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TOPIC: brain dump

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10609

  • Paul Hinski
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I have studied for four months and I have now started taking practice exams. I have taken one full 200 question exam through a different source, three 100 questions quizzes through PM Exam Simulation offered here as well as the full Exam 1 and full Exam 2 through the simulator here too. I have scored in the 80's on all the tests.

I have practiced my brain dump each day since I started. For the dump, I list the 5 process groups, 10 knowledge areas, and 47 processes. I also list all formulas.. This varies a little in time from 7 minutes and 45 seconds to 8 minutes and 30 seconds. What I have found is that I do not ever look at the process I list. This is because after all the practicing I know them all. I am going to continue practicing them just to make certain I retain the information, but I was wondering for the exam should I just dump the formulas and save the time or does anyone have something they would recommend dumping in place of the processes?

Thanks in advance.

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10619

  • Tracy Shagnea, PMP
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Paul,

My comments follow, but I feel obliged to point out that I feel that these types of matters are extremely individualistic. What works for one person may not work at all for another for any variety of reasons, not the least of which is how we react when struggling under the pressure of answering 200 questions in only 4 hours! With that caveat, here are my thoughts:

I would recommend, based on my experience, that you go ahead and brain-dump the process group/knowledge area mapping along with the 47 processes. I did this as part of MY brain dump along with just a handful of formulas that sometimes tripped me up when I was feeling time pressure during the practice exams. This took less than 10 minutes. And while around the mid-point of the exam I was slightly behind schedule, I ultimately ended up finishing the test almost 20 minutes early. While I could not have known this going in, the brain-dump time did not hurt me in passing the exam. Here is why I would tell you to do it:

1. Psychologically, it felt good to have the list to lean on. While you might not have needed it when you were taking the practice exams, that may be only because some gap in your knowledge wasn't exposed based on the questions you randomly saw during the practice exams.
2. On some of the trickier questions, I found it helpful to look at good ol' Table 3.1 to think something through.
3. A few times I looked at it just to confirm what I felt I already knew (this was reassuring for me, because one of the obstacles I had to overcome was that about 50% of the questions I got wrong on the practice exams was due to the fact I would read a question too fast - looking at the brain dump chart to think through the process in relation to the rest of the processes helped me to slow down and double-check). As Cornelius says time and again, you really need to read the question carefully.
4. I'm not a neurologist, but I'm guessing that the brain dump before taking the test will help to refresh and activate your process knowledge and may be contributing to your good practice exam scores! If you are doing the brain dump and being successful in the practice exams, I would hesitate to do it differently on the day of the actual exam.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Best of luck on the exam!
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brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10625

  • Steven Mudrinich, PMP
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Paul,

You should have sufficient time to brain dump during the intro portion of the test. Its best to write down all of the formulas you can remember first, as the Knowledge Areas and Process Groups should be more instinctual. I didn't find it necessary to go into the 47 processes or ITTOs to pass the exam, but you can practice that if you want as well. For me, the equations were the key.

-Steven

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10628

  • Tracy Shagnea, PMP
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I think Paul's comment and mine make the point that I mentioned in my earlier post when I said this type of thing is very individualistic. For me, I wrote down only 4 or 5 formulas because that part of the knowledge came very easily for me due to my prior educational background and experience. You need to discern what is best for you. Again, I recommend that you take practice exams the way you plan to do it on exam day. Also, be aware that you can't brain dump during the tutorial - you can only start to write once the actual exam starts (i.e., once the timer starts)!
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brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10655

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Thanks for the information guys I greatly appreciate the input. I do realize that the brain dump cannot be done before the exam, that is why I was considering just saving the time. I have the information I need to make my decision and I think I will still do the processes, but I am going to shorten the dump in other areas that I know very well.

Thank you,

Paul

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10656

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Paul,

One note of clarification: You are no longer allowed to write out your brain dump during the tutorial. PMI made this change only a few months back, so it is a pretty recent change. You are still allowed to use a brain dump, but you cannot write it down before you click "start exam". (Some students report that a person from the testing center was standing behind them until they started the exam to ensure that nothing got written down).

Please read this article for all the details: www.project-management-prepcast.com/free...-pmp-exam-brain-dump

And just to repeat: You are allowed to use a brain dump. You just cannot write it down before the clock starts ticking.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10657

  • Kevin Nason
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Paul - I spent a lot of time practicing my Brain Dump prior to my actual exam, along with during my practice exams. When it came time for me to take the actual exam, I only found my self referring to it to double check the formulas. I do recommend you continue to practice creating one, as the repetitiveness for me helped when it came to exam time.

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10658

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Kevin -- I agree completely with you. Having a brain dump is a 'healthy' way of learning all those things that are hard for you. And by repeating them again and again you will more easily retain the information that seemed too complex at first.

In fact... I wrote an article about exactly that... anyone surprised? ;) Here it is:

www.project-management-prepcast.com/free...xam-brain-dump-sheet
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kevin Nason

brain dump 3 years 6 months ago #10672

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I just took the exam last night and passed. I found it helpful to have done all 47 processes and formulas. I referred to the process chart a number of times during the test. It was very helpful. Also, I found the PM Exam Simulator questions to be very similar to the real exam. Good luck!

brain dump 3 years 5 months ago #11002

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I wanted to thank everyone for their feedback. I took the exam yesterday. I had continued doing the brain dump every day and I did the dump before the exam because I felt time would not be an issue for me. However, Like Kevin I did not really use the sheets. I think I looked at it once to check a process, but I think just practicing the brain each day was the important part for me. The 47 processes I could name in my sleep. Oh and I did pass the exam with a lot of time left over.

Thanks for the help.

brain dump 3 years 5 months ago #11006

  • John Wolverton
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Paul, Great to hear about your test and thanks for sharing!
I too agree the Brain Dump is about learning, no so much using on the test.
John F. Wolverton, PMP®

brain dump 3 years 5 months ago #11007

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Thanks, and spot on with your comments.
John F. Wolverton, PMP®
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