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TOPIC: Exam prep lessons learned

Exam prep lessons learned 1 year 4 months ago #28322

  • Matthew Schlosser
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Still practicing while I wait for my application to be approved. A couple of things I've learned:

1. Examine the questions for clues about whether you're in planning or execution. There are a lot of quite reasonable incorrect answers that you can eliminate because the question implies that you are in planning, but the answer would be more appropriate in execution, and vice versa. This is really tough to do on every question when you're under time pressure, but at minimum take the time to make this check when you're unsure. It can help eliminate wrong answers, improving your chances of choosing the right answer.

2. Know all of the specialized PM vocabulary. For exam purposes, it's sadly more important than knowing the processes that the vocabulary names! There are a lot of official sounding terms in incorrect answers that you can eliminate just by knowing that it's a fake term. On the other hand, I've come across one correct answer where the exam used a synonym in place of the proper term, and in the explanation said "well, it means the same thing." Hypocrisy much? I suppose in that case, you're supposed to have affirmative reasons to reject the other answers and choose that one because it's "least wrong?" Diabolical!

3. EVERYTHING is in PMI's exam prep book. Not everything in the book can possibly be addressed in those 35 hour courses that are designed to prepare you for the exam while giving you credit for the education requirement. Know the contents of the book (which is less than the contents of PMBOK) and use the PrepCast exam simulator to get accustomed to the "feel" of the questions and answers, and you should be AT on the first try.

4. Your perceptual biases can trip you up. My position is that PMs are the first level of change request processing, but we don't always originate the change requests. That's not hard and fast, if our own analysis of performance indicates that a budget increase or schedule extension is needed, that's a change we're requesting, but I think most changes are requested by stakeholders external to the team. Therefore, on my first practice exam, I dismissed any answer that included "submit change request." Of course that was wrong, it was sometimes the right answer. The way it was consistently phrased with the verb "submit," when in many cases, the request would be submitted TO me, tripped me up. My obsession with precision of language led me to reject the right answer!
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Exam prep lessons learned 1 year 4 months ago #28332

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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These are helpful tips, thank you!
Elizabeth Harrin

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Exam prep lessons learned 1 year 4 months ago #28334

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Thanks for your lessons learned. Very insightful.

Quick follow about regarding "3. EVERYTHING is in PMI's exam prep book." -- Which book exactly are you referring to? Is that maybe the PMI ATP Student Manual?
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

Exam prep lessons learned 1 year 3 months ago #28347

  • Tom DePiero
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I have the same question. There is the Pmbok and the agile guide, but I cant find the PMI's exam prep book
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