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TOPIC: Question Trick Questions - HELP!

Trick Questions - HELP! 2 years 1 month ago #7198

  • MIchael
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I am having an extremely hard time solving these types of questions. I believe I have a pretty good understanding of PMBOK, and get the vast majority of 'direct' questions correct. I have been studying on and off for 3 months, and aggressively for the past month. This is extremely discouraging as I was planning on taking my exam on March 23rd but I simply do not feel comfortable. I am having a hard time "seeing the light" at the end of my tunnel and feel as though I will never be in a position to take it and/or pass.

I have read the entire PMBOK, taken probably over 300 quiz type questions, PM PrepCast course and just finished reading (rather quickly) over Rita Mulcahy's book. I plan on reading it again but more thoroughly.

Here is an example of the easy questions I have such trouble with. Below I will also list my train of thought, perhaps that will help understand potential issues in my train of thought.

You have a total of 25 stakeholders on your team. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, two of your stakeholders leave the team and you are not replacing them, so you hire two part time employees. How many lines of communication does your project have now?
(a) 351
(b) 253
(c) 25
(d) 300

In the question it states that you are not replacing the stakeholders but you are hiring two part time employees. It doesn't state whether they are a stakeholders or not but the previous sentence it states they are not being replaced which leads me to believe they are not stakeholders. My train of thought is, you lose 2 stakeholders and are you not replacing them, the 2 part time employers are not stakeholders.

I feel if I took this same question from 3 other practice exams there would be an answer as "We didn't give the replacements roles" thus making the stakeholder count 23.

Any help, tips, advice or guidance would be greatly appreciate.

Trick Questions - HELP! 2 years 1 month ago #7199

  • Michael DeCicco
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It's 28 March now so I'm not sure if you took the exam or delayed?

What page was the question on in RM's book? I hope there's an answer key.
Listen, Mike, you indicate to me that you have studied a lot in short amount of time. You will be surprised by how much you know if you take a breather and take a couple days off from studying. Then when you return to these questions, they'll be clear.

Go ahead, apply the communications channel formula and check your answer in the answer key. I bet you got it right. Let us know.
Yours Respectfully
Michael DeCicco, PMP
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Trick Questions - HELP! 2 years 1 month ago #7200

  • Michael
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Thanks for the quick response.

I was a bit flustered in posting this question and missed a few key points. I have not taken the exam yet.
This question was actually in M Fahad Usmani book, not RMC's book. There is an answer key along with an explanation and PMBOK reference.

The correct answer is D but I selected B due to the reasons I listed at the bottom of my original post. I narrowed it down to B and D and zigged when I should have zagged.

My challenge is I let the wording confuse me and result in the incorrect answer. Not just in this example but as a whole of all word-play-tricky questions. I have not been able to identify a training strategy that helps me understand how to attack these questions.

What prompted me to post this was to see if anyone else had similar challenges in answering these word-play questions and what they did to overcome them?

Trick Questions - HELP! 2 years 1 month ago #7205

  • Magroud Noreddine
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Hello Michael,

If i had a question like this i would have think this way :
What i understand in this question by "you are not replacing them" is that you don't give them full time contract as right after you finally replace them with "part time employees".
They are contributing to the project work so they are stakeholder as well. i would have calculate with 25 not 23.
I do remember Cornelius talking about part time during a lesson on HR management so i took my PMBOK to check it out and lucky me it was on the answer was on the first page of the Project HR Mgmt.
page 255 it's writing :
"Project team members may have varied skill sets, may be assigned full or part time.... "
Finally part time or not, they are part of the team and a communication channel.
Hope this helps if i'm mistaken with my way of thinking please correct me.


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