Prepare Mentally for PMP® Exam on your PMP Certification Exam
After several intense and hard weeks of study and preparations, you are now ready to take on the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. And the mental preparation in the last 24 hours before you actually take it are just as important as the weeks of study before. You want to be well prepared, both physically and mentally, to tackle the questions and pass the exam.
And so, going into the eve of the exam, it is important that you can feel relaxed and do not worry. This will help you prepare mentally for the challenges of the next day. One of the most important techniques here is to take one, possibly even two days off from work. This way, you can focus only on your exam and not worry about any work related deadlines as well. Keep your focus!
And obviously, you also want to make sure that you get a good night's sleep. Go to bed early and avoid things that could give you stress. Wake up early in the morning, do some light exercise just to get you warmed up and ensure that you get a good breakfast. Let my own experience be a lesson for you: avoid any food that's unfamiliar or exotic for you. You don't want to get an upset stomach during the exam like I had.
Remember, a positive attitude will help carry the day for you and help you achieve your goal of passing your PMP® certification exam.
Tips to Manage Your Time During PMP® Certification Exam
One important recommendation I have for those taking the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam is that to manage the time allotted to answer each question on the exam. Call it budgeting, call it time management, call it whatever you want; but do it! You need to walk into the examination room with a clear plan on how many questions you will answer per hour, when you plan on taking a break, and what you will do if time seems to be running out.
Remember that the exam is composed of 180 questions that you must answer within 230 minutes. That's 1.28 minutes per question. Once you begin, the clock starts. The computer-based test for the PMP exam has two built-in 10-minute breaks. The first break is given after 60 questions; the second break is given after 120 questions. It is up to the aspirant whether to take the 1st break, the 2nd break, or both breaks, and whether or not to take the entire break(s) or part of it. Remember that you cannot revisit the questions that you saw before a break. So assuming you answered 60 questions then had the first break. After the first break, you will not be able to go back to question 1 to 60.
So plan your approach to best manage your time. Answer all easy questions first and mark those difficult ones for later. Be sure to read all the questions carefully and understand them before you answer. Then before the 10-minute break, go back to the more challenging questions for the rest of the allotted time. By doing this, you will be able to answer all the questions.
But that's just one of many possible approaches, and you should define your own. And by having a plan and implementing it, you will relieve a lot of the exam pressure. So plan well, and budget your time wisely to succeed.
Answer 1,000 PMP® Exam Questions Using PMP® Exam Simulator
One of the important aspects of preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification is going through a process of answering a series of sample PMP® exam questions that are purposely meant to test your readiness for the big day. As you may already have realized, studying for the exam requires a lot of work, including taking numerous sample tests to find out if you can cope with the question format of the actual exam.
This is why we recommend that you take at least 1,000 sample PMP® exam questions using a PMP® exam simulator. This means that you simulate a complete 4 hours exam to gauge your ability to finish the actual exam on time. As a general rule of thumb: If you are able to correctly answer at least 85% or more of the practice questions on your first try, then you are ready for the PMP® Certification Exam.
It is important that you take these PMP® exam questions in sample exams as they prepare you for the rigors of the exam day, and the type of questions that will be asked. It is even possible that you will encounter questions similar to the ones on your sample tests during the actual exam.
Remember that Project Management Institute (PMI)® does not release the actual number of questions that you need to answer correctly in order to pass. They are very vague about it and you can read up on the exact scoring system in the PMP® Handbook. The best that you can do is to take a shot at practicing with sample exams using a PMP® exam simulator. That helps you to get prepared.
To help you decide what to look for in a great PMP® Exam Simulator, watch this short video:
Top 10 Features of a Great PMP Exam Simulator
Dress Right for the PMP® Certification Exam
After weeks of studies and training, you are now ready to take your PMP exam. You have invested enough effort and prepared yourself for the exam day on a positive note. But having a positive attitude towards your exam is just one-half of the story. It would help if you also felt right on D-day when you walk into the test center. (The clothes you wear when taking the exam from home are less important because you have more control over your environment).
It is important that you are comfortable and relaxed. One of the things you can do to achieve this is to make sure that you dress right for your PMP exam. Feeling good in your clothes helps keep you focused on the task ahead. For this exam, you want to be prepared and relaxed and comfortable. Just imagine how distracting a scratchy clothing tag in your neck would feel during a 230-minute, stressful exam!
So dress comfortably and dress in layers. That way, you can easily take off a layer if the room is too warm. And bring a sweater or light jacket that you can put on should the room be too cool for you. Remember, if you are comfortable and your clothing is just right for the temperature, chances are you will feel better, and the correct answers to the exam questions might just naturally come out.
