Tips for taking the PMP Exam

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Here are some tips to help you during the four-hour exam.

1. At the beginning of the Exam, you may be provided with blank (scratch) sheets. Find out if it is acceptable that you write certain formulas on that sheet. In that case, write down the hard-to- recall formulas. That will free your mind and serve as a reference during the Exam.

2. Toward the start, you will have a fifteen-minute tutorial that will get you familiar with the exam- taking functionality.

3. Use the calculator (online or physical). It will help you avoid careless errors, especially since you may be short on time

4. During the Exam, you will see only one question and its four choices at one time. You can mark a question for later review.

5. If a question has two or more choices that seem correct, choose the best answer. There are no negative marks for wrong answers, therefore answer every question.

6. Do two passes:

Pass 1: Do the easy and quick problems. Mark the rest for Pass 2. If any question seems to take more than two minutes, mark that for Pass 2.

Pass 2 (later review): Now you attempt the ones that you have marked.

7. Once you have read a question, think of the following three ways to answer that:

a) How would the author of the PMBOK® answer the question?

b) If the above does not help you answer the questions, think about how the contents of this book would have you answer the question.

c) If both of the above do not help you, think about your real-world experience. Do as per the sequence specified above.

8. As mentioned earlier, assume that you are the project manager for a large project with resources and stakeholders around the world.

9. Assume that proper project management practices have been followed, which means you have an approved charter, project plans, risk register, quality metrics, change log, etc.

10. Watch for these: Global words like “never” and “always.” Choices that have “never” or “always” are often false. Also, watch for the word not. There will be questions that ask, “which of the following is not true?”. If you have long-winded questions, quickly identify irrelevant points, and skip those.

11. During the test, breathe well! It helps you focus and relax.

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