PMP Lessons Learned: What Not to Do During PMP Exam Preparation?

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

Yet another Aspirants who just passed the new PMP Exam in 2019! Thanks and congratulations to Sachin Inkar who just passed the PMP Exam!

PMI has just announced the new PMP Exam originally scheduled to be released in Dec 2019 will be postponed to Jul 2020, that’s a great news for those who would like to get PMP Exam based on the current exam format! That means this lessons learned is relevant to you!

The lessons learned by Sachin on this PMP Exam prep project is detailed below:

I am working in IT for more than 14yrs now , I graduated in IT and have studied Project Management as a subject during college. So I was confident that I will do well in it. To my surprise it wasn’t the case.

This was my first major certification after 10 yrs. When I got hold of the PMBOK® Guide guide I thought I will never finish this. The size of PMBOK® Guide scared me and I started looking for notes. To get my mind in studying mode wasn’t easy. So I decided to take CAPM® exam first as the syllabus is the same for both exams I still had to read PMBOK® Guide. One of my friends recommended me “Rita Mulcachy’s PMP Exam Prep”. I started reading that, I watched PMP videos from “Pluralsight” and finished my mandatory training for PMP. After close to one month I was still not confident of completing the syllabus on time. But I kept reading and taking notes. Eventually I finished the syllabus and slowly all dots started connecting. I registered for CAPM® and managed to clear it. This made me more confident. I register my PMP one month after that.

I am sure there are enough material and right plans available on how to approach PMP. Let me tell you what I did not do which I regretted in the exam.

Although I pass the exam but I will highly recommend any aspirant to not do this.

Never took training from an actual PMP course –

I would highly recommend candidates to enroll in a training course. This provides you with many benefits which you will realize before / during / after your exam.

Never Read PMBOK® Guide –

You should read PMBOK® Guide at least once. No other study material covers each topic in details as PMBOK® Guide does. I remember I had 4-5 different questions in the exams about “Kick-off Meetings”. The book I referred to had only a paragraph of 5-6 lines to describe it. But PMBOK® Guide explained the concept in great detail.

Never took a complete mock exam –

Yes , that’s real. I realized in 1 hr into the exam how big this mistake was. My mind was not ready to concentrate for those 4 hrs. I felt tired and I literally had to force my mind to stay focused. I wont suggest anyone to do this blunder. Please take enough practice tests so you mind don’t feel exhausted during the exam.

If I had to give advice to any aspirant who is in similar situation:

Don’t take the exam lightly and don’t be overconfident irrespective of your background. PMP is a difficult exam where you need to invest time and stick to a plan and approach the exam with a plan.

Please refer to good quality PMP questions –

There are tons of exam questions available , the actual exam questions are difficult so you have to refer to a credible source. I attempted close to 1000 questions from various sources. I don’t think there is any best source available but 400 questions from Rita Mulcachy’s book were very useful as some of the questions I had in exams were very close to the practice questions I did.

Some of you must be thinking I am lucky to pass the exam but I did fairly well in the results. But in all honesty my approach to the exam wasn’t the best. I realized during the exam why so much planning and efforts is required to clear the exam.

  • Initiating: Target
  • Planning: Target
  • Executing: Target
  • Monitor & Control: Above Target
  • Closing: Above Target

I have to Thank Edward Chung , I stumble upon his site week before my exam and I found lot of useful material. I went through all his PMP notes for each chapter diligently. I used it as a tool to revise my learnings and went back to PMP exam prep material where I needed more information. I would highly recommend his work which he has shared with everyone. I wish I was so good at making notes.

~ Sachin Inkar, PMP

Thanks Sachin for the very detailed PMP Exam lessons learned! I find it especially useful to know the things not recommended for PMP Exam preparation as an after-thought. You are really talented to write from another perspective.

To Aspirants: Wish you PMP success!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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