PMP Lessons Learned: There is No Shortcut to Success – Not with PMP at Least

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

More good news are coming. Kevin Thomas passed the PMP® Exam on 25th July 2020, below are the lessons learned from the PMP® Exam preparation:

Let me share my experience.

Basically, there is no shortcut to success – not with PMP® at least.

I started my aspiration of PMP® in the year 2014. However, poor results in sample mocks and personal life engagements, caused a back sliding of my commitment to PMP®.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic season, though painful for many families, who lost their near and dear ones, brought up a rather self imposed house arrest.
Through the adoption of “Work from Home” methodology, I could replace my travel times, with study times and prepare and clear PMP®

I committed myself to PMP® preparation in Apr 2020 and cleared my exam in end July 2020 – in 1st attempt itself. (I scored 3AT, 2T despite having some software problems in my laptop, while giving proctored exam from home).

Initially when I started preparing, it was a difficult task, as if climbing/scaling a mountain. But once the momentum was set, the momentum continued with lesser efforts.
Turning the Covid restrictions as an alibi, I used to wake up at 6.00am in the morns and study will 8.00am. Then get on with work throughout the day, and attending to family duties. Later on post dinner, would sit up for studies from 10.00pm – 12.00 midnight. This was my schedule on 6 days of the week, during work days. I would devote average of 6-8 hours on Sundays, trying our mock tests – timed and untimed.

After having completed one round of study references I would go through mocks, I would revisit these theory lessons again. Revisiting provided greater insights and facilitied better understanding. Even the explanations of mocks helped in understanding the theory better. I even made notes, drew out ACRONYMS to help me remember the ITTO’s. I went through the entire cycle thrice in succession.

I used the following reference materials for understanding the concepts of Project Management (in the stated order of importance).

  • Understand Project Management Process Edition 6 (Overview) – Ricardo Vargas
  • Memorize outputs of PMBOK® Guide edition 6 – Aileen Ellis
  • Understanding of PMP® terminology – Edward Designer  (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Rita Mulcahy edition 9
  • PMBOK® Guide edition 6 – PMI
  • Project Management simplified – Deniz Sasal

I used the following free online Practice Questions for timed and untimed tests. (which I took from Edward’s website).

  • Rita Mulcahy edition 9 (solve questionnaires at the end of every chapter)
  • Oliver Lehmann
  • Oliver Lehmann (downloadable questions pdf)
  • Free PM exam simulator
  • Simplilearn
  • PMI sample mock – Free online questions – available on PMI stores for Indian applicants (free of cost) – Test takers are advised to attempt this test only as a last step, after completing all above mocks. This full length test is very difficult and may discourage aspirants, if taken at the beginning

Apart from clearing the exam, the PMP® has enlightened and broadened my perspective of Project Management and helped me realize in more detail the importance of PMP® processes and accruing benefits.

A special thanks to you Edward, for your compilation, which helped me understand concepts, differences of near meaning terminologies of PMP® and also gave a guide to free PMP® mock tests.

Hardwork and God’s Grace!

~ Kevin Thomas, PMP®

Thanks Kevin for the PMP® Exam lessons learned!

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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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