PMP Exam Lessons Learned by Swati Sucharita [June 2017]

PMP Exam Experience Sharing

It is always great to hear from fellow Aspirants that they find my website useful for their PMP exam prep. This essentially mean that I have really done something meaningful. I still remember many good guys had helped me with my PMP journey and this website is a tribute to all their help and my own way of contributing back to the project management community.

Swati Sucharita is one of the recent PMP exam taker who passed in first attempt. Congratulations on joining the PMP club!

Swati Sucharita Passed the PMP Exam in June 2017

Below is the sharing by Swati Sucharita who gets PMP certified recently with 3 Proficient:

Thank you very much for giving me this chance to show my gratitude towards your endeavour/ website .

My journey towards PMP:

I started preparing for my PMP in May 2015. That was the time I had very minimal idea about what PMP was, what resources to follow, where to get trained and the contact hours. After googling , I came across Edward’s site. And this is where it began. Edward mentioned his study plan, and the suggestions regarding the study guides to follow, the mock exams to give, and also regarding the PM PrepCast™.

After doing some research, I decided to purchase the PM PrepCast™ for training and contact hours. I also purchased the Simulator of 1800 questions. However, due to unforeseen circumstances I could not think of PMP till this year Feb 2017 (Flash forward- 2 years!!!). I had almost lost hope and thought that I lost all that money on PM PrepCast™ membership and Simulator which had obviously expired in 2 years, and now I had to go looking for another training course. But I thought to contact Cornelius Fichtner and the team of PrepCast again, to see if my account can be re-activated. To my delight, they responded back in a day, with all the instructions regarding how I can reactivate my account and use the Podcast and the simulator.

One of the best decisions that I had taken, is purchasing the simulator. I cannot thank Edward and the PrepCast program enough for all the guidance and the immense amount of knowledge that you have shared, which has helped me all through out.

Finally I cleared my PMP today 12th June 2017 after rigorous amount of preparation and trying to leave no stone unturned.

My preparation material:

  1. Headfirst PMP – I love head first series. It works for me always, as I am more of a visual person. Went through it twice. Very diligently did all exercises and reviewed all wrong/right answers.
  2. PM PrepCast™ – Then I started listening to the PM PrepCast™ and sidewise making notes. Did not cover end to end podcast, but went through the main knowledge areas. Making notes on the side, helped in absorbing the lessons.
  3. PMBOK® Guide – Then comes the dry one. Since it is a must, which I had heard, I started picking up the areas and categorizing them, which I felt are inter-related :
    • Stakeholder Management and Communication Management
    • Risk and Quality
    • Time, Cost and Scope
    • HR
    • Procurement
    • Integration
  4. Rita Mulachy – I did all its exercises , alongside PMBOK® Guide guide, after every individual chapter.
  5. Edward’s PMP Notes – I followed Edward’s notes, wherever there were confusing concepts. I also studied certain knowledge areas from his notes. Formula sheet. EVM explanations.
  6. Mock Exams – After setting up a strong foundation on the concepts I went for the Mock exams:
    • Did all the free mock exams, which Edward mentioned in his blog: namely, Oliver Lehmann (Online), Headfirst, PM Exam Simulator, Simplilearn, Oliver Lehaman and Edwel.
    • 9 Full PM Simulator exams – 1800 – This is the paid PM Exam Simulator. And for any PMP aspirant, I would recommend it. I had solved all the 9 mock exams( all timed- 4hrs each). Went through all wrong answers especially, and made notes, of all the concepts which I was still getting wrong. On the exam day,  I was so pleasantly surprised, with the questions, as I felt, I have solved similar questions/scenarios in the simulator. I always had time management problem,  but having solved all the mock exams, really helped me in the real exams, and I completed in time. All the practice was real worth it, and if you solve all the simulator questions, I can bet on it, that you will clear your PMP. Trust me.
    • Other online sources – Exam central etc.
  7. Had downloaded certain free PMP apps on my mobile – PMP Pro , PMP exam Mentor etc.
  8. All this might seem overwhelming, but people clear exams, with less mock exams too. My friend gave total 4 exams and she came out with flying colors. For me, I was a slow learner,  I knew I needed practice, lot of practice, so I just did whatever I had to do.
  9. The most important thing is to review your answers after mocks, that really helps, because we understand the reasoning and concept behind why a particular answer is right or wrong. Blindly giving mocks, would not help.
  10. Also, during the process of preparation, if there was a concept which confused me, or I needed more clarity, I would go blindly type ‘ Edward pmp + the concept which I needed clarity on ‘  and then I would get all my answers 😀 – my go to site
  11. For me during the exams, I got lot many questions on change control process (the ones which asks,  ‘there is a scope change/or schedule delay, or a baseline change etc…what would you do’, SPI/CPI interpretations, Risk Analysis/response strategies,  project charter related, quality charts, critical path, few EVM questions,  rest all spread  across all knowledge areas, and hardly any ethics questions.

I cleared my exams today,  with the below :I cleared my exams today,  with the below :

  • Initiation : Moderately Proficient.
  • Planning : Proficient
  • Executing : Proficient
  • Monitoring and Controlling : Proficient
  • Closing : Moderately Proficient

I had promised myself, that the day I clear my PMP, I would share it with Edward Chung and Cornelius Fichtner. It would not have been possible without you both. If my experience can help anyone on the road to PMP, I would be glad I could help.

Lastly, as we all know, practice, practice and more practice!! .. that’s the secret to success

PS: Behind all this hard work, there are times , when I used to get distracted with Facebook, Youtube videos, then one leads to another, and before I realized, hours would pass. I constantly reminded myself to put a check on myself and get back my focus. You might have to give up some fun weekends with friends, or miss out movies or celebrations, push away your vacation plans and do whatever it takes, to not get distracted. Pull yourself back , take that deliberate attempt to stay focussed. Remind yourself, once this is over, you will treat yourself with that long awaited vacation (Bali for me), or go hangout and go crazy with friends and family, and yes, do not forget to thank everyone who has contributed in small/big way for this huge success.

Congratulations and thanks again Swati for your detailed sharing!

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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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1 Response

  1. Swati Sucharita says:

    Thank you Edward for sharing my experience.