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TOPIC: Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15472

  • Megan Soriano
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***I wanted to share the below for the aspirants who are also data nerds like myself :) ! Also, it's a good way to apply some concepts learned as part of your PMP studies.***

Many folks on the Lessons Learned forum talks about not having enough time at the real exam. To mitigate this risk from becoming an issue, every time I
take a full 4-hour exam on the Exam Simulator, I jotted down the time phases, just so I know I'm managing my time wisely.

I've come up with the usual "Schedule Baseline" in the beginning: Start - 4:00, be at Question 50 by 3 hours remaining, Question 100 by 2 hours remaining, Question 150 by 1 hour remaining, and Q 200 by the end of 4 hours. See the first column below for the budgeted schedule.

As I've gone through multiple full tests (5 as of today), there's a few observations based on the data I've collected:
  1. You can't create the cheat sheet BEFORE your time begins. So, I've practiced daily this week to get my cheat sheet creation down to 8 minutes.
  2. My original schedule baseline does not leave room for reviewing marked questions, so that must be incorporated
  3. From Exam Sim #2 and onwards, it was obvious that the original baseline is OFF of my actual timing

I don't think I need to submit a Change Request to myself, so I'm going to skip that process :) To calculate the new schedule baseline, I simply used the triangular distribution (really - just the average of my actual results).

Here's my data!!
Question #Original Schedule BaselineSIM #2SIM #3SIM #4SIM #5New Schedule Baseline
Cheat Sheet CreationN/AN/A3:523:523:523:52
Question 503:003:133:103:052:553:06
Question 1002:002:302:152:182:122:19
Question 1501:001:431:241:261:311:31
Question 2000:000:510:430:350:470:44
Review Marked QuestionsN/AN/A0:240:130:280:22
Total Time of CompletionN/A3:493:393:463:313:41

My exam is on Halloween Day (4 days away ahhh)....so if all goes well, I should expect to know if I passed or failed around the 3hr 41min mark!

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
1 - In reading the LL's, one of the laments that frequently comes up is Time Management. In taking these full exams, you are able to set your pace and understand your own timing better.
2 - I also noted a good chunk of people stating that they use the Learning Mode most often in the Exam Sim most of the time. I love the Learning Mode on the Exam Sim, BUUTTTT you should also see how you're doing against the clock so you have a realistic expectation set when you're in the exam room...practice makes perfect!
3 - In the Forums, people have mentioned that the cheat sheet takes them 10-15 minutes, or at least 20 minutes to complete. This is an insane chunk of time that is NOT allocated to answering questions! With enough practice, you can cut this down in half!!! I've tried, but 8 minutes is the fasted I can allocate to this exercise.

Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck everyone!!!

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15479

  • Joe Pang
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Hi Megan,

Thank you for the in-depth analysis. I too practiced daily on writing down the 49 processes, one way to save time is to write the acronym only, for example Develop Project Management Plan would be PMP, and Integrated Change Control would be ICC, etc.

Funny thing is, I practiced writing it down so much that on the actual exam date I didn't feel the need to write it down. However I believe that a lot of people are visually oriented, so spending that 5-8 minute in the beginning of the exam to write down the processes is a good decision.

Another thing I noticed is that many exam questions on the actual exam is only 1-2 sentences short. So I had around 30 minutes free time at the end to review my answers (I usually only had 10~ minutes left when I did my Prepcast mocks).

Hope this helps,
Joe
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in Capital Projects and Digital Transformation Projects for the power & utility sector.

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15496

  • Amy Martinez
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Megan,

I agree with Joe. I practice writing down the 49 processes so much leading up to the exam, that I didn't really feel the need to jot them down when I got to the test center. As soon as I read the question, I placed the question in my head in the process group and knowledge area so I could understand the context of the question. This helped me quickly eliminate at least 2 of the incorrect answers. Then I could take an extra few seconds to think through the correct approach before making a selection. The highlight and cross out tools on the exam were very helpful in focusing on the key words or phrases and blocking out the obsolete text.

