I could never understand why certified project managers would sign off with PMP after their names.
I imagined it was preposterous, needless boasting. I think I’ve had a change of heart after completing my #PMP exam with #Above #Target in all domains.
In fact, If you have my number saved on your phone, I beseech you to change it to Suzzy PMP!
A baby girl has tried. This year hit us all on multiple fronts and for me, most of those fronts were career related. My paid employment journey has been an absolute whirlwind but that’s a story for another day. Today’s is a story of my journey to passing the PMP exam.
This story starts three jobs ago and possibly 20 job interviews ago around March 2019.
I took a project management course with Piston and Fusion, learned the basics of the PMBOK and went on to register to take the exam in pursuit of a distinguished certificate.
I had one year after qualifying to take and pass the exam and that seemed, you know, doable. Except it wasn’t and I found myself looking March 2020 dead in the face and saying meh, that one don go. In the midst of a pandemic, a companywide furlough and a devaluation of the Naira, a 555 USD exam was the last thing on my mind.
But then I got a call from PMI Africa with notice of an extension and a discount, so it was like, maybe the universe wants you to do this thing. I took another crash course with PMI Nigeria and finally got around to paying for the exam in August, 2020. So now my subconscious knows I’m serious.
I start the preparation quite slowly with a few pages of the PMBOK every other day and a udemy seminar. It’s a lot of material to cover so I would be picking beans for dinner and listening, I would be ironing and listening, if you found me cutting veggies for fried rice and my ears were plugged, I was definitely listening to my Udemy seminar.
My Father teaches his children to be the best at everything they do, even if it’s truck pushing…(My sister got that lecture the night before she was to resume her bachelor’s in a course she didn’t want because she didn’t meet the JAMB requirements for the course she wanted. His words echoed in her head till she graduated top of her class with a 4.8 CGPA)
Perhaps because, I didn’t receive that lecture, but I wasn’t driven by the desire to be the (My) best. Instead, by the time I had chosen my exam date, and the days started to count down, I was motivated solely by the fear of failure and the thought of having to pay for a re-sit.
Malcolm Gladwell alludes in the Outliers that successful people are successful because a number of factors independent of their own hard work. I owe this success to a myriad of contributors (asides raw fear) and I would like to show my gratitude by paying it forward. So, if you’re interested in writing the exam, here are a few tips. Come January, the exam would be based off the new PMBOK but these are timeless:
A full course on Udemy called “Pass The PMP on your First Attempt” by Joseph Phillips. It might take you months to finish. Do all the assignments and quizzes. Watch from beginning to end as you read the Rita book. Finish this course before you start taking simulated exams
If you like Youtube Videos. Don’t confuse yourself with searching for many videos
Stick to this guy, Scott of PM Master Prep. He was very easy to understand. Sign up for his accelerator programme or just watch his free videos. This was my favorite video from his playlist. He was teaching how to identify the right answers by recognizing the pattern PMI uses.
PMP Exam Simulator
To help you understand the way PMI structures the questions. Reviewing the answers after each practice test will help you understand why you failed the ones you got wrong. And it will actually explain the concepts mentioned.
The results will show which Process groups or knowledge areas you are good at and the ones you need help with. You can then read more and take tests on those areas