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TOPIC: First Practice Exam – Thoughts and Questions

First Practice Exam – Thoughts and Questions 6 years 3 months ago #1844

  • David Hardin
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Well, I’m at the end of week one (1) of the Study Coach. As I review my week I realize I have some work to do with time management, focus, and dedication. I read the first three chapters of the PMBOK, and since I just received both Rita’s and Andy Crowe’s prep book(s) yesterday, have not yet entirely read the beginning chapters of either book.

Corresponding Chapters

The PrepCast video or the Study Guide (can’t remember which one) suggests that we read the PMBOK chapters along with corresponding chapters of our chosen “prep book.” Is there a reference chart anywhere that links these chapters? I know I read that most prep books follow the PMBOK in progressive layout, but is there a direct link somewhere? (e.g. Chapter 2 of the “____ prep book” corresponds to chapter X of the PMBOK Guide.)

Practice Test

Today at the end of my first week, I took my first ever test exam at .
So, how did I do – I’m not sure how to properly evaluate that. I know that different people’s experience will afford them different levels of knowledge, but just from the reading it’s tough to judge what I was tested on.

Let me elaborate...

The test had 15 questions. I scored 33% (5 out of 15) which I thought was low, initially being slightly discouraged. However, as I first reviewed the questions and answers, I realized two things. One, I didn’t know most of this stuff - YET, and two; I don’t know which questions I should have known the answer for. So, my question now is: How did I do with questions that I SHOULD have known based on the information I’ve studied to date? Or, having only read the first three chapters (and hence not having yet been exposed to other concepts), was this an acceptable score?

I was correct on questions 6, 7, 13, 14 & 15.
  • Q6: Why is it important to have a project charter?
    Answer: B - It formally authorizes the project
  • Q7: Which of the following processes establishes quality metrics?
    Answer: B - Planned Quality (I think this was an educated guess)
  • Q13: CPI is 1.03 and AC is 6000. How much is EV?
    Answer: B – 6180 (I “know” this one was just an educated guess, I did not remember or apply a formula)
  • Q14: Which of the following strategies are suggested to deal with threats or risks that have negative impact on projects?
    Answer: A – Avoid, transfer or mitigate (hmmm, another guess)
  • Q15: Which of these is not an example of a project?
    Answer: D – Cleaning the office every day (I would have seriously been embarrassed to have gotten this one wrong)


Now, having looked at the questions I did get right, I’m even more confused as some of them were lucky guesses. How important is it to be a good guesser? I guess this is sort of like saying “How lucky do I need to be?” In my experience, I don’t generally consider myself lucky. I guess answers to questions 7 & 14 might have been logical assumptions, but I don’t remember being exposed to this yet.

Score based on questions I should have gotten right

I know Cornelius is working on a Prep Exam Simulator. I don’t know what features other simulators have, but I would advocate a feature that (alternatively?) grades you based on a level of reading/study. It might go hand-in-hand with the Study Guide and other PrepCast products and be a unique selling feature.

I can see the exam taker first entering in the week they are on, or what chapters in the PMBOK they have read/studied. Then at the end of the exam, I would suggest a toggle (checkbox?) that showed only the questions that were based on material covered to that point in the study process, and the score of correct answers based on that subset of questions.

I guess another idea would be to associate the questions (after the exam is done) with the chapter(s) of the PMBOK in which the material for the question was based.

Take question 15 for example:

Q15: Which of these is not an example of a project?
Answer: D – Cleaning the office every day

Rather than just knowing that it was answered correctly, it would be nice to see that the question was covered in the PMBOK Guide Chapter 1, page 36, Section 1.2, What is a Project?

My final suggestion might be having an exam simulator that asked questions based on a specific chapter, and separately specific formulas. For example, if I was studying chapter 7 this week, I’d love to take several 10-question test exams that only dealt with material covered in that chapter. The bottom line is I should be able to study a chapter and then score 100% on a test exam of material that came from that session.

Does anyone have any thoughts, or other insight into taking test exams with questions based on material they have not yet covered?


Just when you think you've got the answers, I go and change the questions!
Last Edit: by David Hardin. Reason: spelling errors fixed
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