Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PMP Success Story: An Exciting Journey with Focussed Preparation

Supriya Ghosh is a successful PMP® today. I remember her mail in excitement when she informed on her cracking the PMP exam. Her own family responsibilities delayed the preparation a bit, but finally she earned her credential. 

She believes the work put in while preparing is worth the effort – when you see “Congratulations” on your screen, on being a PMP.

Supriya was part of my class in end of February 2016 at Bangalore. Supriya was initially sceptic, but as we proceeded she participated and took lead in solving the questions. I remember her taking the lead and coming to solve the questions on forward pass and backward pass calculations. I think she enjoys tricky question on mathematics – though unsure about the answers, she joins in and most of the time they were correct answers.  

Below, she has outlined her experience, which is unique. Go on and read it. 

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. I am currently leading projects and aspiring to grow my skills in project management. I felt PMP certification can give me an extra edge and help me beef up my resume. Hence, I decided to pursue this certification.  

I registered for training in Feb,2016 after doing some research on the web. At the outset, this seemed to be difficult – because the classroom training session is only for 4 days, and there was so much to cover. But that was the first look. 

PMP Training Experience
I was very lucky to have Satya as trainer. The training was beyond my expectations and it laid a strong foundation for me to proceed further for my preparation. He shared lots of tips and tricks to clear the exam during his session. 

I remember his unique way of calling people on board and making them solve exercises especially related to Critical Path, Total Float and Free float etc. It was awesome. Also he made us all memorise the entire 47 processes by the time his classroom session ended.

My Own Study
My preparation time was around four months with two hrs study on weekdays and no study on weekends - because of my child and family responsibilities. Two weeks before the exam, I took leave from office and did a focussed study of five to six hours daily. I tried Mock tests from various sources and was consistently getting 75%-80% score in my last week of preparation. The main study books for my preparation were the PMBOK® Guide and the book by Rita Mulcahy. I scheduled my exam on 28th July 2016.

My PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam in the month of June 2016, around one month before the actual exam. at The Prometric exam centre was at PSN, Bangalore. I had scheduled at 1 P.M. and reached the exam centre 30 minutes early. 

Initial formality took some time. Finally, was assigned a desk for my exam. I had taken a manual calculator, although you can use online calculator given in the exam. I completed the exam in three hours but had almost forty questions for review, which I reviewed in the last one hour. I submitted my exam sheet and also did the survey that followed. Within a minute, Congratulations appeared on the screen! It was heartening to see the result.  

I was given a printout of the result from the centre. One proficient and four moderately proficient – in various performance domains (or process groups). The exam is not very difficult, however, it is not straight forward either.

  • Exam was a mixed bag having questions ranging from low difficulty to high ones.
  • Around % of questions were of low difficulty, 60% medium and 30% high.
  • In my case, lot of questions were focused on initiating and closing.
  • Also many questions were from pre-initiating phase.
  • There were lot of questions involving stakeholders, communications, change management, requirements collection related processes. 
  • Some 3-4 questions on beta distribution (probabilistic calculations). 
  • 6-7 questions on EVM in which very simple calculations were involved.
  • 2 questions on network diagram.
  • I had no questions from Inputs, Tools and Techniques (ITTO).

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  -  Dos:
         o  You need 4-5 months of preparation. 
         o  4 Hours of exam time is more than sufficient if you prepare well.
         o  You need to remember a lot of stuff.

  - Don’ts
      o Don’t drag your preparation. You may lose motivation

Overall, I would say a focussed and dedicated study is needed to prepare for the exam. But finally that pays off once you see “Congratulations” on your screen.

Brief Profile: I am Supriya Ghosh and currently working as a Senior Consultant at Capgemini, Bangalore.


Supriya’s PMP credential is available at PMI’s online credential registry. 

I am thankful to Supriya for sharing her experience, which I believe will help and guide other PMP aspirants, who are readers of this blog. 

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