Journey to PMP Certification: 40 Days of Planned effort!! Prothoughts

Journey to PMP Certification: 40 Days of Planned effort!! Prothoughts

Hello People,
Ravi Chopade is a Senior Research Analyst at Nielsen. I have a total of 4 years experience. ProThoughts in Mumbai conducted training sessions for me on the 15, 16, 22 and 23, July 2017. ProThoughts provided excellent training in PMP. I enjoyed the group activities and the quick quiz that made the content easy to understand. Although I have been to many training sessions before, I don’t remember any of them having such an impact. The discussions were truly inspirational.
Why did I choose PMP certification?
Trust me, I joined on 14 July, one day before the actual class date. I believe that proper processes can make daily project management more efficient, effective, and convenient. My current job role had me playing different roles at different stages of a given project. I also had a view of the entire project life cycle. I joined PMP certification to learn a holistic approach to project management and to be equipped with the necessary tools and technics to complete successful projects. I want to grow my career in Research / Project Management / Consulting. PMP certification will help me get there.

How do I prepare for the exam?
The whole exercise was completed as a project for Crack PMP Exam. I had a “Start Date” of 15 Jul and an “End Date”, of 4 Sept. After the classroom sessions, I completed the first reading of all Knowledge Areas in RMC book in two weeks. Following these sessions, I applied for the PMP exam according to ProThouhts guidelines. My application was approved within five days. In the meantime, I completed the second round of RMC book reading in the next 10 days. For the first 25 days, my study time was 3 hours per day on working days and 8 on weekends. As I was confident in my study skills, I booked the slot for the PMP Exam on the 4th of September. I also took leave and appeared for four mock exams the following week. Here’s what I can summarize:

Observations
Preparation: I planned my study efforts keeping in mind the Exam Date of 4 September. I followed only the instructions of Ashish Sir, ProThought, and Rita Mulcahy’s book. You can find a variety of videos and information online about studying preparation. They are confusing and will make PMP seem difficult, according to me. It is better to avoid!
Study Material: The only study material I used was the RMC book and the booklets provided by ProThoughts. I solved every exercise in the RMC Book, which helped me to quickly gain knowledge. I was honest in my appearance for all mocks and put effort into their analysis. This helped me a lot to set the logical flow.
Study Pattern: I used to read half a chapter per day on working days and I would try to finish 3 chapters in a single day on weekends. To help me recall what I had learned in each knowledge area, I created a mind map after I finished reading it. After reading the chapter, I tried to avoid answering questions. To retain as much information as possible, I solved questions the next day. After each mock test, I focused on the areas that were most difficult and made extra efforts to fill in the knowledge gaps. One observation was that I scored low in Closing and Monitor & Control. These two processes are at the end of each chapter and we lose our focus. When I was solving the questions, my mental model was that of a Project Manager who is responsible for managing large projects with many stakeholders from different nations. It is more likely that we will make mistakes than in our day-to-day jobs. I was nervous at times because two of the readings took a lot of time. Mock Exams and work on weak links helped me gain confidence. I was able to retain my flow and pace by studying immediately after the four days of classroom training.
Peer Learning: I was close to Pooja Sindwani (proThoughts batch mate) during preparation days. We used to talk about study methods and how to improve. Sanket Gaikwad, who recently passed the PMP exam, was able to provide me with guidance. I found the conversations with them to be a valuable addition to my knowledge, and they offered refreshing perspectives.
PMP Exam: 150 questions were situation-based and tested how you can apply learning in a real-world scenario. The remaining 30-35 questions tested knowledge about tools and techniques, and the 10-15 numerical questions.

I want to thank ProThoughts Team, and especially Mr. Ashish Sadekar sir, for helping me crack the difficult PMP exam in a short time. All the best to all PMP hopefuls!