17 May at 01:40PM
My PMP Journey
Hi, my name is Nitin Garg and I am a Project Manager. I passed my PMP® exam in December 2020.
I would like to share my PMP journey to help others who are thinking of obtaining their certification.
If you are entertaining the idea of obtaining your PMP but don’t know where or how to start, I hope by sharing my journey will help your decision in beginning your own preparation. If my story helps kick start your own journey, I am excited for you. This is a lengthy read so take it in with patience, especially if you are aspiring to be a PMP.
It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses
I always had a reason to delay my preparation: too busy at work, too much to study, don’t know how to prepare, or too scared of failure. I made a commitment to start, and the time for excuses was over. I decided to set a SMART goal, I asked my boss to add my PMP examination as a goal for my year-end appraisal. Despite all excuses, as professionals we don't fiddle with our annual ratings. What will be your motivation?
Think of the Exam as A Project
I made studying for the exam a project with milestones. I began by creating a schedule (study plan), planning a budget (certification fee, course material, simulator, training), assigned resources (juggle between family and office responsibilities, day to day work) and quality (effective learning). I took the following approach:
Step 1: Do some research
Visit www.pmi.org and read about the PMP certification process including qualifying criteria, fees, application process, exam pattern, etc. The website has everything you need to be informed about the certificate process and exam. If like me you meet the requirements, the next step is preparing your application and study plan.
Step 2: Create a Study Plan
There are various approaches to create an effective study plan. This is what worked for me:
Time to Take the Exam
On day 61 I committed to take the exam. I admit I am a little “old school”, so I prefer going to the exam centre instead of the virtual exam option. While going to the exam centre, I listened to my favourite songs to help ease my nerves. I recommend doing something that will ease your nerves before the exam. During the exam they have added a mandate to take a break after question 89. Once you click ‘next’ on question 89 you will be prompted to review your questions and go on a break. After you review your answers, you may take a 10 minute break or just click ‘next’ and start the next section. Please note that after the break you will not be able to review those first 89 questions again.
Once you complete the exam your results are displayed on-screen.
Tips and Closing
Inputs / Outputs / Tools & Techniques (ITTO): Throughout the first 35 days of my study plan, I was apprehensive on how to learn all the ITTOs of the 49 processes. But once I started using the simulator questions, things started falling into place. It also helped me to read the PMBOK a second time. You don’t need to cram. All sequencing of processes will automatically make sense the more mock questions you answer.
Memorize the Processes table: Use mnemonic techniques to memorize the processes. Practice it every day. This helps to sequence processes in your mind. By practicing everyday my timing in writing the entire process table went from 20 minutes to 6 minutes. For added tips Google “How to memorize 49 PMP processes” and choose the best option for you.
This is the technique I used > “How to memorize 49 PMP processes”
If you decide to start preparing for your PMP, I hope my journey helped guide your decision and future preparation. Good luck!
Nitin Garg (PMI ID - 6506646)