Tuesday, January 17, 2017

PMP Success Story: I Wanted To be A PMP And I Did It – My PMP Journey

By Vipin Kodiyath Radhakrishnan, PMP

‘I want to be a PMP®’ -I wanted to achieve this title quick and easy. But I realized nothing in the world that’s worthwhile ever comes easy unless you are focused and dedicated. One has to dedicate quality time towards sincere preparation.  

Perseverance is the key to achieve this title. 

I knew about PMP certification few years back and since then, I have attended 3 training sessions – first by my organization, second by Simplilearn and third by Knowledgehut. These I had to, primarily because my work commitment always took over and I postponed preparing for the exam and hence forget as long time passes in between.

Do not postpone your exam, schedule exam right after your training. If you procrastinate, you will never be ready for the exam.

Coaching Experience
Of the three sessions, I found Knowledgehut better, reason purely due to the trainer. Satya is one of the best trainers in this field. He has in-depth knowledge and very passionate about what he is doing. He is always ready to help no matter what time you call him. By the end of 4 days' training I was able to plot all 47 processes with little help. Lot of tips were shared throughout the training and these tips helped me during my exam preparation. 

Own Preparation
I blocked my exam on 28th October, 2016. I opted for 14th December, morning time. Until I blocked the slot, my approach towards the exam was very casual. Right after blocking the slot my approach changed. I was constantly thinking about exam, making plans, trying to find time during office hours to quickly run through few pages or attend few mock questions.
My actual preparation started just 3 weeks before the exam. I would wake up by 4.00 am and study for about 2.30 hours and again continue in the night for about 1.30 - 2 hours (mornings are the best time to study). Next 3 Saturdays and Sundays I was glued to my computer. 

Books I referred
  • Satya’s book, “I Want to Be a PMP” -  read 3 times (a must buy book for the exam).
  • PMBOK Guide once.
  • RitaMulcahy’sExam Prep 8th Edition once.
I took couple of mock tests and I was scoring 70-80%.  

Mock Exams Attempted
I had planned to take minimum 1000 plus questions, but due to time constraint I couldn’t attempt all questions. Last 3 days I ran through the

  • Exams from Satya’s eBook, “I Want To be A PMP”.
  • ChristopherScordo’s book.
  • Oliverlehmann
  • Simplilearn
  • Few questions from Rita’s.
Mock tests helped me identify weak areas. These tests also helped me think the way PMI does.
Mock tests had lot of ITTO related questions and I was not scoring well here. I spoke with Satya on it. Post speaking with him, I was determined that I am not going to let ITTO shatter my dream. Fear of failure and fear of unknown is the worst enemy which can shatter your dream and confidence. It is a good decision to connect with your mentor when you are confused and fear creeps in. 

The Exam Day
I stopped reading the previous night. I was totally relaxed and never allowed panic to set in. Ensured I leave early and reach the exam centre at least half-hour before the schedule. Please carry latest document where your signature is clear (if required practise to sign the same way before you leave for the exam). 

Questions I faced

  • Lot of situational questions and most of them were word puzzles, long paragraphs intentionally written to confuse.
  • Had few maths questions – questions on performance indices (SPI, CPI).
  • Questions on Pareto Diagram, Deming’s life cycle, Ishikawa Diagram.
  • Questions on Critical Path Measurement (CPM).
  • Few ITTOs questions.
Dos and Don’ts
  • Most questions are situational. Read and re-read the questions, if not clear.
  • Please do not hurry in selecting the answer. Read questions properly and chose the correct answer.
  • Eliminate the wrong once; this will help you in choosing the best answer.
Four hours passed by quickly. Finally, exam ends with a CONGRATULATIONS message. This is something you would want to see on your screen on THE day.

Satya’s ‘I WANT TO BE A PMP’ eBook
If you are serious with your certification and need a book which can help you understand every process and knowledge area for the PMP exam in simple and crystal clear way, then search no more. You should buy Satya’s “I WANT TO BE A PMP”eBook. 

I was the first person to receive Satya’s eBook. 

When I read through the first chapter, I knew this was the book I was searching for. Satya has well thought and compiled only what is required for the exam. I had read PMBOK and Rita’s PMP exam prep before going through Satya’s “I WANT TO BE A PMP”. One book is not sufficient and you may need to refer at least 2 or more books to prepare for the exam.

Unique features which I found in this book, but not available in other books are:
  • This eBook contains lots of tips and tricks which are very helpful for exam preparation.
  • Complex formulas are explained in simple way. Practise it once or twice and you will never need to remember the formulas by rote learning.
  • You need not remember all ITTOs. Satya has marked important ITTOs in each process. Understand the marked once and that should be sufficient to answer all ITTO related questions.
  • Book contains 3 sets of mock test; each set covers 200 Questions and Answers (Q&A). If you score 75% in Set 3 then you are ready for the exam. Also, at the end of each chapter you have multiple questions. Overall book contains more than 750 Q&A.
This eBook helps develop thinking the way PMI does.This eBook was my main study material and I believe I passed my exam because of this eBook. I had read this eBook 3 times.

Along with PMBOK, this eBook is a must read for all PMP aspirants.

Brief Profile: I work with 3i Infotech Ltd. as Senior Project Manager; I have over 14 years of experience in Product development in ERP and BFSI domains.  

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PMP Success Story: PMP Test is Not Difficult, If You Have Prepared Well

By Nutsa Datuashvili, PMP

I’ve been planning on PMP® for last couple of years. However, only after I left my job to relocate to another country with my family, I was able to find time and prepare for the exam.

PMP Coaching Experience
I have had university level education in Project Management. But, I thought it would be best to refresh my mind, so I looked at the options available in the country I was living at that time. Nicosia University offered training on PMP. 

I really wanted to have a classroom training but ended up taking online course. Satya Dash was my coach for the PMP exam preparation, which frankly was very helpful.

My Own Study
I had 2 months of preparation. Last month I sat for 3-4 hours each day (exclusive weekends). I read Rita’s book 2 times - chapters and questions. I suggest you read the book twice. Do all the questions in the book. then every day do mock test. Analyze your results and revert back to book to understand wrong answers/gaps. Try looking up topics on the internet and reading further about those gaps. this was very helpful to me. 
Materials Referred
  • Rita’s book
  • PMBOK® Guide 
  • Oliver Lehman’s mock tests
I didn’t have a plan until I scheduled the exam. But, after scheduling for the exam, everything got real. I chose the book to stick with, I wrote down a plan. 

My PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled at Nicosia University, Cyprus. I took the exam in November 2016.

I didn’t have any except I wrote down formulas and flowcharts – flowcharts deliverable flow, CR flow, data flow etc., which I had from Sayta. These I wrote down before starting the exam. I took couple of breaks, had water and chocolate at the end as I was getting exhausted :)

Frankly, test was not difficult. I remember doing mock tests which seemed much more difficult. Mathematical questions were very easy.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
- Dos:
  • Have a plan/timetable and follow it. 
  • Pay and schedule the exam in advance according to your plan.
  • I strongly suggest you read relevant chapter after every training session.
  • Do read Rita’s Book twice. 
  • Mock tests are a must. 
- Don’ts:
  • Do not procrastinate. 
  • Don’t need many sources that will cause confusion.

Brief Profile: Nutsa Datuashvili, experience in construction and development, infrastructural projects, cultural heritage.

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