Hi, I am Koel Bhadra, I became a certified PMP in January 2020, and here is my journey from beginning to end while preparing for the PMP exam certification. Let’s learn how to crack the PMP exam on your first attempt. Project Management is a necessity in our Life. Be it a professional or in our personal space, everywhere it’s needed. No project succeeds without proper PMP Certification Training.
‘Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.’ Denis Waitley
At work, I felt Project Management is a blessing. It’s one of the most required skills set irrespective of Industry. So, I decided to ‘Go on’ for the project management Certification Journey.
“Being a Project Manager is like being an artist, you have the different colored process streams combining into a work of art.” – Greg Cimmarrusti
How did I start my PMP Exam Preparation?
First, I Analyze The Market
Project Management comes with its organized principles and develops the fundamentals of Project Management. There are lots of Project Management courses available from top Institutes and Universities as well. PMP – Project Management Professional certification course offered by PMI, is one of the most renowned Project management Courses worldwide. Most importantly PMI offers exams across the world.
You can also check our PMP Certification Training Course will get you ready for certification and teach you the essentials of project management.
Then I Assessed The Exam Difficulty Level
PMP exam is higher on difficulty level compared to any other Project Management Exam. The exam is for 4 hours, contains 200 multiple-choice questions. Questions are situation based which checks Project Management principles application readiness. Only advantage – No negative marking.
Finalized The Training Institute
There are several Training Institutes that will teach about, how to crack PMP exams providing classroom training for PMP exams. It must cover 35 hours of PMP Training. Select the Institute based on the below criteria –
- No of mock tests available
- Support with Training and other study materials
- Cost effective
- Available Schedule for training
Prepared The Project Plan And Project Schedules
First, I had set the target by when I want to appear for the exam & that was my project delivery deadline.
Also, I had set my Success factor as achieving ‘Above Target in all Process Groups’.
- I prepared the Project schedule accordingly to meet my Delivery deadline. Prepared to have clear Milestones and WBS in place.
- Followed my project plan rigorously.
- Celebrated achieving every milestone, as motivation is very much needed.
- Learned tips for how crack the PMP exam on the first attempt.
What all I needed to study and learn, what should it exclude (list of things that I gave up freeing up my time for studies, for example, less time on social media, TV but made time to watch videos on PMP concepts).
Which Books To Refer for The Preparation
- PMI PMBOK 7th edition (Thoroughly)
- Rita Mulchany’s PMP Exam Prep Book Nineth Edition (Thoroughly)
- Headfirst PMP Book (Practiced Questions)
PMP Preparation And Execution Plan Throughout My Journey
My Plan and strategies that helped me in maintaining discipline with studies and preparations–
1.Wall Posters – The below material printout I had posted on my wall
- Project Management Chart with 5 Process groups and 10 Knowledge area.
- Project Study Schedule – ‘Become a PMP’
2. Daily Rituals – I followed the below as Daily rituals which I practiced every day, tried not to skip. Dedication is most important to crack PMP.
- I practiced preparing Project Management Chart with 5 Process Groups and 10 Knowledge Area. I had also prepared Project Management charts with Outcomes and inputs in separate charts (Trust me this is super helpful). This helps in understanding the whole Process flow.
- I used to have a look at PMP Formulae everyday
3. Project PMP Study Plan
Completed PMBOK and Rita Mulchany’s Book 2 times Thoroughly. Read 1 time each Book for the key areas only.
|Contents||Reading/Practicing||Start Day||End Day||Test|
|Planned each Knowledge Area/Process group-wise (each book)||Reading (made a detailed plan for every Knowledge area/Process Group)||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Chapter Test|
|Project Charter||Practice||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Prepared own|
|Requirement Traceability Matrix||Practice||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Prepared own|
|Stakeholder Matrix||Practice||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Prepared Own|
|Project Schedule preparation||Practice||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Prepared own|
|PMP Numerical||Practice||–/–/—-||–/–/—-||Chapter Practice|
4. Schedule for Mock Test
Completed 8 Mock exams. It is important to get more than 80% in the Mock Test. This will also build up confidence and understand how to crack PMP exam.
- Attempted first Mock test (attempted Mock test only after finishing PMBOK and Rita Mulchany’s book thoroughly 2 times), noted down areas I was lacking
- Read those areas before attempting next Mock Test
Scheduled the exam when I scored above 80 % on mock tests with no aid.
Find out PMP Hotspot Exam Questions here
Tips That Can Help You Crack PMP Certification Exam
- While studying, I found topics like Quality Management, Communications Management, Procurement Management, and Stakeholder Management were easy, so I started preparation with these.
- While studying, don’t break your study Rhythm. Follow the flow (Be it as low as 1 hour/day)
- Schedule Management & Cost Management got numericals, practice them regularly
- Read PMBOK Guide, used it as a Guide. You can refer it anytime for real life Projects as well
- Read Rita Mulchany’s book to understand the concepts & practise Questions
- Flow of activities mentioned in Rita Mulchany’s book is very essential to clear doubts. Practiced the flow of activities in Planning rigorously.
- Practice questions from Rita Mulchany’s book, these are very close to actual questions in PMP exams
- Get in touch with certified PMP professionals for guidance
- Don’t try to mug up, just understand the concepts. PMI checks PMP principles application readiness
- Don’t only focus on clearing the PMP exam, learn the concepts to apply in real life projects
- Use Mock tests to prepare yourself to sit for a 4-hour long exam
Finally, I appeared for the exam and cleared it with an ‘Above Target’ score in all Process Groups. This was a big achievement following a systematic study plan and with a clear understanding of Project Management principles.
PMP Certification Details
Cost of the Exam
The PMP exam is $405 for those with a PMI (Project Management Institute) membership and $555 for those without a membership.
Prerequisites for PMP Exam
- 35 contact hours Training &
- Project Experience – Experience leading and directing project “tasks”
- With a four years bachelor’s degree or global equivalent – 4500 hours over at least 36 months
- With High School/Diploma – 7500 hours over at least 60 months
Do you want help getting your PMP certification? Check out this detailed blog post on PMP Certification Requirements
Certification validity and Extention – Once certified, PMP Certification is valid for 3 years. Holders must achieve 60 PDUs for renewal PDU: Professional Development Units 1 PDU corresponds to 1 hour of professional development activity approved by the PMI
PMP® certification gives strong industry recognition and of course, it calls for a celebration.