The 7 Things You Need to Pass The PMP® Certification Exam
The Project Management Institute (PMI)® has developed a set of criteria and credentials for recognizing Project Management professionals worldwide. The credentialing process is fairly rigorous, including: three to five documented years of work experience in project management, 35 hours of project management related training, and successful completion of the multiple-choice Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. The amount of material on the PMP® Exam is vast and can seem overwhelming, but don’t be intimidated! Having and using the 7 items in this article will ensure you are prepared to meet the exam head-on and achieve optimal results both on exam day and in your future career.
1. PMP® Credential Handbook
Including everything from an overview of the PMI® certification program to exam policies and procedures, the PMP® Credential Handbook is available for free online at: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/~/media/PDF/Certifications/pdc_pmphandbook.ashx. The first 20 pages of the handbook cover many exam basics and are a must-read for every potential examinee. Becoming familiar with the application process, payment policy, and examination administration rules will go a long way to making the actual exam day less stressful.
The material on the PMP® Exam is vast and detailed. This is not an examination you can “cram” for in a couple of weekends. Plan to take the exam after spending 10-12 solid weeks of studying for an hour or two nearly every day. Naturally, this schedule will have to be flexible enough to fit in with the rest of your responsibilities and commitments.
3. A Study Plan And Schedule
As project managers, we are well aware of the importance of a plan and schedule. Create a study schedule over 10-12 weeks that fits with the rest of your responsibilities. Depending on your job and household commitments, you may need more or less time. Take a practice exam to evaluate your weaknesses and consider spending more time on those areas. Be realistic in how much material you can cover each day and set weekly goals to track your progress. Don’t forget to include time for refreshing breaks and activities that you enjoy.
4. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide)
The PMP® Exam is based on the most current version of the PMBOK® Guide. Specific principles include communication, cost management, human resources, integration, procurement, quality, risk, scope, and time management. It is essential to understand each of these topics individually and how they work together for overall project management success.
5. Self Study Course
It bears repeating: The PMP® Exam covers a large amount of material in a relatively short period of time. Don’t be discouraged! While many project managers are able to successfully schedule their time to achieve optimal results, almost everyone can benefit from an online or self study course.
The latest generation of self study courses come to you as PMP Podcasts/Videocasts, that you download to your laptop or portable player. In this way your PMP® Exam preparation becomes completely portable.
Self study PMP Podcasts help divide the material into manageable portions and assist you in developing a successful schedule. Focused instruction over a specific timeline will help you meet your study goals and may count toward the required 35 hours of project management instruction.
6. PMP® Exam Prep Book
There are a wide variety of PMP® Exam prep books available. Some people call them “study guides”. They complement and explain the dry concepts from the PMBOK® Guide and having one at hand in your studies is an absolute must. Go to your local bookstore and select one that fits with your style of learning and covers a variety of high- and low-yield topics.
7. Questions. Questions. Questions.
A large number of free PMP® Exam sample questions are available from hundreds of resources on the internet. These free mock exams are a good start, but because they are free they will only go so far for you. You will also want to subscribe to an online PMP® Exam Simulator to have access to the highest possible quality of samples.
Your study plan must include answering as many practice questions as possible including at least seven to eight complete 200-question practice exams. This type of preparation will help gauge your study progress and prepare you for the format of the real thing. You will be nervous on exam day, but becoming intimately familiar with types and formats of questions will help reduce anxiety and prepare you for success.
To sum up, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure you are prepared for the PMP® Exam. Including these 7 items in your studies will reduce anxiety and eliminate stress associated with the exam day. Study hard and good luck!
This YouTube video shows 7 items, concepts and best practices that you should be aware of and apply in your PMP® Exam preparation.
Prepare for the PMP® Exam By Dressing Appropriately
You may have read lots of PMP® exam tips and tricks but don't dismiss this tip off-hand simply because it may sound so obvious. Prepare for PMP® exam and think about what you will wear for your exam. Wearing uncomfortable or constricting clothing can be a distraction during the exam. You want to be able to focus on the questions and not on your tight pants. Therefore, think about it in advance. Plan to wear loose and comfortable clothing. Wear something that you have worn before so you know it doesn't itch or have a tag that scratches your neck all the time.
On top of that (pun intended) you are going to want to dress in layers. That way you can adjust to the temperature in the room. Bring a sweater even if you are taking the test in the middle of summer and it is hot outside. PMP® exam locations may be air conditioned and you may need something warm. If you take the test in the cold of winter make sure that you can take off several layers just in case the test center is very hot.
You can also bring a jacket; roll it up and put it into the small of your back in case your chair is uncomfortable.
For more tips on how to prepare for PMP® exam, sign up to the PMP Exam Tips newsletter or visit our YouTube channel and learn from videos like this:
Three Ways To Prepare For PMP® Exam