Sunday, July 09, 2017

PMP Success Story: Right Coaching, Practice and Interest Will Help To Pass The Exam

By Govinda raj P, PMP



First to start with my prep work before attending the coaching class.  We all know PMP® is for little or more experienced guys in Project Management domain, so to start we need to go through some YouTube Videos, there are lot many available. I went through few random videos. How much ever might be your experience, it is always better that we go through videos to get our thought process stream lined and then take up the coaching. 

Another plus point is you will be prepared and at least will have idea what to expect from the crash course training and you can clear you doubts and also get a better understanding and you will get interest to sit through class.

PMP Coaching Experience

Satya was our coach throughout our training and is very knowledgeable and knows exactly what to cover and when to cover. Best part, he understands who is the audience and tailors the approach accordingly. In fact, he did mention that by last day of training you can remember all the 47 process areas in a flow. It was hard for me believe at that time because I am not that fast learner. But for surprise: I did remember all knowledge areas, and the processes with the flow on the last day of coaching. That was a big surprise for me.


We went through course materials. Satya gave lots of tips and tricks to remember and we resolved many questions. In toto, it was very good experience for me. Please do take make a note of all tips which Satya give in class. It will be very helpful later. 

Towards the end you will have a mock test and based on scores Satya will tell you how long you need study. For me, verdict was to study for 6 months to clear the PMP. Might sound prophetic, but it exactly took 6 months for me to clear - perhaps it is his experience that tells us how long we need to complete.

Own Study

I started with PMBOK® guide. First, to read it was a very dry subject and it took a very long time for me complete. Somehow, I completed reading. But it took more than a month for me to complete with all my work-related commitments. My experience after reading PMBOK for the first time was this: I didn’t remember anything, which many of you will go through.

I got lots of suggestion from many that you need to read that book, this book but I would suggest, pick a good book which makes you feel better. I just read one book. 

Then started few mock tests but scores were not promising and I had lost hope and interest. So, stopped reading any book and 2 weeks lost touch due to work related commitments. By end of 2 weeks nothing I remembered, thought this is not going to happen. I always say to my friends "Until mad dog is behind you, you won’t run faster". So, I scheduled the exam for 4th July.

From that day, my actual preparation started. And this was the time I actually understand the PMP better and started correlating. After completing the book, I started reading PMBOK, an I fell in love with PMBOK novel (yes novel, it was that interesting, I'm the same guy who told that PMBOK is very dry). 

After completing reading PMBOK, I started taking full time mock test this time I was scoring 75%+ but that not enough. Almost every day I started taking 1 full mock test. My scoring started increasing. Full length mock test is absolutely needed. Without that I don't think anyone would have passed PMP, because its concretes your understanding. I had taken close 15 full time mock exams from different sources where ever possible.

Couple of days before the exam, I had almost 12 hours of sleep. You need that kind of rest for you mind to process the information and I spend most on taking quick mock tests on mobile and one day before the exam, I went the PMBOK guide at high level. 

PMP Exam Experience

I stay near to Prometric Center, so I left home 30mins prior. But people coming from far don't underestimate Bangalore traffic for me it was walk able distance. I reached 10mins for 8:30 AM. I remember Satya’s words: “If you have understood the concepts well, you don't need to have last minute preparation.” 

Finished all formalities and entered the exam all and first 15mins is session for you get familiar with screen, you can’t write anything during that time.

The PMP Exam

After completing 15 minutes initial session, I started the exam. Its took exactly 12mins for me to pen down my 47 knowledge groups and formulas, which I learned during the class. 

Next, I started going through the questions. First 5 questions were bouncers. I was like – “WOW did I make mistake of taking it earlier?” Then just took 10 secs break and cleared my thoughts and marked the question for review and proceeded. My suggestion is - if you are not sure about the answer mark the one which you feel correct in that way you have at least 25% chance that it can be correct.

I was expecting a lot of mathematical questions, but I got only 4 to 5, which were simple. I have heard from many they got 20 to 30 numerical. Read the question carefully and options very carefully. Do not jump into the conclusion, just a NOT or EXCEPT at the end of question will change the entire meaning of the question.

I finished 200 questions with 20mins left. I had taken 10mins break in between. I had a chance to review questions which I had marked for review and I clicked finish 30 seconds before. Trust me - the entire 4 hours was not long enough for the time you get the results out.

The coordinator from Prometric center told me to click next, yes, next yes. I was doing and he told I have passed the exam! I was in mixed feeling and really could not believe it. I asked the person at the centre – “Did I really pass?” He said – “Yes Sir! You cleared your PMP” and told me wait outside and he will get me the print out.

After coming out, I was still in shock mode and was thinking: Did the guy say I passed or failed?! I was eagerly waiting for print out to see that I have pass my PMP exam. That time was still more worse than the time I waited for exam results to pop up. Finally, I got the print out which said Examination pass, I verified my name and had a huge sigh of relief.
    
Suggestions for PMP Aspirants

Dos:
  • Always remember PMP exam is for the experienced; fluke won’t work for 200 questions.
  • Prepare well and you should feel confidence that you can take exam.
  • Don't lose hope when you score less. 
  • Always have a study plan
  • Create a study group and discuss among yourself.
  • Keep away negative thinker and negative thoughts.
  • Read some good books along with PMBOK (Like Satya's book, or any other you feel alright). Only PMBOK will not help to clear exam.
  • Take as many mock tests.
  • Download some PMP apps try in your free time.
  • Review you answers and mistakes that you made.

 Don’ts:
  • Don't over study
  • Don't strain and study. Take proper rest.
  • Do not rush for exam. 

Conclusion
  • Pay attention in Satya’s coaching class. 
  • Prepare well. 
  • Learn from your mistakes and don't repeat. 
  • Don't take more than 6 months from preparation to exam.

Brief Profile:
I am Govinda raj P. I’ve close to 13 years of experience and currently Project's Delivery Manager with IBM, India.






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