Getting your PMP certification is important for professional project managers and essential for consultants. For consulting, the PMP is often required to be eligible for consideration. Much like the CPA for accountants, the PMP represents a common level of understanding of concepts, standard principles, and vocabulary. Ample preparation for the exam is critical.
Choosing the right approach for you is half the battle. For some, it may be as simple as getting the current Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and reading it from cover to cover. However, this approach has a low probability of success in passing the exam for most examinees.
You might buy a book that is designed for exam preparation. This is a low-cost approach with a reasonable chance for success for those who learn well by reading. However, this requires a lot of perseverance and discipline and may become problematic if you get stuck on or misunderstand something. In addition to the inherent risks of self-teaching, you also risk using information that may be out-of-date or not relevant to the exam. If the outcome is not a certification, you will need to determine what went wrong and how to take corrective action.
The best approach for most people is to take an exam preparation course from a Registered Education Provider (REP). REPs provide the best opportunity for success for several reasons. They have access to the most current materials and experience in helping students successfully prepare. They also have resources proven effective in preparation, such as practice exams and study aids. Additionally, most REPs include remedial action if things don't go well during the certification exam. We all have one of those days from time to time. Having someone in your corner if that happens during your exam is invaluable!
So now that you've decided on the right approach for you, what's next?
First, establish your regimen for studying and preparation. If possible, set up an area where you can spend some time every day reading and practicing your preparation approach with everything you need, such as references, paper for notes, index cards (for flashcards), etc. Schedule when and where you will take the exam, allowing yourself plenty of time for preparation.
If you take a preparation course, you should consider taking the exam shortly after the class is concluded, but probably not the very next day. You will want to spend some time taking practice exams. Do them as many times as it takes until you consistently pass with a comfortable margin.
Avoid the urge to cram the night before your exam is scheduled. Like our muscles recover from working out to be stronger, your brain needs to de-stress for improved memory. The night before you take the exam, make sure you get some light exercise, eat something healthy, and get a good night's sleep.
During the exam, take advantage of the tools available to you along with a strategic approach. If you have memorized equations, images, phrases, or a mnemonic to recall useful terms or concepts, you can use the online whiteboard if taking an online exam. For onsite testing, you will not be permitted to bring calculators or scrap paper into the test site. However, according to the PMI handbook, the following items will be provided for you by the test center on the day of the exam:
- Calculators are built into the CBT exam and will be provided to those candidates taking a PBT exam.
- Writing materials for taking notes during the examination: either scrap paper and pencils or erasable board and markers
On your first pass through the exam, read each question carefully and be sure to note any negatives, such as "Which of these are NOT..." Answer the questions you know and mark those of which you are less certain.
Next, go back to the unanswered questions. Resist the urge to change a prior answer unless you have a clear and specific reason to change it. Often, people change from the right answer to a wrong answer unless they realize they overlooked a "not" or come across another question that contradicts their first answer.
Frequently we find that some questions in the exam may answer another question in the way the question is posed. Answer all the marked questions using the information you gathered from the rest of the exam. In some cases, you will find the answer outright, while others you will know enough to exclude one or more wrong answers. Using this process of elimination will help improve your odds of choosing the best answer from those remaining.
Do NOT leave any questions unanswered. Even if you just guess, you still have a 25% chance of getting it right. Using the process of elimination can improve that to 33% or even 50%. An unanswered question is automatically wrong.
Following the study approach with a REP and following these steps is the best way to achieve your desired outcome-becoming a certified Project Management Professional. EduMind is a REP that can help you achieve your goal with comprehensive exam review courses offered in a variety of formats. Click here
for more information and to determine which option is best for you.