Sunday, February 25, 2018

PMP Live Lessons Success Story: PMP Battle Won With 45 Days of Preparation

By Sindhu Pillai, PMP

Ever since I got to know the value this certification carries, I wanted to be a PMP® and it was required for my job role as well. 

Coaching Experience
I took PMP training in March’17 and I chose a centre based on online reviews about Satya’s coaching.

The classroom training was very interactive. We had many tips which helped in understanding the concept. By end of the session we were able to write down all the 47 processes.

Own Study
As soon as the training was over I bought Satya’s Book –“I Want To Be A PMP” and had a plan to concentrate on studies and clear PMP but I lost focus and I took it for granted assuming there is lot of time. 

By Dec’17 I got to know that Project Management Institute (PMI®) is going to release a new version by March’18 which will have additional 300 pages, mostly on Agile. It’s the same time I came to know about Satya’s PMP Live Lessons – a Video Course which guarantees success else money back. It was a WIN-WIN offer, because if you clear you get PMP and if you don’t, you get a refund from Satya. 

All I did was I mailed him asking: “Do you really think I can crack PMP exam with a preparation of 2 months using your Videos?” And his reply was: "Sindhu, Believe in yourself. Everything is possible." I thought let me give it a try and before buying his videos I submitted my application because there will be no point in buying the videos if my application is rejected. It took me 2 days to fill up my application and in a weeks’ time I got confirmation from PMI to schedule my exam and I bought Satya’s videos.

Immediately I scheduled my exam for 21st Feb’18 – I’m a kind of person who will not study till a deadline isn’t given. I didn’t study whole December as I had frequent travels planned. I started my preparation from Jan’18 and I invested 5 to 6 hrs daily and 8 to 10 hrs on weekends since I hardly had 45 days to prepare. I’ve heard people preparing for 3 to 6 months minimum so I had really put my heart and soul to prepare. 

I approached Satya over mail for each and every doubt that crossed my mind, be it silly and Satya ensured to respond and guide throughout. I would have mailed him around 15 to 20 times and he has been very patient with me throughout the preparation journey. 

I would go through his Videos - Lesson wise first and then read the corresponding chapter from the PMBOK® guide. Once I felt confident with the concept I took the practice questions provided by Satya after each chapter. I went through the instructions provided in the video and ensured that I revised those specific topics where ever Satya has emphasised. I found Earned Value Management (EVM) very tough hence I did a lot of practice questions till I got the gist of it. 

The minute I lose focus I remembered a statement made by Satya in the class – "Everyone is enjoying their weekend and you guys are spending it here in the class, so make it count. Don’t let the effort go in vain." This kept me going. I had to put in more hours daily since I had less time and the clock was ticking. There is no short cut for PMP but only hard work and burning up your brain by taking practice questions as much as you can. This is the first ever, the toughest exam in my life where in I had no clue on passing % or scores required to pass. PMP is very tough but it’s not impossible.

I’m the first one to clear the PMP examination with the help of Satya’s PMP Live Lesson Videos, Satya’s Book – “I Want To Be A PMP” and the PMBOK guide, within 45 days of preparation. I did not refer any other books or material, as I did not want to confuse myself. 

The best part about Live Lessons - it was like a classroom session and I could repeat it as many times as I want, till I understand it. All the chapters in the Live Lesson Videos are in line with the PMBOK guide. Hence, one can refer PMBOK guide simultaneously.

The most helpful part of the videos were the key input outputs which Satya explicitly mentions for each process and the flow charts which made a lot of sense in understanding the integration of the processes. Separate video sessions on important topics like Change Requests/Change Management, Earned Value Management (EVM), Organizational Process Assets (OPA) and Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF), helped in quick revision.

Remembering key inputs and outputs were made easy as they were highlighted where ever the process integrates and there were tips given to revise once you reach certain phase in learning. To top it all, the practice questions after each topic helped in gauging the understanding after each chapter. There were around 130 to 150 practice questions provided after each chapter, which covered even the minor details of the PMBOK Guide. 

Overall, the videos helped in understanding the concept in a layman’s language without which going through PMBOK and understanding would have been very challenging.

PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam for 21st February’18, at Prometric Centre Whitefield, Bangalore for 12:30pm slot. I had visited the centre a day before my exam to make sure am carrying correct documents. You’ll need the authorization letter from Prometric centre which you can download once you schedule your exam from their site and original ID /address proof is required. I was asked to reach the exam centre by 11:15am due to some audit and I was offered a slot at 11:30am itself to give my exam.

Though I practiced around 2500+ practice questions at home I did not do it at a stretch of 4 hour in one go. But I ensured to finish 65+ questions in 60 minutes, every time I practiced and I did the same in exam as well. I did not take a single break because the questions were very lengthy and not even a single direct question came hence it was very exhaustive. 

Types of Questions Faced
I faced many questions on the followings.
  • Scenario based questions on Earned Value Management (EVM), Change Request Management (CR), Change Control Board (CCB)
  • Situational questions on Risk Management and Quality Management.
  • A number of tricky questions on Communication Channels and Interpersonal Skills. 
  • A few Graph related question and questions on Gantt Chart as well. 
  • Since majority questions were lengthy I used the option of highlighting the main content in question which helped in focusing and relating.

I finished my exam in 3 hrs 45 min which was very tiring because of no breaks, and the minute I clicked submit I could hear my heart beat out loud. Within 2 minutes I saw the word Congratulations on the screen and it was an incredible feeling of victory.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Do not wait till end to do practise questions. The more questions you practice the easier it gets during exam. 
  • Have the key ITTOs on tip of your tongue else it’s difficult to understand the integration of processes. 
  • Read questions very carefully specially the last line. Revise, Revise and Revise and do not lose focus.
  • Do not lose on sleep just before exam else it gets very taxing to perform in that 4 hours in the exam centre. 

Preparing and appearing for PMP exam helped me in learning new concept and would help me pursuing my career to next level. I related every Process Groups (PGs) and Knowledge Areas (KAs) to a real-world example to understand it well and am able to execute these concepts in my work as well. 

Brief Profile 
Sindhu Pillai, Project Manager. Managing IT infrastructure and banking projects.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!Thanks Satya for Sharing this success story. @Sindhu Pillai - You are an inspiration. Gonna follow both of you on my PMP journey...


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