Tuesday, December 18, 2018

PMP Success Story: A Cherished Experience

By Amodh Sinha, PMP, CSM

I’m into IT industry for over 5 years and have executed many projects at organizational level. I’ve always felt something is missing in my accomplishment.

Hence, I thought of doing PMP® certification to get my fundamentals stronger and boost my project management skills. 

PMP 35 Contact Hours Experience
I looked for face-to-face classroom sessions, so that I can grasp as much as I can. After all my research for providers on PMP classroom sessions, I decided to join Satya's classes. I googled and found good feedback about PMP classes and finally reached for 4-week PMP classroom training. I went through the admission, 4 days of classes and earned the needed 35 contact hours. 

My PMP classroom session and experience was very good. Though I had attended the training on the earlier edition, I cleared my exam on PMBOK® 6th edition on 10th December, 2018. 

PMP coaching under Satya was a mesmerising experience. The tips and tricks during the session were very useful. He is truly a project management coach. In his class, you won’t just sit and listen. He will call you on stage to make sure you are understanding the concepts well and not left alone. That level of involvement and seriousness from coach motivates a lot. 

Own Study
My own study time was really a challenge. I’ve a small 1.5-year-old kid and whenever I opened my laptop for study he uses to come near and start playing. But as it is rightly said what’s the fun if you didn’t face any challenge in project execution. 

I set the target date of exam for 10th December 2018 and started planning for my study hours. I started giving daily 2-3 hours every day early morning. Early morning around 4 AM I made sure that I compete one knowledge area (KA) area and practice the questions. Beginning with my studies, I started with the PMBOK guide and completed it in one month. In parallel, I referred Satya’s latest book – I Want To Be A PMP, 2nd Edition. I also referred Rita Mulchy book and referred many YouTube videos to clear my doubts. 

Commitment is the essence of your PMP study and I made sure that I don’t lose that. Whenever I got time, I referred the Satya’s book to solve questions and clear doubts. Last 4 days of my exam date I gave 12- 14 hours of time focusing on the Exam Content Outline (ECO). I solved more than 1500 questions including Satya’s full-length Question Bank and Rita M’s questions.

Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP
After going through the classroom session, I decided to buy the book. This will be your second PMBOK guide for the PMP exam. The ITTOs are charted in table format and easy to remember. The tips and tricks are really helpful to fill your knowledge gaps.

The exercises given, flow diagrams, the EVM & graph videos, 35 plus chapter end questions and numerous tips and tricks in each KA are enough to fill your gaps.  

PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam for 10th December 2018 in Bangalore’s Prometric centre. I reached venue by 7.30 AM and started my exam at 7.45 AM. My strategy was to finish every question within one minute so that I can save time for reviewing the marked question. 
Below are the key points about my overall exam experience:
  • The question was rarely direct.
  • 80% of the question I got were situational and many were trapping questions.
  • I used my logic to strike off initial 2 options immediately after reading the questions to narrow down on choices and tried to frame the question in which process groups (PG) and knowledge area (KA) the question belongs and zeroed in on the answer. 
  • Mathematical questions: Earned Value Management (EVM), 3-point estimation (PERT) technique, communication channels and float calculations.
  • Lot of question on change request and risk management. 
  • Did not get any best practices questions or emerging trend questions.
  • Question on control chart, stakeholder management, risk implementation, lesson learnt were mostly situational. 
I didn’t take any break and continued to complete the questions and completed in 3 hours 50 minutes. I was left with 10 minutes to spare and more than 50 questions to review. I reviewed more than 25 and the exam automatically got closed. 

My hands were frozen and I was not able to move the cursor for survey.  Somehow, I completed the survey. Finely the result displayed as CONGRATULATIONS!!

It was one of the best moment of life and I felt all my hard work has been paid off with that one word.  

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Use your free time and weekend judiciously. Give time for your study honestly. 
  • Practice questions and if you make mistake in solving the mock exam, do not move ahead just by seeing the answer. Read again and close the gap.
  • Keep integrating your knowledge after every KA you complete.
  • Don’t waste time doing free questions from the internet. 
  • Don’t spend more than 2 min in solving the question, if you have doubt mark and move on. 

I’ve cleared my fundamentals in project management and I’m going to use this enriched experience and knowledge in upcoming project and programs.

Brief Profile: 
Amodh Sinha 
Resource Manager with 11 + years of experience in IT operations and project management.
Organization:  Quinnox Inc.