Finally crossed the line on 29/JUL- 6 years of thinking, planning and delaying – at last, 2 months preparation – ended nicely


Wow! What a relief & excitement… It has been little long journey for me… Yes, envisaged about this certification in Feb-2007… Gained 35 hours…but after that, due to various reasons (official overseas trips and personal commitments) could not really dedicate the time to prepare…

Meanwhile switched jobs and priorities kept changing…but I was little late to realize the fact that PMP Certification should have been in the top of the list… I got this realization last year 2012 June… So again started with first step – have taken 35 Hours training with REP at Chennai.

Unfortunate continued… yes after this training, again I travelled to onsite for short-term… switched the job… during March – April 2013, I gave a serious thought and decided to give exam before JUL 31 as the version will be changing after that(though there is not much of difference with 4 & 5)… but I wanted to have some fixed deadlines to get motivated myself… on top of this, I paid the exam fee and fixed the exam date as 29/JUL… (I feel this is one of the best ways to get across the line who are procrastinating for such a long time)…


I gave myself 2 months’ time for preparation… I have regularly been visiting PMZilla site referred by my friend (Karthik who got certified last year, in fact we both started/envisaged at same time, back in 2007-Feb J). From whatever I have seen & heard for all these years (different forums & certified friends), I got a strong belief that PMBoK is the way to go… other books can help to understand the concepts; but in the exam, knowledge & skills will be tested in “ONLY CONCEPTS AVAILABLE IN PMBoK and ALL THE CONCEPTS IN PMBoK” (something similar to PROJECT SCOPE Management – all the work and only the work)…

Word of caution: There are plenty of materials and books available over the internet… selecting the best options that suits you is one of the key.

I have started my preparation with PMBoK  and RITA book for understanding… Visited PMZilla forum to get the pulse & sense whether I am hitting in right direction…

How much time?: On an average, I have spent 2 hours during weekdays and 4-6 hours over the weekends . Last 3 weekends, my effort gone up to 8-10 hours over the weekend…

First Time: I read PMBoK, all chapters in the same sequence – duration 3 weeks

(TIP:  4edition PMBoK – 3rd chapter is the key to understand the how each Processes interact with in and across Process Groups­)…

Second Pass:  Then switched to sandwich mode – reading one chapter in PMBoK and same chapter in RITA – duration 3 weeks…this gave me a good clarity to my understanding which I had gained in my first PMBoK read….

Third Pass: After few days break, I started with PMBoK again which is actually third time of reading PMBoK… duration approximately 2 weeks… 

My view on Mock exams: Considering various feedback on Mock-up exams in the forums and feedback from certified PMPians, I have not really tried to measure my preparation based on the mock exams… still I had taken the following mock exams for the purpose of time management during exam and improve my will power to sit for 4 hours…

HeadFirst 200 Questions (scored 88%) (Very Easy – good to get started with)

Rita (Chapetrwise questions) (Scored 76%) (Very good one to understand how to interpret the questions)

Scordo (Chap 1- 12; Scored 86% - Easy questions) (Chap 13- 18 little tough, Scored 83%)

PMZilla tough 30 (scored 80%)…

EXAM DAY – 29JUL2013:

Reached the center 45 mins earlier ( visited one week before to ensure the location and avoid last minute tensions as already had enough tensions on the day of exam).

After all verification, allowed to take position in front of the system…spent 10 mins on the tutorial as it is good warm-up before actual exam… tried to write the formulas…but my mind was more on starting the exam… I have not written any formulas, page 43 etc on the given paer… I feel, if you memorize then there is fear of forgetting… Suggest to understand the logic & concepts for each formulas…this will help even if the formulas questions are twisted

(Tip: practice the sample calculations with pencil during your preparation)

First one hour: Finished 50 questions (marked 10-12 for review)

End of second hour: Finished close 120 Questions (No reviews marked)

End of third hour: Finished close 165 questions (No reviews Marked)

While completing my 200th question, I noticed that I got 30 more minutes left. Revisited the marked questions and changed a few.

I have not skipped any numerical questions to revisit later…because time spent on these questions shall be made up with next set of questions, also don’t want to have huge backlog to revisit/review

After clicking the END, Test Center admin check with me whether I wanted to participate in the survey… For a second, I  though of skipping that… still I was convinced that giving constructive feedback is one of the responsibility J… (of course waiting for 10 more minutes after delaying for so many years will not do any harm J) so did the survey.. On final click, got “CONGRATULATIONS” message…. This is a real “WOW” factor in my career…in the next screen I got the scores… Except for Closing PG- “Moderately Proficient”, rest of the PGs are at “Proficient” level. I gave myself “pat on back” on this achievement…

TIP: Read the question fully, analyze and understand what is being asked for,  go thru all options before picking the best answer. Keep yourself calm and composed

Final Comments:

During these 2 months of my visits to PMZilla, I decided to share my experience in this forum immediately after my test. Believe me, this proved to be a great unwinding than anything else. (Happy that there is no delay in sharing the experienceJ )

Friends, 2 months of continuous and rigorous preparation, sitting for 4 hours in front of a computer with no access to internet, no emails, no breaks, no phone, no chats, no talking… believe me - it needs passion, energy, determination & dedication. It is truly excellent & rewarding journey. I salute fellow certified PMPians for their achievements and wishing all the very best to all PMP Aspirants.

I take this moment to thank the super power, my family members, friends and PMZilla forum members without their support this wouldn’t have been accomplished.

All the very best…


many congrats for yr success.......thanks for the detailed LL





 Congrats and good post!!!



admin's picture

Salute to your passion too. Congratulations !

Also I agree that one main challenge for PMP Aspirants is to cut thru the huge pile of study materials and mock tests and find the right ones. Unfortunately there is no magic pill, everyone will have to go thru this, this forum can only try and make it quick.

Jags..congratulations.. last year you inspired me to set a date for the exam.. and now your turn to clear the bar...without a doubt.. passing the PMP exam is a fantastic achiement and that too in the first go.. and also with 4Ps and one MPs.. congratulations on the success... and a salute to your perseverence...Karthik