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TOPIC: Passed PMP - 1st Try

Passed PMP - 1st Try 8 months 4 days ago #20086

  • Anantha Narayanan Santhanagopalan
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I passed my PMP on my 1st try. - All above target except closing (target)

I would like to thank Prepcast team for wonderful study material which helped me gain confidence before exam. Would like to thank my wife for her support and motivation - I wouldn't have passed without this. Also to my 1 year old daughter for making me happy with her smile each time I see her.

Searching for motivation & Push - I became PMI member in May 2019 and bought Prepcast and simulator, planning to take exam in August. Didn't study. Got distracted and was just complaining my work load at work. My wife (new mom) is in her career break. She studies hard consistently to upgrade her knowledge. While I was just complaining that I was tried. I realized in January 2020 that if she can do with all the constraints without complaining, I should do justice to my investment. She was my study partner. Key - Find a study partner to find motivation

Preparation Duration - I consistently spent at-least 3 hours a day for 37 days continuously.

Exam application process- Listened to prepcast videos whenever I had time and wrote the 25 questions exams to gain 35 PDUs. Spoke with my Manager and consulted him for PMI-PMP application. Got his agreement to make sure I get his full support if my application gets picked up for audit. My application didn't get into audit and got approval from PMI after 5 working days.

Preparation--> Approach - Agile. Reason for choosing Agile approach - PMBOK is very dry and vague. Reading it doesn't make sense unless you understand each and every sentence completely. I wrote a free test in simplilearn to see where I stand and understand gaps. I scored 60%. It was very very easy test (compared to prepcast simulator). Identified gaps and studied for 2 weeks by listening to iZenbridge videos for Earned value management, WBS, precedence diagramming method, define schedule/prepcast videos for integration, stakeholder, communications, risk mgmt /glancing PMBOK after listening to videos.

FAIL FAST AND OFTEN - After my preparation for 2 weeks, wrote my 1st test in Simulator and scored 62.5% and analysed the gaps. Have attached my test scores in simulator. Was disappointed after my test 2 in simulator. Scored only 63.5 after rigorous prep. Added Rita book to my preparation(didnt add much value to me as I found I was going through the concepts which I already knew). I also realized in addition to wrong answers I needed to review all answers. Noted down all the gaps, learnt exam tricks, prepared my notes on where I was missing. After a week of preparation, wrote my 3rd exam and scored 76%. Gained confidence and scheduled my exam. After this all I did was addressing gaps by just analyzing my test statistics.

Tools
Prepcast videos
iZenbridge Videos
Prepcast simulator - I wrote 7 exams in exam mode.
Rita - only as reference. Wasn't much useful in my case.

Gaps
While taking mock tests found that
1) I was getting frustrated after 30 questions. My brain became tired on reading questions. PMP aspirants have to understand that writing a exam for 4 hrs requires a lot of brain stamina. I addressed this gap slowly and improved by trying different techniques like sleeping well the day before i wrote mock test. Drinking enough water and practicing meditation. I believe sleeping well and meditation helped me a lot.
2) Wasn't reading questions completely - Trained my mind by going through all exam questions after I finish the exams.
3) Missing key words in question like - most likely, least likely...
4) Poor time management - In mock exams I would end my exam at 3 hrs and 59 mins without having time to review the questions that I marked. This happened even for mock exam 7. came up with a stringent plan for exam
240th min (remaining time) - 0 ques (answered ques)
220th min - 25 ques
200th min - 50 ques
.....
.....
80th min - 200 ques

3 days until exam...
1) Made sure I slept atleast 6-7 hrs daily
2) Didnt take too much work stress
3) Drank green tea
4) Easy on diet
5) Kept telling myself that I have done all I could and I will pass exam (very important)
6) Was regularly reading my notes and took timed quiz and made sure I get 85%+ (reason because I have already attempted all questions once in exam mode)

Day before exam
1) Took a 100 ques timed quiz and completed in 80 mins (as planned) giving me confidence that I will be able to do this in exam
2) Read my notes
3) Played with my 1 year old

Exam day.
I scheduled my exam in the noon. Reached an hour before.
1) Executed my plans
2) Kept telling myself that I am going to pass - how tough the questions may be.
3) Aspirants - Please understand that PMP for sure will be difficult. Going to exam with this mindset will help you do the exam better.
4) Lots of questions in stakeholder mgmt/comm mgmt/risk mgmt - most questions were difficult.
5) Time management worked better. With 66 mins remaining I marked 90+ questions. (35+ - Totally not sure and 45+ - 70% sure). Took a short break (for 9 mins) and resumed the test
6) I reviewed 35+ questions first (I noted down the ques numbers in the sheet given) and this took 50 mins of my time. Reason - They were questions with 5+ sentences, anything that involved calculation, totally unsure questions (even short ones) which I just marked guessed and moved.
7) With 15 mins remaining I was able to review around 15 questions and changed 5 of them and realized with only 1 min remaining I may not be able to review other 30 questions.
8) I was expecting a survey, but got a message instantly "congratulations..."

Big story short - Hard work and determination is Key. If I can do it, anyone (with proj. mgmt exp) can do it.

Attachment - Simulator result for benchmarking



Regards,
Anantha
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Last edit: by Anantha Narayanan Santhanagopalan.

Passed PMP - 1st Try 8 months 4 days ago #20089

  • Neeraj Vasudeva
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Heartiest Congratulation Anantha !!

Thanks for sharing your journey !!

So what's next ? I am working on my PgMP & Azure Cloud Certifications.

-Neeraj

Passed PMP - 1st Try 8 months 4 days ago #20096

  • Anantha Narayanan Santhanagopalan
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Thanks Neeraj. Did some research and understood that PgMP is early for me now. So planning to take some tech cert. Have sent you a invite to connect in LinkedIn.

How have you planned to earn PDUs.

Regards,
Anantha
Last edit: by Anantha Narayanan Santhanagopalan.
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