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Finally, PMP certified:

Thanks to God, finally, I’ve achieved my PMP Certification after a very long journey, almost 10 years, could u imagine!!!

But I have to admit, my PMP journey was full of joy, sadness, learning, gaining knowledge, investing money, effort & time. My PMP journey started back in 2008 J (with PMBOK 4th edition), I had 6 years of experience at that time when I completed the required preparation course, then I appeared for the Exam without the proper practice (maybe because of lack of guidance). Unfortunately, I failed in my 1st attempt.

I’ve decided to move on with the journey towards PMP Certification when the PMBOK 5th edition was released, also, I completed the required preparation course, but at that time I’ve chosen to go for MSc of Construction Project Management from Heriot-Watt University – Dubai Campus, which was completed by end of 2016.

edition was released somewhere 2017, so later I’ve completed my preparation
course by May 2018, and completed my PMP Exam application by October 2018,
booked to appear for the Exam on September 19, 2019.

So, my initial advice is DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T LOSE HOPE & DON’T WASTE TIME.

Know your Stakeholders:

First of all, I would
like to thank all my ‘Stakeholders’ !!!, yes, Stakeholders; all
people helped me to understand the PMP Exam content and structure, e.g. SMEs
(PM instructors/professionals), as well as my Family, Colleagues for their engagement,
support, encouragement, and motivation that helped me a lot to come over hard
times during the study period.

Stop all the crap:

Now Let’s go to the point.
I’m not the kind of person he’s good at studying at all, but I believe that I
have the ability to focus on understanding what is been taught to me.

Excuses are always there,
right? “I don’t really have time” “Do you
know when I get back home?!!!” “Ohh, It’s very costly” “Do I need to read that many
books” ……etc., you name it.

So, Stop all that crap, make a decision, reset your goals & put your own plan.

Studying for the PMP:

Firstly, I think it’s
more beneficial for anyone (no matter how experienced you think you are) to get
the mandatory 35hrs training through a ‘Face-to-Face’ interactive course
(class-based), which will help you to clear any ambiguity between the real-life
practice and PMI standards. I addition to exam strategies and practice.

Furthermore, other online courses/sources can
enforce your understanding, for me, it was the Udemy website particularly:

  1. PMP Exam Prep Seminar – by Joseph Phillips
  2. Other course given in my native Arabic language PMP Preparation Course 6th Edition includes 42 PDUs – Arabic by Waleed Elbasyouni

Therefore, it’s very important to carefully select your instructor (not the venue).

Red Learning Institute – Dubai:

Here, I would like to share my great experience with ‘Red Learning Institute – Dubai’ https://redlearning.ae/, for the endless support they’ve offered me. I had 3 support team members which kept in touch with me through my preparation journey and until the moment I got the Exam results in my hand, and of course, with the lead of Mr. Najmul Hussain, an exceptional expert in Project Management and PMP exam strategies.

I’ve been reached by Mr. Melvin, and we had a discussion about the different approaches that Red Learning is offering for the students, and he advised me to register for 60 days preparation plan, and I actually started 17th July 2019 (exactly 2 months before the exam).

Well, they offer different plans
based on the individual’s own circumstances. my 60 days plan included:

  • Attend
    life sessions (2-3 times/week) – Boot Camp
  • Allowance
    to attend classes with the regular patches currently attending the course
  • Access
    to online study platform (LMS) – Videos/Audios/PDF notes/Many assessments.
  • Unlimited
    access to exam simulation – I spent the last 4 days before the exam in their
    center J

Thank you Red Learning.

Preparing for the Exam:

Based on my experience, I would
recommend the following step (as a guide only):

  • Read
    PMBOK carefully at least once, in addition to any other available book (most
    people prefer Rita),
  • Set
    a 30/60/90 days plan, to deeply study the 49 Process in; 10 Knowledge areas
    basis, then Process Groups basis.
  • Read
    the Exam Content Outline, understand what’s PMI expectations from a PM to
    undertake under each Project Management Domains.
  • Practice
    as much as you can from the available Exam simulations. I would recommend ‘PMP®
    Exam Prep Sample Questions and Mock Exam’ (https://www.project-management-prepcast.com/pmp-exam/the-pmp-exam-simulator/)

Exam Tips:

Finally, about the Exam, I was really nervous and stressed but I managed to control myself quickly. I advise everyone to focus more on the Change Control Management (it’s everywhere in the Exam), then Resource Management and Stakeholders Management.

As far as I remember, the
majority of the questions were about “What
should PM do next or Should have done to avoid such an issue”, “What Document
should PM use to check/review/resolve/avoid such scenario”.

I hope that my short story would help
anyone planning to obtain PMP, and wish everyone all the best.

One more advice, DON’T STOP LEARNING, I’ve registered myself for PgMP course with Red Learning, wish me luck and I hope that I’ll be writing about my new success (InshaaAllah) very soon.

Mahmoud Amin, PMP, PSP
PMP Certified through Red Learning



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