PMP Examination Tips

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10 Most Important Tips to Know Before Taking Project Management Professional Exams

Taking the PMP Examination is not an easy task. While many candidates strive for their very best and enroll in the examinations, the passing rate is still relatively low.

In this article, we have summarized some of the most important things you need to know before taking the PMP exams. These tips consolidated from post-exam survey and feedback by our candidates and examination team. Without further adue, let’s begin the most important steps you need to know when preparing for the Project Management Professional Certificate Examiantion (PMP Certifications).



How to breakdown the PMBOK Guide

The PMP examination is difficult not because of the content itself but also the enormous amount of pages from the PMBOK. Over the years, examination have covered many of the key areas and for sure studying page by page is deemed one of the method to prepare the exam. But for sure, it’s not the most efficient one.

Pure memorization is not sufficient

Even for the lecturer, who teaches PMP course, the content is too much  to memorize it all. The most ideal way is to truly understand the concepts. In fact, in the real examination, there will never be some exact fill in the box questions for you to select, testing of these concepts and whether you can apply them into real situation is the ideal goal for PMP association.

Start doing exercise immediately after you study a chapter

You might have considered reading through the whole PMBOK guide with a quick glance before commencing the next chapter. However, this is highly not recommended and is believed to be a waste of time. Here’s why: You will not learn anything concrete if you quickly glimpse through the booklet as the key area has not been extracted and understood.

Once you study a chapter of PMBOK, make sure to go through the exercise you have on your hand. This exam tips guide is posted in PMPQuizBank but to maintain impartiality, this works for other study exam bank or vendors as well. The key idea is, do a lot of practice questions once you study the PMBOK guide chapter. You will be amazed that how many area of key concepts that you have missed out and never could have imagined these concepts can be examined in this way.



Always remember PMP is an old examination

PMP is not a new examination that only started out for a few years. This makes a way different compared to any new examination in the market. For starter, many basic concepts that has been tested will not appear as direct as it might be. All association wants to maintain their professionalism and will not allow their exam to be passed like any trivial e-learning you face at your company.

What does it have to do with me if this is an old examination? This means that studying the practice questions in the market will not be sufficient, ultimately you have to refer to the PMBOK guide as everything will come from there. Commencing your study by frequently referring to the PMBOK guide if you get into concepts that you are not sure.



Quick reference at the appendix area

PMBOK updates their guide version from time to time. Referring to the changes at the end of the guide,you can quickly compare whats have recently added or removed in the exam. This is important because from our experience, this is almost guarantee that the newly added area will be tested in the exam. After all, like we mentioned above, this is an old examination. This is rather difficult for them to create any new questions for the exam, you would have do the same and get prepared from the updated version.



Leverage flash cards

We cannot stress how useful this is. In PMPQuizBank we extract the frequently and recently examinted questions, concepts in the PMP exam. We formulate them into flash cards for your quick memorization. While the PMBOK is very huge, not all the content requires your brain to memorize the key words, while some do definitely deserve that.

You may also create your own flash cards for the preparation of the exams. Studies show that to generate a long term memories, it requires reading the same area of content for at least 3 times in a week.

In the real exams, it is designed to confuse you, so that you might easily conceive some answers to be right. In that moment, you will be very grateful for memorizing some of the key concepts area and select the answer with confident.



Don’t waste your time in study group or forum

Many candidates render their time on study group or forum. If you have plenty of time for PMP preparation, that will bring no harm. However, if you are reading this study guide and just want to secure a pass with minimum amount of time, then you should not waste your effort in the online forum or study group.

Many of the content provided anoymously online are not verified and most often, they are candidates like you who are preparing for the exams. (Who would look at the forum after they have passed the exam?) Your precious time will be wasted by reading these forums and cross-checking whether what they claim is true.



Read and read again the question at least 3 times before you answer

PMP exam itself comes with a lot of situational questions. Like all other situational question exams, the question is very lengthy, and as such, many key words are often omitted and missed. You are highly recommended to read, read and read again the question at least 2 times before you look at the answer options and review the question again before you answer. From our experience, some questions itself have hidden some hints in selecting the answer and by reading it at least 3 times, you will have some clues.



Basically you dont need to waste time memorizing all ITTO questions

ITTO, or in full form, Tools & Techniques and Outputs question is one of the key area of the PMP exam. From our experience, these might be 1 to 3 questions requires your tough memorization. The rest of it is mostly tested in the form of a situational questions and would only need your project management experience and understanding of the ITTO concepts to select the right choice. As such, if you are reading this guide and the next week or tomorrow will be your examination, you will know how to prepare in this area.



Allocate sufficient time for the examination

PMP exam questions can be tricky and would need a lot of practice questions to familiarze with the format. Do not intend to imagine that your experience in the project management field will help you to cut the preparation time. Practice at least 200 practice questions and unless you score 85% or higher, you take more practice quesitons to prepare for the exams.



Leverage the original PMBOK guide

There is a lot of resources for this examinations. Very often, third parties vendors who wish to make their price worthy will create a lot of extra content to study and prepare. For sure there is no harm to read them, but purely for examination purpose, they can be a bit too much to read for the exam. It is always recommended to study via the PMBOK guide as this is issued by the PMP official. This is guaranteed that all content will be extracted from there and questions formuled are from PMBOK as well. Study and prepare the examinations with the official guide and avoid jumping through different vendors so that you familiarize with the chapters and save your time to highlight the key area in your book.



Prepare the exam with your own way of memorization.

Last but not least, this is properly the most important points out of all 10 points above. The PMP examination comes with 5 process areas and with 47 process groups. Memorizing all these content is tiring – Unless, you have formulated your own method of memorizing.

No one can prepare these quick memorizing methods as all candidates come from different culture, background, education level and experience.

To illustrate, programme management process flow for corporate management (strategy) involves 4 process. Namely, Business vision, strategic objectives, investment plans and project mandates.

It is very easy to confuse you if there is an answer “Strategic vision”, so how could you remember it properly? One of the way is to turn it into short forms which you are familiar with, e.g. “PIBS”, which stands for the first word for “P” for project mandates, “I”, Investment , “B” Business visions and “S”, Strategy objectives.

Try to relates PIBS as a “sound” and relates it to corporate management style as a PIBS sound will be generated. There is some degree of graphical memorization and studies show that this helps to remember tedious content easily.

These are merely a few examples for preparing the PMP exams, they will definitely save you a lot of time if you are able to generate a efficient memorization method.

Only hard work and effort will yield success. Plan your study and we wish you a secure pass in PMP exams!

Thank you very much for reading my long article, you may click here for PMP free trial questions.

Amanda Johnson

Amanda works full time in exam questions review team. She formulates and review content provided in our quiz bank. She prepared this examination tips so that candidate can prepare more strategically and efficiently.

Amanda Johnson
PMP Exam Team| Exam Team Manager

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