Thursday, August 08, 2019

PMP Success Story: Decide, Commit and Succeed

By Kumari Warsha Goel, PMP

My career was stuck in an organization for quite some time. Hence, I was looking for options to add value to my profile and also to my learning. After researching the market and considering my current experience level, I decided that Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. I realized this credential can take me in the right direction giving me a career boost at the same time.

PMP 35 Contact Hours Experience
After deciding to take up the PMP certification, I approached few of my colleagues to suggest a good trainer. My manager suggested taking Satya Sir's Classes. Now I was clear and committed that PMP is the certification to pursue and Satya Sir would be my coach. 

As the next step I approached and attended the classroom training classes by Satya Sir. In his classes, you get a lot of information on project management. Hence, to catch-up and understand all of them, you need good attention, and commitment. These will be important for you to succeed in the exam. I decided I would take a week's break to catch up on the material and concepts taught by him and then attend the next two classes of him. 

After completing the training, I filled the PMP application form. My application was approved without audit, which was a relief for me. I realized that “now” is the time to get ready to prepare wholeheartedly for the exam and refine myself up to be a PMP.

Own Study
I decided to purchase a hard copy of the PMBOK® guide as I find e-books difficult to read and prefer hard copies. When I went through the PMBOK guide for the first time, I could not get enough out of it. So, referred few online videos on the web provided by Satya Sir and Varun Anand, which helped me to clarify my concepts further. 

Next, I went through the PMBOK guide for the second time, which gave me some insight into the topics but I could not understand well. Also, it was needed as I was not able to score more than 60% in any of the mock tests. I realized questions are tricky and unless I get my concepts very clear it would be difficult for me to achieve my target. Hence, I read the PMBOK for the 3rd time, which was actually very useful to have a sound understanding of project management concepts.

Now my next target was to solve as many questions as possible. I registered for paid question practice test from simplilearn and mock tests mentioned at Management Yogi:

I solved more than 2,000 questions and when my score reached 70% to 75%, I felt now it’s time to schedule for the exam. I scheduled the exam and took one week leave before the exam to have a proper mindset. This one-week preparation added lot of value, and it boosted my score to reach from 75% to 85% in mock exams.

PMP Exam Experience
Finally, the D-day arrived. The exam center in Bangalore has changed from Whitefield to Dickenson road. My scheduled exam time was 8 a.m. 

I entered the exam after all the necessary formalities. After 2.5 hours was lapsed, I realized I’ve only completed 90 questions. I decided to increase the momentum then and was able to complete all questions in 3 hours and 45 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, I managed to review 25 questions, out of which I modified the answers of two.

I submitted one minute before and also took the survey. My heart was pounding thinking about the result, and I was thinking the result will be negative. The exam center coordinator handed over the printout upside down. I didn’t want to see the score! I came out of the exam centre and then saw in three process group I was Above Targets and on two process groups I was on Target and on top, it has been mentioned as pass.

I still was not sure until I gave it to my husband to verify whether I’ve actually cleared. He confirmed the same. It took me some time to realize that I’ve passed the exam, and finally all my hard work has been paid off. And I’ve achieved my target.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Don’t try to memorize the content, but try to clear your concepts.
  • The PMBOK guide is a must-read and the more you read through it, the more insight you will get.
  • Solve as many mock questions as possible, though the exam pattern was completely different from the one I had practiced. However, with this, at least you will understand how questions can be tricky. It will also help you to have a sound understanding. 

I want to use my PMP credential as a tool to enhance my professional skills and I want to keep learning in the project management domain. The PMP credential is not only an evaluation of project management concepts, but it’s also a self-evaluation of my skills, commitment and potential to achieve things that I dream of.

Brief Profile: 
I am Warsha Goel and work as senior Test Leader. I aspire to excel in management field by continually working on process improvement and honing my skills by applying current, new and emerging project management practices.

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