Category: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam using A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

Expecting The Unexpected Can Help You Prepare for PMP® Exam

man expecting the unexpected as he prepare or pmp examAs the saying goes: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Keep this in mind when preparing for the PMP Certification. It simply means that you should not solely depend on what others say about their experiences in taking the exams. Everyone's experience is different.

What you must remember at all costs is that you have prepared well for the exam and that you can do this! In the minutes before your exam officially starts, the most important thing for you to focus on is passing the exam. You can partially achieve this by preparing yourself physically and mentally for the event. After the exam, everyone has a story to tell what happened during their exam or what "strange" rules they had to follow while taking the exam.

For example, when at the testing center, one of my students was not allowed to change any clothing during the exam, and the other one wasn't allowed to use the bathroom. These examples are, of course, extreme, but they might happen to you.

So what if something similar happens to you? What if they throw an unexpected rule at you when you check-in for the exam? Take a deep breath. Attentively listen as you are briefed on the "odd rule". And then, simply follow it. Don't jeopardize your chances. Play along and do the best you can. Adjust yourself mentally to the situation and work with it.

Remember: What really matters is that you relax, concentrate, and pass the PMP® exam.

Watch this video to learn more:

Create a PMP® Study Plan for the PMP® Certification Exam

Create a PMP Study Plan for the PMP Certification ExamThe Project Management exam is the hottest certifications exam today. It is the most challenging project management certification exam to prepare for. This is because most of those thinking about taking this exam are at the stage of their career when they are already working full time and then they try to find the time to study for their certification.

If you think that the PMP Certification exam is your average college test where you can cram yet still get high marks, then think again. The PMP exam is anything but easy. It is an experience-based exam in a 180-question, 230-minute, computerized format. When you are studying for the exam, you could answer the sample questions easily enough in the comfort of your own room with no ticking clock, no distractions, and no security cameras pointing at you. However, during the actual examination, you will find yourself in a radically different setting.

Think of it as the battleground and you as the soldier. And any good soldier would create a battle plan before the exam. He knows that planning can spell the difference between passing and failing. You have to formulate strategies in terms of how to answer and review the questions, how to ease the tension from your body and how to replenish your energy. Your battle plan will serve as your guide during the exam and will help you focus on the task ahead of you. With a battle plan, you will be able to breeze through your exams knowing that you have everything under control and you can maximize the time allotted for you to finish the exam within the allowable period.

Best Practices to Succeed on your PMP® Certification Exam

Books and keyboardDon't try and take the PMP exam immediately after your PMP exam prep class. Similarly, don't wait for months either. The right moment is usually between 2-5 weeks after you finish your class. A good PMP Exam preparation course provider will tell you to do more reading and practice exam questions. They should also direct you to training products specifically designed for the purpose. Additional, online or software-based training products with training materials that provide you with your 35 contact hours of project management training plus the exam preparation materials that get you ready to pass the exam can even be considered.

Relax. The PMI does not want you to fail the exam. But they also don't make it easy. PMI primarily wants to ensure that you have grasped the best practices captured in the PMBOK Guide(R) so they fine-tune their exam to provide an acceptable pass ratio.

There are still a few formulas with which you should be familiar. Many say that questions related to formulas focused on testing your understanding of the interpretation and implication of CPI and SPI. In other words, you may not even need to use a calculator. If you prefer to write a formula down, you are free to do so using an online whiteboard. We don't recommend a complete brain dump or writing too much down because of the time constraints, not to mention the limited space you have to write down notes on the online whiteboard.

Don't hesitate to go back and change the answer to a previous question. You will encounter a situation where answering one question provides you with further insight into an earlier question.

Study hard, read a lot and practice many simulated exams until you ace every single one will help you pass your PMP Exam.

Checkout this YouTube video for additional tips:

How To Have a Project Plan for your PMP® Exam Preparation

writing a project planIf you are preparing for the PMP or CAPM exam, you need to have a study plan. As an experienced project manager, you know the value of a project plan. So practice what you preach as you prepare for the exam. Be a planner, and apply good project management best practices in the process.

An example of a study plan for the PMP Certification is as follows:

  • Go through your studies and training in no more than 2-4 months. Set a schedule, and stick to it. Review the appropriate section of the PMBOK Guide with every topic in the training.
  • Purchase a PMP exam prep course and include it in your plan. Print out study aids that are part of the particular training module, especially if these cover topics that you find difficult. After finishing the course, take simulated exams.
  • Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. This will make you a little sharper and alert for information as you continue the training. You can take another full PMP or CAPM exam simulation every 1-2 weeks, and adjust your study plan based on results.
  • In the last month leading to the exam, use a PMP Exam Simulator to identify your trouble areas by using flashcards and other training materials. Aim for 80-90% scores during your simulated tests as you get close to the actual exam. This will give you confidence that you are ready to pass, and if the scores are lower, will give you more impetus to work harder.
  • Read books, online materials, free templates, listen to podcasts, and any other materials that fit your learning style to see things from different angles and approaches.

