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The PMP Badge – Don’t Wish For It Work For It!

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PMP Badge

Success Story:

Hi, I am Arindam Dasgupta, a Senior Manager at Capgemini, and have around 17 years of overall experience in Project, Change, Transition, and Vendor Management. I had earlier acquired an ITIL V4 foundation as well as a Prince 2 foundation certificate and have worked in Reliance Globalcom and Brennan IT which gave me rich exposure to global teams and grateful to work under some amazing leaders. I am a commerce graduate with a major in accountancy but life took me to the IT industry where I got the majority of my experience and all the fun.

What Made Me Think About PMP

Attaining the PMP certification has been on my mind since I completed the Prince2 Foundation back in 2013. Then what made me wait till 2021? Well, I was just learning the trade of project management back in 2012 and was under the wings of some of the most brilliant Project Managers I ever worked with. Moreover, this was during my tenure at Reliance Globalcom where I had the opportunity to work with PMs from the United States, Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. After Globalcom’s tenure, I joined an Australian-based MSP – Brennan IT as a Transition Manager and my focus shifted more toward ITIL processes.

However, as time passed, I started realizing that I am now in need of upskilling to cope with the nature of my role and the level of interactions I started having with C Suite client contacts for my high-value Transition Projects. This change in the need of the hour brought back my focus to start my PMP certification journey. How did I know about ProThoughts? Simple, through an ex-colleague who happened to just take the PMP exam and was groomed by ProThoughts.

35 PDUs – Without Which You Cannot Attempt the Exam

As the topic suggests, you will need 35 Professional Development Units to be eligible to take the exam (there are other criteria that ProThoughts will guide you with). One can attain these units by completing the PMP training course (36 hours). ProThoughts provides flexible options (weekdays, weekends, etc) that you can fit into your schedule and complete the training. I had an interesting journey of preparation and attaining these units. I did one round of training in 2020 and was preparing for the exam around Dec 2020.

There was a change in the pattern of exams after Dec 2020. Thanks to COVID I missed the 2020 bus and then took a re-training in March 2021 in the new module and prepared for my exam later in the year (work comes first and I had very little space for anything other than work, to be honest). During this entire period, ProThoughts kept me warm, engaged, and focused through continuous communication and contact and never let me lose my desire to complete the certification. All my questions during the training, and follow-up questions after all mock tests were attended/answered to my satisfaction.

PMP Application

The next step after acquiring the 35 PDUs is to complete the PMP application at the PMI portal. This involves describing real industry experience along with qualifications in the prescribed format. It is important to thoroughly go through the application instructions available on the portal, to complete your application. Siddhant helped in reviewing the application and gave suggestions a couple of times before I went ahead to submit it on the PMI portal. One can only apply for the PMP examination, once this application is duly approved by PMI. As soon as my application was approved, I began my preparations for taking the exam.

Preparation For The Exam

Then comes the hardest part of asking yourself, are you ready to take the exam, and how soon do you want to complete it? There has to be a fine balance when you decide this very critical part of the overall process. If you ask me, nothing can prepare you 100% for the actual exam experience. But the next best thing is the mock tests that ProThoughts provide. They will help you immensely, only if you are true to yourself. Why did I say that? It is simply because, during the initial 36 hours of training, ProThoughts trainers will give you the best knowledge and necessary instructions. But after the training is over, it’s on you to chalk out a schedule for study, revision, and completion of all mock tests.

And you need to ensure that you are completing the mock tests within the stipulated time, because as I said earlier – it is the next best thing that can prepare you for the real experience. One other point I want to mention is that you can easily feel lost in your work, and personal life and lose momentum after the training. But if you want to attain the certification, you need to stick to the plan you prepared for completion. PMP certification not only tests your knowledge of managing your work-related projects but the project of completing the certification in real life as well!

1. Booking the Examination – Time and Date

Once you are confident that your preparation is done, you need to book the exam as soon as a schedule is available in the PMI portal. Always best to attempt when you are in the right mindset and prepared after the mock tests. Ensure you book the exam center (unless you are taking it from home or any booked personal space) which is not too far from your home. Also, book the time in the day that suits you best. Choose a schedule where you feel energized and can focus. This will not be the same for everyone; you will know best what works for you.

I took it around 11 am as mornings are the best time for me to focus and get things done. The objective of choosing the right venue and schedule is to give you the best chance to clear the exam by cutting out unnecessary stress!

2. Before and During the Exam Day

I did not do any revision the day before the exam, that is how I was in my student life. If it helps you, do your revisions the day before. Again, whatever works for you to keep you calm and collected is what needs to be followed. Ensure you stay away from stress and follow good health hygiene (like eating and sleeping right and on time). These will lead to a good start for the exam day where you need to stay and give your 100%.

If you have booked the exam from home or any personal space, ensure your laptop has all the pre-checks done a day before and you have power and internet connectivity working fine. If you have booked an exam center, try to reach at least an hour before to give you enough time to settle in and complete any paperwork at reception. Once you are there, follow the instructions from the center facilities. 

Once the exam starts, you have to just fall back on your training, logic, and time discipline that you learned during the mock tests. They will allow one break (as far as I remember) and my recommendation is that you use it to freshen up and rejuvenate your brain. Once you have completed the exam, they will provide the scores and when I got mine, I was over the moon seeing the fruits of my hard work. Thanks to the amazing faculty at ProThoughts who trained, guided, and motivated me to stay on track for this day! An amazing feat of my career and without the help and guidance from ProThoughts, I could have not achieved it for sure.

What Can I Leave On the Table for You

  • PMP certification will be easier if you have some prior understanding and real-life knowledge of managing projects
  • A clear understanding of how this certification will serve your purpose
  • Read all the training material suggested by ProThoughts
  • Ensure you attend the training with an open mind. To learn and unlearn things as you go through the training content 
  • Ask all your questions during the training. Not that ProThoughts will not answer them during the training, but it is better to get clarity during that momentum as it helps you to relate all the points during the training session
  • Ensure you revisit the training links. Going through them one or two more times will bolster your understanding 
  • After completing the 36 hours of training, chalk out your plan of action. Make it a project itself to align your tasks for studying, revising, taking the mock tests, and then scheduling the exam
  • Keep at it and keep completing each milestone. Your SPI should be 1 or above
  • Follow ProThoughts instructions to complete the application
  • Schedule the exam date and time that suits you the best
  • Follow what works for you before and on the day of the exam, it helps!
  • During the exam, do not panic. You prepared for that day, so take one question at a time and keep knocking them out of the park.

Conclusion

Therefore, PMP can be considered as the goal, but more importantly, it is a sign of your personal dedication and hard work. What to do is receiving this badge is your indication that you put emphasis on ethics and project management and therefore you get a green light to go higher in your job. Thus, do not merely wish for it – strive for it, and improve your standards to become the person you truly desire.

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