Friday, January 01, 2021

PMP Live Lessons Success Story: Stay Determined, You Will Be A PMP One Day

By Kavita Nambiar, PMP



Introduction

I have been performing in a Project management role for years now. My current organization has made it mandatory to be Project Management Professional (PMP®) certified for all the Project Managers (PMs). 

One of my colleagues had completed her training under Satya and had cleared the PMP examination. She recommended Satya’s training. Hence, I decided to joined enrol in his training session.



PMP 35 Contact Hours Experience

I was the first-row bencher for the 4-day of training. The only reason I sat in the first row is to avoid questions from Satya. But he made sure I was the first one to be asked! He very well understood my poker face when I could not understand a concept and would pull me into the discussion to get clarity. 

I had a fear of speaking in front of people, but he made sure that I answered (or try to answer), even if my answer was wrong. That helped me remember those questions, especially the ones I could not answer.

By the end of 4 days, it was too much information to grasp. A number of tricks and tips were shared, which made me understand the concept better. It definitely gave me the motivation and confidence of passing the PMP exam. 

Own Study

Due to my hectic work-related travel, I could not continue to do self-study. I kept on postponing my studies and preparation for the examination. Then I was told that the PMBOK® Guide, 5th edition is going to change and I should take the exam before the new course. I attempted the exam in haste. The biggest mistake I made was that I applied my practical knowledge and my own understanding compared to what has been mentioned in the PMBOK guide. I could not clear. 

I was called by Project Management Institute (PMI®) to take the second attempt with a lesser fee. Within a month I took the exam. My thought process was that I have prepared enough compared to my previous attempt. Hence, strengthening my weak areas could help me clear this time. I was wrong. I went with 80% preparation rather than 100%. I failed again. This time I was devastated. The pain of failing twice was very disheartening. 

However, I was determined that I have to clear the PMP exam no matter what. In 2019, I again got in touch with Satya and received the PMP Live Lessons. I planned to take the PMP exam by Dec 2019, however due to a full-time onsite project, I could not devote time for studies. I was also scared of taking the exam due to pure fear of failing. 

I kept on postponing and COVID pandemic started. This period actually gave me the chance and courage to utilize my time to take my PMP exam. 

Course Review – PMP Live Lessons

The videos of PMP Live Lessons are quite engaging. 

By listening to the videos, many concepts got registered in my mind. It was like attending a remote session.

I dedicated three months of study. It was very difficult for me to sit and study as I was not able to focus. It took me two weeks of time to actually start gaining knowledge. 

Then I would dedicate four hours daily on week days and six hours on weekends. I would listen to videos of one lesson (chapter), then read the PMBOK guide’s corresponding chapter and give the lesson-end test. 

I did three rounds of reading and listening in the last 3 months. The full-length questions are very helpful in revising the concepts and being careful about the tick questions. 

PMP Exam Experience

I scheduled for the online proctored exam on 19-Dec-2020. Satya had prepared me that there would be a break around the 90th question and ideally it should take 70 seconds (just over a minute) per question. I was prepared to take a break which really helped me go freshen up and have a nice cup of black coffee.

Questions Faced in the Exam

My experience on the questions faced are noted below.

  • Most of the questions were situational. For example, what would you do next
  • I did not have many mathematical questions fortunately as it was very difficult to write on the online white board in the proctored exam. 
  • There were few network diagram related questions. Drawing the network diagrams took more than a minute. 
  • Overall, the exam went-by very smoothly. I was able to complete the exam in 3 hours and 15 minutes – 45 minutes before the scheduled completion time. 
  • A number of questions were on stakeholder management, and communications management. 

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants

Dos 

  • Please make sure you practice sitting for studies for 2 hours every day, same time and same place. It builds a rhythm. It also takes a while to actually start learning.
  • Prepare a timetable even if you miss a few timelines. Revise the timetable and adjust according to the time left.
  • Please make sure to read and listen to videos a minimum three times. Like Satya says: “Cover to Cover. Every definition is important.”
  • Practice the online white board at-least a week before the exam. 
  • Think positive. Believe in yourself.

Don’ts

  • Do not panic during your preparation or during the exam.
  • Do not take exams and preparation lightly.
  • Do not doubt your first instinct while choosing the answer.

Conclusion

I would be more systematic and organized in my ways of working. After learning and internalizing stakeholder engagement lessons, I realized the actions or steps I have been not doing for stakeholder engagement. I will try to apply these learnings. 

Brief Profile: 

Kavita Nambiar, PMP

I currently work as a Customer Delivery Manager. I have been working with an IT organization for the last 10 years. I have been into the project management role for the last 4 yrs.




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