Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Tips and Tricks

  • 19 May, 2020

The PMP exam is notoriously difficult, but there are some strategies you can employ to increase your chances of passing on the first attempt. While there is no shortcut on the road to PMP success, here are the top ten strategies to pass your exam!

Tip #1: Commit to a Date - If you put off your exam until you are 100% confident, you might never take it. Your brain and behavior will perform better when you have a set date that you are working toward.

Commit to a Date

Tip #2: Take Practice Tests - Merely reading books, blogs, and other materials will only get you so far in your preparation. You must practice by taking mock exams to help you identify any gaps and deficiencies. This includes an evaluation of your timing, your knowledge of the material, and your test-taking capabilities.

Take Practice Tests

Tip #3: Understand Versus Memorize - You may have heard that memorization is the key to passing any exam. However, memorization is not enough, especially on the scenario-based questions. Instead of memorizing, work to truly understand the concepts, tools, and techniques and how and when they are applied.

Understand Versus Memorize

Tip #4: Master Your Dump Sheet - When your exam clock starts, you can jot down what is referred to as a dump sheet, which should include all of the earned value, forecasting, and estimating formulas you have memorized in preparation for the exam. Be careful not to make the dump sheet too extensive because it could eat into your allocated exam time.

Master Your Dump Sheet

Tip #5: Get a Good Night's Sleep - Do not underestimate the importance of getting a good night's sleep before your exam. This is not the time to pull an all-nighter! Lack of sleep has a significant detrimental impact on your logical processing, and you'll need all the brainpower you can get.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Tip #6: Stay Hydrated - Given that your exam clock keeps ticking even when you use the restroom, you may be tempted to skip getting a drink of water as well. But don't! Being fully hydrated increases the flow of information within your brain, improves recollection, and increases attention. Keep in mind that your brain is made up of more water than your body, so by the time you feel thirsty, your brain is already dehydrated!

Stay Hydrated

Tip #7: Know Your Circadian Rhythm - All creatures have natural circadian rhythms, which are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. It is essential to work with your body and not against it for your exam. Recognize what time of day you are at your peak analytically. If you are a morning person, schedule your exam for an early slot. Night owl? Look for a late-afternoon exam time.

Know Your Circadian Rhythm

Tip #8: Eat Well - Nourish your body, nourish your brain! Choose your meals wisely the day before and the day of your exam to give yourself the proper nutrients and stamina to power through this four-hour exam. Remember, this is a marathon exam, not a sprint! You don't want to crash halfway through.

Eat Well

Tip #9: Arrive Early - The Pearson Vue exam centers reserve their computer terminals based on the length of your exam. If you are late, you will likely be asked to reschedule your exam, costing you money and time. Plan to arrive early and minimize the potential for traffic or other unforeseen delays. This will enable you to enter as relaxed as possible. Use the extra time to visit the restroom, review some notes, and maybe have a quick, healthy snack.

Arrive Early

Tip #10: Dress Comfortably - Dress in something that will keep you comfortable for four hours in a test room. You will not be allowed to take any type of sweater or jacket off and on during your exam, so it is best to wear something light with long sleeves that can be pushed up if you get warm or pushed down if you get chilly.

Dress Comfortably

When you are ready to take the PMP exam, EduMind can help you prepare for and pass it with confidence. With various course learning format options to choose from, you can find the one that works best for you. Click here to find out more.

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a registered trademark of Project Management Institute, Inc.

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