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Guidelines Before Taking The PMP Exam

Copyright (c) 2011 John Reiling

Before getting a PMP certificate, you must first take a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam. But, as we all know, this exam gives us another stressful responsibility. This is also the reason why most professionals who practices in this field didn’t take this important exam. To avoid that situation, here are some fundamental guidelines you can learn in order to help lessen up your fears and obtain greater possibility to pass the test. Let us start with the basic requirements.

PMP Basics and the Exam:

First, you should know that the exam is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions – contains 4 possible answers. You are only given 4 hours to finish answering all of them.

Second, there is 40% of the total exam called “situational questions” which tests your ability to solve certain given problems even surrounded by a stressful environment and be able to find a solution as fast as you could.

Third, the PMI (Project Management Institute) requires all applicants to take at least 35 hours of Project Management Training before they are qualified to take the test.

And here are some guidelines that may help you have greater chances in passing the test. Also, remember that you can’t achieve anything without hard work, determination and perseverance. Set your minds upon the reason of taking this exam: to test your skills, knowledge and abilities in project management according to the PMI’s standard.

PMP Guidelines:

Expand your knowledge – as you take a PMP Exam Prep Course, you will see that you are required to read more books and other resources available. It should be closely related to the training you have taken. However, most courses associate materials specifically made just for that course. There are online programs or PMP prep course who offers PMP material which fits for 35 hours of study, so, it is not that hard to search for places where to take the course.

Be calm – the PMI ordered you to have full training from institutions which have their approval and provides the PMBOK manual to easily find the answers to the exam. With these, the PMI is making sure that you will pass the test and comes out to be an expert in project management. You can feel at ease, they even lowered the passing grade just for you to be able to get the required score.

Best answer – the technique in answering the test is to find the best suitable answer. You might encounter a question that has 2 possible answers. Think thoroughly. See what answer fits the particular question or problem. Always choose the best. To be easy for you to check the right answer, during your training, search for exam simulators. These are mock exams that help you practice answering to familiarize the pattern of the exam.

Memorize – in the PMBOK manual, you will not only learn words, but also formulas and acronyms. You need to understand and memorize them for they will come out in the exam. If possible, use your own tactics in memorizing. You could jot them down in a piece of paper and keep on repeating them until it store in your brain.

Answer – during the exam, there is a rule that if you left at least 1 question unanswered, it will be deducted to your total points. So, make sure that you will answer all of questions. Just start answering with the easier ones and go back to the difficult questions. If you lack of time, use the guessing method. There are still chances to get the correct answers than suffer with deduction.

Do your best in the exam and as you follow these tips, with matching diligence, perseverance and dedication to pass; you will surely obtain the PMP Certification.

John Reiling, PMP, PE, MBA is an experienced Project Manager and certified Project Management Professional. John provides project management exam prep. John also writes regularly in his blog,

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