on processes were smooth.Prometric executive explained the ground rules for test, provided with a blank pages booklet and 2 pencils & directed me to cubicle where I had to take the test. The exam room had many cubicles. Few people were already taking their tests. But it quite silent.I used headphones which prometric had provided.I finished tutorial in couple of minutes and then did my braindump. I highly recommend braindump because it gets your thoughts flowing and helps you to enter into the exam mode. It specially helped my as I had to travel before exam.Nothing special in brain dump. I just wrote PG & KA chart and few formulae. I was left with 3 minutes after completing braindump.I did not start the exam immediately. I used that time to get comfortable with headphones, chair & surroundings. did deep breathing and waited tutorial time to finish.

My plan to take a tiny break after every 50 questions did not work in actual exam. I started bit slowly but still was able to finish 50 Qn in first hour. I did not take a single break as I did not want to waste time in sign-in/out process .after every hour, I just stretched couple of times & deep breathing with eyes closed for few seconds.

Few questions were straight forward but most were more tricky than sample exams which I practiced during my preparation. This is where understating of the concepts comes handy.There were many situational questions with majority emphasis on procurement management & project integration. Maths questions were for EVM, communication channels,CPM calculations.Charts questions were very lengthy but only observation was needed to find correct answer. I did not encounter any question outside PMBOK framework.

I finished answering all questions with 25 minutes left. I had around 30 questions marked for review.While reviewing, I changed 3 or 4.But I was getting more & more confident about my result as I was reviewing the marked questions. My entire exam time got consumed when I was reviewing my last marked question. A blank screen appeared , the survey appeared which I finished in couple of mins and then for a long time, blank screen appeared again. then the message 'congratulations' appeared. I was overjoyed when I saw 5 proficient ratings on screen !

I used below study material.
PMBOK – 5th Ed
Rita Mulcahy - 8th Ed
Kim heldman : PMI bookstore : PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide, Fifth Edition
Chris Scordo : PMI bookstore
PM Prepcast :
PM Prepcast Forum
PMZilla forum
I want to be PMP forum on Linkedin
Frank Anbari – PMI bookstore
My home-made Flashcards !!
& many free online exam questions

On closing notes, I would say the BEST way/plan to study is ‘your own way/plan’. Prepare your own notes instead of getting from others. Because that’s the best way to understand & learn. Do read LL from others. Do read perspectives from others. They are very helpful in negotiating with questions. I read many LL over multiple forums and I say ‘Thank you’ to all of those guys who shared their exam tips and LL over internet. and Thanksa ton to Cornelius and PM Prepcast !

Last but not the least, I am very thankful to my most important stakeholders (my lovely family) for their support & their patience with me throughout my preparations.

I really enjoyed listening to PM Prepcast. So I am closing my lengthy LL with a phrase from Cornelius and Justine - “Until next time ! “

Sachin Vehale,PMP
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Passed PMP exam with 5 P 3 years 1 month ago #3998

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Congratulations Sachin!
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Passed PMP exam with 5 P 3 years 1 month ago #4000

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Thanks Bijit

Sachin Vehale, PMP
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Passed PMP exam with the Prep Cadt product suite 8 months 2 weeks ago #7554

  • Brian Kitograd
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Thanks for the excellent product and timely support.
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