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Thinking of getting certified? Meet Anand

New PMPs

Obtaining a designation as a Project Management Professional is probably one of the most valuable investments you can make in your career. It’s globally recognized, it applies to a multitude of industries and it’s a great way of showing your knowledge and work experience as a Project Manager.

However, pursuing this certification takes more than just commitment and to help, I’ve brought Anand Sreekumar along in this interview to share his experience of preparing for the PMP Exam.

What motivated you to write the PMP exam? What was yours why?

I am an experienced project management professional with over four years of work experience working in a Project Management Office (PMO) environment. I had managed multiple projects over my six years in the railway industry but never got around to getting certified even though I was aware of PMP. It wasn’t until I decided to move to Canada that it dawned on me that it would be good to have a professional certification that was recognised around the world to reflect my skill-set and thus I sat down for the exam in 2018.

How did you prepare for the PMP Exam?

To prepare for the exam, I enlisted in an online preparatory programme and bought a physical copy of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). I also enlisted for a few mock exams.

What was your schedule like? How much of a commitment did you make? How long did it take you to prepare for the exam?

I set aside two hours every day for the preparation for over 30 days. I initially covered the fundamentals in the PMBOK, then moved on to some study questions / mock exams.  

What studying tips would you suggest?

Try to get a grip on the overall framework first: Table 1-4. Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping (PMBOK Version 6). This lays the foundation for the rest of the content in my opinion.

Everyone has a superstition or a kind of amulet they use for good luck – what's yours?

My pre-exam ritual involves a long night's sleep and a big breakfast.

Are there any requirements/criteria to become PMP certified?

Yes. To qualify to take the exam, one should have all of the following :

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education


  • Four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

What benefits have you realized since obtaining your certification?

For starters, being certified gives me access to connect and network with those who are also a part of the Project Management Institute (PMI) around the world. I’ve attended great events hosted by the local chapters that facilitate continuous learning and have started volunteering for the Toronto chapter, which has helped develop my skills in communication and marketing and make great friendships as I moved to a new country;

What advice would you like to share with those who are considering getting PMP certified?

Sure. Here are a few pointers that have helped me arrive at the decision of getting certified:

  • Check beforehand if you should be doing a CAPM or PMP based on your background and experience;
  • Do not procrastinate on taking the exam as I did - it is a widely recognised qualification, so it is better to take it sooner than later
  • Commit adequate time for preparation and begin intense preparation  around 30-45 days prior to the exam

What learning lessons can you share from your experience preparing for this exam?

Don't try to memorize all the content in the PMBOK. Worst case, try to remember the basic frameworks.

I felt the exam appeared to lean more towards the practical as opposed to theoretical and this was my focus for preparation as I moved closer to the exam date. 

And of course, you passed - what did you do to celebrate your success?

I took my family to a large meal in a very good Indian restaurant. It also coincided with a birthday so you could say I hit two birds with one stone!

That’s a wrap! Thank you so much, Anand, for taking the time to share your experience and advice on what worked and didn’t. We hope this article gave you enough food for thought on how one has approached (and been successful) in passing the PMP Exam.

Help our future PMs! Please leave your tips on what had helped you throughout your prep in our comments section.

Interested in getting certified? Visit our calendar of events to learn more about our PMP prep course, which is offered year-round.   


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