Also, to second Joe's comment, I barely had enough time to finish the simulator exams, but did have about 15-20 minutes left at the remainder of the live test to go back and re-read some of the questions.

Thanks!

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15498

  • Steve Richards
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Great info and solid tracking on how well you are doing. I will tell you from my experience I had no problem finishing all / each / every simulator in plenty of time - usually 25-30 min early. But, during the actual test, it was much much tighter. I did take the first 12-14 min to jot down all 49 processes, but in looking back, I knew them so well, that I probably could have not taken the time to write them down, and simply "mind-mapped" myself to where I was in the 49 processes based on the question. That said, for me, taking the time to write them down is personal preference. I did refer only 2-3x to my notes on the 49 processes. But I did refer to the formulas more often. I think Amy offers some solid advice in this thread. Be very cognizant of your personal pacing as you answer.
I hope this helps.
Steve

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15499

  • Megan Soriano
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A lot of my cheat sheet is an abbreviated version of the name, which cuts down the CS creation even more. I'm very visual - every time I read through a question, I'd point to that particular process on the CS so that I frame the question in that manner.

It's good that the actual exam is only 1-2 sentences...the Exam Sim has sooo many situational, 5-6 sentence questions!!!

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15500

  • Megan Soriano
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Nice...I wish we can highlight on the Exam Sim, I think that's the only missing feature versus the real exam. It would help with the reviewing of the marked questions.

I timed myself so that I know if I'm behind or just ahead. I actually did another full exam, and my timing was on par with the new baseline I created....but in the end, I was 10 minutes off the final baseline because I marked too many questions for review :) Goes to show you that it truly is different each time.

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15501

  • Megan Soriano
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Agreed - Pacing is key!!!

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15565

  • Sarah Perrino
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Would you guys say the PrepCast questions are comparable to the actual exam? I do notice that they are a bit longer, but since all their answers can be found in the PMBOK Guide 6, I wonder if the actual exam will cover more than just the PMBOK guide book. thanks!

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15579

  • Megan Soriano
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I actually took the exam last Wednesday and passed :)

Out of all the Test Exams that I've taken from various sources, I would say the Exam Sim questions the most similar to the actual exam.

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15581

  • Joe Pang
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Megan Soriano wrote: I actually took the exam last Wednesday and passed :)

Out of all the Test Exams that I've taken from various sources, I would say the Exam Sim questions the most similar to the actual exam.


Congrats Megan, so how much time did you have left when you finished answering all the questions?
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in Capital Projects and Digital Transformation Projects for the power & utility sector.

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15599

  • Sarah Ola-Kasumu
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Hi Joe,
Did you create your own cheat sheet or does PrepCast provide one?
Thanks.
Sarah

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15600

  • Joe Pang
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Hi Sarah,

I created my own. What I did was I started by copying and writing down the various equations plus the process groups chart (PMBOK6, pg 25). Do it once everyday and eventually you will remember it by heart.
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in Capital Projects and Digital Transformation Projects for the power & utility sector.

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin
Last edit: by Joe Pang.

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15609

  • Sarah Perrino
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Congrats Megan! I am going to take my test in two weeks. Hope I studied enough. I do think the Exam Sims are very long, but if you said the actual questions (at least the majority of them) are not that wordy, then I think it's not too bad. I heard my other workers said they have 45 minutes or 1 hour left, you can use the restroom and such. But the Exam Sim kind of makes me a bit nervous.

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15618

  • Sarah Perrino
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Hi Joe,

You mentioned your exam experience that the questions are 1-2 sentences short compared to the Precast? I was wondering did you do all 7 of the practice, the last two seems to be a lot more difficult than the previous ones.

Time Management in Exam Simulator / A Practical Application of the Schedule KA 1 year 10 months ago #15641

  • Jenikka Ebias
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Hi Megan,

Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam! :)
Jenikka Ebias
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