The key really is to practice good project management and you will succeed. Increase your chances of project management exam success with a plan.

For more tips, watch this short video about The 7 Things You Need to Prepare for the PMP® Exam:


Answer all PMP® Exam Questions from the Guide Perspective

Answer all PMP Exam Questions from the PMBOK Guide PerspectiveThe Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification examination is a computer-based exam that is offered at testing centers worldwide. The exam is based on much of the information contained in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

The questions in the PMP® Exam are based on the following process groups from the PMBOK® Guide: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing and Professional Responsibility. So expect questions like: Which process is applied to break down the project into smaller, more manageable elements?, or: Which Tools and Techniques are part of Risk Management Planning? Some questions use project management terms that may be interchangeable with others. There will be a few questions that require you to perform simple math calculations. Or you will be required to interpret graphs or diagrams on some questions.

The number one statement to remember is that you need to answer all questions on the exam from the perspective of the PMBOK® Guide, even if you feel that this question is one of those that are not 100% aligned with the standard. Asking yourself "What would the PMBOK do?" is a good place to start.

Remember that Project Management Institute (PMI)® is trying to present an ideal environment for project managers that might be different from your own experience. The PMBOK® Guide will help you a lot here simply because it gives the right answers to all the questions that you will encounter during the exams. Or it will at least point you in the right direction. So if you really want to be prepared for your exams, read your PMBOK® Guide extensively and understand the lessons here.

Answer ALL Exam Questions to Pass Your PMP Exam

PMP Exam QuestionThe PMP exam is a computer-based exam with 180 multiple-choice questions. This means that each question has exactly one correct answer. The exam will give you exactly 230 minutes to answer these questions. If you prepared well, this should be a breeze. Most find the time allocated to be more than sufficient for the exam. (I had only 2 minutes to spare on my exam because I wasn't feeling well on that day.) Out of these 180 questions, five questions are pretest or experimental questions. These are randomly placed throughout the exam and are used for research purposes. These questions will not count towards your final score. But even though you will only be evaluated based on 175 questions, you still must answer all 180 because you won't know which ones are the five pretest questions.

The PMI does not release the actual score that is required for you to pass the exam. All they tell us is that "The passing score for all PMI credential examinations is determined by sound psychometric analysis." So nobody but PMI knows how many questions you have to answer correctly to pass.

This is important: Remember that there is no negative marking on the exam. This means that you are not penalized for questions that you answered incorrectly. There is just "correct" or "wrong" for the scoring. This means that if you leave any questions unanswered, they will be counted as "wrong". So remember not to leave any questions unanswered. It would be best if you answered them all.

After you click on finish and submit the exam, you will see on-screen whether you passed or failed. The on-screen result takes about 10 seconds before it is displayed, but it feels like an eternity. You will also receive a printed examination report that tells you how you did in the various domains.

To feel confident that you can do it, you must have undergone enough preparations and must have taken practice exams several times based on the lessons learned from the study materials of your choice.

Know The Guide And PMP® Prep Book To Pass Your PMP Exam

project manager reading pmp exam prep booksThe Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam is mainly based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). The most current version was published in 2012 and most people find a bit difficult to read. But due to the fact that the exam is based on this book, it is important that you actually read and understand all that it contains. As a supplement to studying the PMBOK® Guide in preparing for the exam you need to get additional reference material. I recommend that you buy separate PMP® Exam Prep books that will further enhance your understanding of the subject matter. These books will help make the complicated concepts from the PMBOK® Guide clearer and they also give you more information and tips on how to prepare for and pass the PMP® exam.

So here is my tip: read and understand the concepts from the PMBOK® Guide and other PMP Exam Prep books. Also work through the sample questions and exercises in your PMP exam prep book. And lastly, take as many sample exams as you can to gauge your understanding of the concepts. Go back and review the sections in the books that you did not score well and try again.

When you start scoring above 80% the first time you take any mock exam then you are ready for the real exam. Remember that it takes a lot of preparation to make sure that you pass your PMP exam and receive your certification. So study hard, learn well and be confident of your ability to get your certification.

The amount of material you need to master to pass the PMP certification exam may see overwhelming, but it's possible to accomplish provided you follow a simple, four-step process for studying for the exam. Watch this video below:

PMP Exam Study Tips and Techniques

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