I am Ravi Chopade, Senior Research Analyst at Nielsen with total experience of 4 years. I did participate in training sessions 15, 16, 22 and 23 July 2017 conducted at in Mumbai by ProThoughts. I would like to thank ProThoughts for absolutely superb training on PMP. I genuinely enjoyed the group activities and a quick quiz which made the content easily understandable. I have attended several pieces of training before but I can’t recall any of them having such a strong impact. The discussions were truly inspiring.
Why did I opt for PMP certification?
Trust me; I made the decision to join on 14 July, a day before actual class date. I am a firm believer of the fact that we can make our daily project processes convenient, efficient and effective by adopting correct processes. In my current job profile, I played different roles at different stages of a project and had a perspective of an end to end project life cycle. My objective to join PMP certification was to gain holistic approach as a Project Manager and get equipped with required tools and technics for successful project completion. I would like to build my career in Research / Project Management / Consulting and PMP certification will definitely help me to fast-track it.
How did I plan for the exam?
I did execute the whole exercise as a project of “Crack PMP Exam” with “Start Date” of 15 July and “End Date” as 4 Sept. I did finish first reading of all Knowledge Areas from RMC book in 2 weeks after the classroom sessions. After that, I did apply for PMP exam as per the guidelines provided by ProThouhts. My application got approved in five days. Meanwhile, I did finish the second round of reading of RMC book in the next 10 days. So for the first 25 days, I studied 3 hours/day on working days and 8 hours on weekends. I straight away booked the slot on 4 Sept for PMP Exam before appearing for any Mock Exam as I was confident about my detailed study efforts.For the next two weeks before the exam, I took leaves and appeared for 4 Mocks. I can summarize as follows:
- Preparation: I planned study efforts keeping 4 Sept as Exam Date in the mind. I decided to only follow instructions given by Ashish Sir, ProThought and as per Rita Mulcahy book. (There are different videos and information about study preparation available online. According to me, they are very confusing and will make you feel that PMP is a tough exam! Better to avoid!)
- Study Material: Only study material which I referred was RMC book and booklets provided by ProThoughts. I did solve each and every exercise in the RMC book which helped me to grab knowledge quickly. I sincerely appeared for all Mocks and put efforts in their analysis which helped a lot to set the logical flow of the mind.
- Study Pattern: On Working days, I used to complete half chapter a day and on weekends I tried to finish 3 chapters in 2 days. After studying each knowledge area, I used to prepare mind map to recollect what I studied in the chapter. I avoided solving questions immediately after reading the chapter. Instead, I used to solve questions next day to understand how much I could retain. After each Mock test, I emphasized on the pain areas and put additional efforts for gaps in knowledge. For example, one of the observations was that I was scoring low in Monitor & Control and Closing. Simple reason being these two processes appear at the end of a chapter in the book and by that time we lose focus. While solving the questions, I used to think like a Project Manager working on a large project with many stakeholders from different countries. If we compare it to our day to day job, chances are more that we will go wrong. First, two readings took a considerable amount of time and made me feel nervous at times. I slowly picked up confidence from Mock Exams and working on weak links. Studying immediately after the 4 days of classroom training helped me to maintain flow and pace.
- Peer Learning: During preparation days I was closely associated with Pooja Sindwani, my batch mate from ProThoughts. We used to discuss study methodologies and how to improve. I was lucky to get guidance from Sanket Gaikwad who recently cracked PMP. Discussions with both of them did always a value add to my knowledge and their perspectives were refreshing.
- PMP Exam: Around 150 questions were situation based testing how you can apply learning in real time scenario. Remaining 30-35 questions were direct questions testing knowledge about tools and technique and 10-15 numerical.