The four hours you spend in the PMP exam room is the most crucial part of your journey towards becoming a PMP. It is very important to make best use of the time and not lose your cool.
Here are the tips to do your best in PMP exam
- Do not keep a lot of topics for last minute study. There is nothing wrong in refreshing a little bit on the day of the exam. But, trying to absorb everything in the last minute will confuse your brain more than helping it remember.
- Plan to arrive at the exam location about 45 minutes earlier than the scheduled time. When you start from home, account for the traffic delays etc and keep some buffer time. Reaching the exam location in the last minute will unnecessarily cause tension and panic.
- Once you enter the exam room and get access to the terminal, you have 15 minutes before starting the exam. Use this time for Brain Dump! In a piece of paper (will be provided in the exam) write down all the formula you have learnt. This will save you lot of time while answering questions as you don’t have to recall them again.
- Read questions very carefully. Lot of wordy questions will have few sentences that do not really add anything to the problem statement. First weed out them and focus on what the question is exactly asking for. Don’t get lost in the long sentences that describe the situation. For more detailed guide to answering the situational questions refer to this article.
- Then start looking at the answers from bottom up. This trick helps. This stops you from picking the first answer you thought is correct. Remember you have to choose the “best” answer. While scanning the answers first eliminate the ones that don’t make sense at all. In most cases 50% answers will be eliminated that way. From the remaining answers, chose the most suitable one.
- Double check your calculations. There will be several questions that require computation. Make sure you calculations are correct. These questions are very easy to get right and wrong!
- If some questions don’t make much sense don’t spend lot of time thinking about them. Mark them for review and move on. Knocking few questions correctly in the beginning will boost your confidence and relax the mind.
- Answer all the questions from PMI/PMBOK Guide perspective. Sometimes your personal experience may be different from what is in PMBOK guide. Go with what PMBOK guide says.
- Don’t leave questions unanswered. There is no negative marking in the PMP examination. If you have absolutely no clue what the right answer is, or you are running out of time, it is better to answer with your best guess rather than leaving them unanswered.
- Don’t take unnecessary breaks. While PMP exam rule allows you to take as many breaks as you want, don’t over use it. By taking a break you not only lose the time but also lose the pace you had built in answering questions. This will slow you down drastically.
Final Moments in the PMP Exam
Final moments in the exam are critical. In the last half hour either you could be in one of the three situations
- On track to finish questions on time: If you are on track, make sure you have few minutes at the end to visit the questions you have marked for review. If you don’t know the answer, you should at least guess an answer to each one of them. Keep that in mind when you watch the time.
- Lagging behind: Now is the time to make best use of remaining minutes. Start answering the questions you know well. Mark the questions you don’t know or the ones too long to read and understand. In the last ten minutes, visit those pending questions and answer them with your best guess.
- Done answering all questions: This is the best situation to be in. Use the extra time in reviewing you answers, especially calculations. Remember, review could always add value.