How to Ace the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam
The PMP exam is challenging, even for the most experienced project managers. But with the proper preparation and some keen insight, you can pass the exam and earn this industry-leading credential. It takes time, focus, and commitment, but passing this important exam will make the effort worth it.
The first step toward acing your exam is verifying the current exam specification and content. Ensure that any study material you are planning to use is updated and aligned with the current version of the exam. You can find this information at www.PMI.org
to confirm the exam version. The PMP exam changes every two to three years, either due to an update of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide
or to incorporate the results of a role delineation study.
Some project managers mistakenly believe their experience in managing projects will be enough to pass the exam. However, experience alone will not provide the insight and context you will need to answer the 200 questions. Creating a deliberate and comprehensive study plan and approach will help you develop a strong foundation for answering the questions from the PMI perspective.
As part of your study plan, be sure to incorporate plenty of practice questions that reflect the types of questions and the content that will be on the exam. To add to your preparation, it is beneficial to use timed questions, giving you a better feel for the actual exam. The majority of questions on the PMP exam are situational, asking things like "What's the first thing you do," "What's the next thing you do," or "What's the best way to handle this situation?" Reliable mock exams will include a number of these types of questions. To ensure readiness, you should be scoring at least 75% to 80% on these practice tests.
While preparation is incredibly important, do not minimize the impact of your behavior during your exam. Most people have at least some level of exam anxiety, but with the right approach and a few behavioral hacks, you can still be successful on this exam. Anxiety is fear of the unknown, which can plunge us into a 'fight, flight, or freeze' response. However, this is not conducive to answering 200 questions!
When we are in that heightened state of anxiety, our prefrontal cortex (the logical part of our brain) is left out of the communication loop. What you want to do is bring the adrenaline and other stress hormones down to a level where they can help you versus hurt you. The most effective approach is to skim through the questions, only answering those you can answer within a few seconds. Moving through the 200 questions removes the fear of the unknown because now you've seen all the questions, and it is reducing your adrenaline down to a more functional level.
Once you get through all the questions, you will have the option to filter by the ones you left blank. Cycle through again, answering what you can. Continue this way until all questions are answered. Be careful to leave no questions blank! Go with your gut if you're not sure. If you leave a question blank, it will count against your total score. Do not change your original answers unless you are 100% certain the first answer is incorrect. Frequently, our first answer is the correct one, even if we are unsure about it.
It is helpful to have a well-thought-out approach to taking the exam. For more complex questions, read the actual question at the bottom first. This will allow you to work through all of the details more efficiently. Remember to read all four possible answers and see how they work with the actual question. Do not just assume the first answer that sounds good is correct.
Finally, do not get distracted with your subject matter expertise. The PMP exam is a generalist exam, meaning that project managers from all industries are being tested. Identify the project management concept they are asking you about and ignore any content that may appear to be industry specific.
With a solid plan for preparation and sound techniques for approaching the questions, you will be better prepared to ace your PMP exam. EduMind's comprehensive PMP exam review courses can help you get ready with confidence! Click here
for more information.
Project Management Professional (PMP) is a registered trademark of Project Management Institute, Inc.