PMP Preparation Lessons Learned

It had already been four months passed being jobless when in sept 2020 after gaining certification of Digital Marketing, I commenced my preparation for PMP. In quest to look out for resources. I initially referred to LinkedIn Learning and completed a certification on PMBOK from there.

Fortunately when exploring PMI website , I had opted for membership that gave me access to PMBOK guide, so the second stance to prepare for the PMP examination, was to read the PMBOK guide, however everything that I was reading sounded blur in concept and cumbersome in context. With all rigorous but non-strategic efforts, I covered reading 196 pages of PMBOK guide, as I was on schedule management knowledge area, I gave up self reading and decided to look out for a coach.

By this time in the pandemic year, October had already approached . My foremost goal was to appear and clear the PMP examination no later than Dec 2020. As staring Jan 2021 onward, new examination content outline was going to be rolled out by Project management Institute which would test Project Management proficiency over Domains of People , Process and Business Environment. As well, most questions will be based on Agile and Hybrid methodologies. I had my apprehensions of clearing the PMP Examination on the new Examination content outline.

So to look for free resources , I opted for SWAYAM. As I had completed Digital Marketing from it and a Professor of Punjab Technical university Dr. Tejinderpal Singh was very good. So similarly I was expecting for Project management teaching as well . I went on to the SWAYAM site got enrolled myself over a parallel course on Project Management. But this turned out to be a bizarre. After completing two assignments and almost two week lecture I pulled myself away. As I was paranoid to learn Project management from this free resource. This course was not relating to PMBOK, hence not solving my purpose.

And then I conducted a bit of research, bench marking made me opt Simplilearn as it was demonstrated number 8 i.e among first top ten boot-camp LMS for Project management coaching. I luckily got a good deal as well through negotiation, where in my subscription would be active for 2021 ECO at no further raise of price from initial contract.

After registering weekday classes for two hours that were scheduled from 19th Oct to 11th Nov on LMS, I pounced on to Self learning module and started making notes attempting to grasp all process groups and knowledge areas. However, I was still at Shu level in Shu-Ha-Ri model , during this time.

On 19th October, as clock hour-hand was proceeding towards 8 pm. I was earnestly waiting to find who would be my coach?? and it turned out, it was “Tim Jerome“. The very first introduction that he made about himself was Charismatic, Transformational and sounding like an Expert Judgment.

And thus I followed ceremonies closely. Tim’s two hour class made me passionately invested more than 9 hours every day. At this point of time from Novice I had elevation in myself to Advance Beginner Stage .

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Dreyfus model

Kindly find a sample of one of my notes from Tim’s lecture.I have captured his narration. The shared one covers Resource Management.

Gathering Lessons learned each day to retrospect on self capability for improvement ,created a momentum in me, that was strategically more structured than before. I started gaining confidence in myself and decided to schedule PMP exam on 11th Dec 2020.

I was consistently practicing exercises from Simplilearn, also as Tim told us about a site PMChallenge that has no limit on practice questions, I kept on practicing PMChallenge had attained GURU Batch that signifies 1000 questions practiced.

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PM Challenge

Evaluation of self assessment indicated development in my confidence level for scheduled 11th Dec exam but, an unfortunate incident happened on 8th of Dec wherein I lost my father. This did not left me in right state of mind to appear for the PMP examination scheduled on 11th Dec. Circumstances now procrastinated the exam further, I had to eventually wrap up my preparation that was based on old examination content outline and had to step to learn Project Management again studying as per New Examination Content outline 2021.

Here at this point I was randomly trying to get registered one more time to have Tim again as my coach. But even after three registration attempts, it seemed as Tim’s session for that specific duration was not there . No doubt I had different coaches but now I felt there learning or the way of coaching was interfering with my cadence.

This made me embarked to self organizing teams as taught in Agile concept, hence I unregistered myself from live classes. Keeping Tim’s note as baseline to context upon I went on to Rita Mulcahy and purchased 10th edition for preparing self on ECO 2021.

RMC cloud was another in-depth deep drive , I became engrossed in arts and science of project management to explore Predictive , Agile and Hybrid in domains of People , Process and Business Environment. Also I could context better now with PMBOK guide.

With the revision of ECO I was knowing it will take 2-3 months again to prepare myself for the exam. I kept on practicing, attained a range of 72% to 78% on sample papers. These two months Jan and Feb 2021 actually bought in a lot of challenges too, there was lack of relevant sample papers to practice upon , I was dissatisfied with Simplilearn for the first time as there sample papers was not even close to what I explored ahead.

PMI meanwhile released Exam Prep Special offer that has free accessibility till mid April still, to help candidates prepare on new ECO 2021, this indeed was a direct insight of best practices of Project Management.

But again the real challenge was sample question papers that would further enhance my test range results beyond 85% at least. More important now was the relevancy of questions as there were too many players in market.

Note PMP Exam tests your comprehension not memory.

After statistical sampling I nailed on Exam simulator 2021 Prepcast. This firmly is most relevant material for PMP Examination, if you are at a Competent level in Dreyfus model of skill mastery, you would love to explore questions on Prepcast.

Practicing questions I started attaining beyond 85% on Prepcast Exam sample papers. But now I wanted to test myself on fast failure too, so I started giving break to myself on what could be most toughest comprehension leading me to choose most wrong option.

This reciprocated. I had now attained a range of 90%-98% . By now including 2120 questions from Prepcast the break-down of which is signified below.

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My Excel worksheet

I had almost completed practicing about four thousand questions, from various resources.

The way Cornelius Fichtner and his team does the contextualizing of PMP questions no other resource can make up to this mark. I say this with firmness , as my score card below of PMP Examination reflects this.

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Score card

As celebration and wrap up signifying Close Project or phase, I wanted to share my lessons learned more thoroughly with you all. Hence this article is also on podcast that I have converted to enhance osmotic communication between us. Catch the Glimpse of my certification and preparation with beautiful video below.

PMP Preparation Glimpses

I am thankful to good people, this certification is a tribute to my father late Shri R.D Upadhyay.

I will conclude this article from one of Tim’s Jerome referred quote

When you have an obstacle, push hard, this is where the greatest progress is to be obtained.

Podcast Link

Lessons Learned Project Management Professional certification Examination
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Lessons Learned Project Management Professional certification Examination
I cracked my PMP, now sharing lessons learned with you for success of your endeavors
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Canary Wharf Partners & Consulting
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