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TOPIC: Need Testing Technique Advice

Need Testing Technique Advice 5 years 1 week ago #17401

  • Laura Kelly
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I have severe test anxiety and have difficulty focusing during tests. I reread questions multiple times. First PMP cert exam attempt I did not brain dump, I did not take a break and had only five minutes to spare. I failed big time. I have been practicing with the Prep Cast test simulators and I am taking too much time. I average in the 70s. I am going to get a doctor's note before I schedule the exam. Any advice before I give the exam one more shot?
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Need Testing Technique Advice 5 years 6 days ago #17430

  • Cynthia Lim Louis, PMP
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Hi Laura. I understand exam anxiety. There are a few things I would like to share and hope they will help you cope better :).
1) Have a song lyrics in your head that make you relax and happy. Don't get too cramped up with ITTOs or definition in your mind. You did average in the 70s, so you should be fine.
2) During the exams, take many deep breaths every now and then. Tell yourself "I got this!"
3) When reading questions (especially long ones), read the last sentence first because it is the actual question and then read the 4 answer choices. The answer choices give you clues on what to look out for in the question and usually you are able to eliminate 2 of them. Then go back and read the question carefully, pick up the key words and then select the right or best answer.
I know you are going to pass as long as you stay focus and relax. Sitting on the same seat for 4 hours is no joke but every now and then take deep breaths to release the tension. Do your best. You got this! :)
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Need Testing Technique Advice 5 years 5 days ago #17455

  • Bill Starnes
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Hi Laura. I can definitely relate! Here's a couple things I did to help me on exam day...

-BE confident! I scored in the 70s (just like you)in the simulator and I passed with overall Above Target.
-When I went into the exam center I just stayed focused on the fact that I knew the material and that I was GOING to pass.
-I only brain dumped the EVM equations when I got in. Even though I knew them, it gave me a little confidence boost that they were right there in front of me (and they didn't need to swirl around in my brain).
-Turn your eyes away from the screen and focus on something else while you take a deep breath every once in a while. I doodled on my scratch paper to relax my mind for a few seconds when I needed it.
-Don't spend too much time on any 1 question. If you aren't confident about the answer, PICK the best one and mark it for review later. I did this for about 30 questions and it helped me save time overall.
-Try to get through as many questions as you can while you are still feeling fresh and your mind is at it's sharpest.
-Part of my anxiety was the unknown.. what was the test center like? What kinds of questions should I expect? You already know those answers going in and hopefully that will help alleviate some of your stress.

BE CONFIDENT! You got this!

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Need Testing Technique Advice 5 years 4 days ago #17456

  • Amy Martinez
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Hi Laura-

Exams are so stressful! You are not alone in feeling the pressure to perform, especially given the clock ticking away as you go. I would agree with the feedback that others have provided thus far. For me, doing the data dump of all formulas when I first walked into the testing room helped clear my mind and helped me to relax a bit. Definitely freed up some brain space. Some of the questions because of their length can be quite frustrating and also make your blood pressure rise. As others mentioned, the answers are often times clues for the direction the question is going or intended answer. Use that to your advantage. Also, if I found I was spending too much time on a question, I noted it on my scratch paper and came back to it later. I know the test program has that feature as well, but I also like visually seeing how many questions I needed to return to after my first pass. For some questions, I wasn't ready to answer them at the sequence they appeared in the exam. Coming back to them later let me focus on the quick victories of the answers I knew right away. Then I could spend more time concentrating on the more challenging questions and not get anxious since I had already made my first pass at the complete exam questions.

Whatever you do, stay calm, take deep breaths and look away from the screen for a short break if you need to collect yourself. You got this!
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