Path to PMP – Part 3: General Advice

A few points to ponder from my experience of the PMP journey:

  • During preparation, regularity is more important than the total number of hours. In other words, studying 2 hours per day will be more effective than taking a 2 day break and studying 6 hours the 3rd day.
  • During the exam, if you find long and wordy mathematical questions, better mark them for review and move on, and come back to them again after completing one pass.
  • Now PMI does not ask questions on professional responsibility, so don’t waste your time on this.
  • Expect at least 5-6 questions on conflict resolution techniques and motivation theories.
  • Without undermining other areas, Quality management and Risk management are two very important areas for the exam. So make sure you understand them thoroughly.
  • Earlier PMI used to ask questions about the names of quality theorists (Phillip Crosby, Joseph Juran etc.), which people would have to mug up, but it seems PMI has now realized the futility of this and is moving away from asking such questions. So don’t waste too much time mugging up their names.
  • During the exam, plan your breaks. The clock doesn’t stop ticking when you take a break, but a 5 minute break will refresh you and you’ll be able to focus more on the next questions. I took 2 breaks: one after 50thquestion and the other after 125th, but you can plan your own way.
  • Take a chocolate or apple with you and eat it during your break. It gives an instant energy boost and keeps your sugar levels up.
  • Manage time well, but that does not mean staring at the clock all the time. Check the clock after every 50 questions, if you’ve done the 50 questions in less than 50 minutes (which is not as difficult as it sounds), you are good. You will have some time for the breaks and review.
  • After you have finished the course once, take at least couple of practice exams. Make sure you attempt the practice exams in a simulated environment (4 Hours at a stretch, no distraction, no referring books in the middle) and target to score between 70 and 80%. It will also help you with the time planning.
  • No matter how well prepared you are, you WILL feel a little nervous when you’ll see the first question in the exam and the clock start ticking down. So be ready for that initial tension and don’t be scared when it actually happens. Have faith that the tension will go away after the first 20-30 questions.

Hope it helps. All The Best !!

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