- Set a date to take your test - if you put it off, you will be likely to procrastinate and leave studying for the last minute. Cannot do that, preparing for this test is not something you can do in a couple of days. As you are aware, the test format and required scores are changing by end of September 2005.
- Try to schedule your test as early in the morning as possible, it will cut down on anxiety and your mind will be "fresher".
- Eat a light breakfast or lunch before going to the exam… the last thing you need is to worry about being hungry.
- Bring a bottle of water or something else to drink to the test center. You won't be able to bring it in, but you are allowed to take as many breaks as you want.
- Note that you will only be allowed to bring a PLAIN calculator… no graphics or text calculators allowed. Make sure your "plain" calculator has square root function.
- There are video cameras and you will be monitored during test taking - ignore them (actually I was tempted to make a silly face at them just to break the anxiety!)
- Be sure to MEMORIZE all the formulae on the first page… we have found out in talking to other colleagues who have taken and passed the test that there are different versions of the test. Some versions appear to have more math calculations than others, since the PMP test is "like a box of chocolates… you never know what you're gonna get" you are better off memorizing all the formula.
- It is good to memorize the formula, but by all means, do try to understand what the formula is for… if you understand the concept, it will be much easier to remember the formula.
- We did the formulae brain dump EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you don't do this, you are likely to forget…
- Be sure to know the "old" equivalents to EV, PV and AC (i.e. BCWP, BCWS and ACWP). I got questions on the exam where you had to know the equivalents or otherwise get the answer wrong.
- The questions are asked in a very difficult manner (purposely, to trip and confuse you…) don't let them. The key here is to understand what are they REALLY asking. Many of the questions contain totally extraneous information which is not needed to answer the question correctly. My perception is that, in most cases, the "REAL" question was contained in the very last sentence.
- Another strategy that worked great for us was to answer all the theory questions first and MARK and SKIP the questions that required calculations. We did all the calculations at the end. I was able to finish the exam in 3 hours, you can use the rest of the time to double check any questions you marked.
- Before you start your calculations, write down the question number associated with that calculation, this way you can easily retrieve it for review later.
- EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - you will have questions that show you a network diagram, or that will require that you DEVELOP the network diagram from the information provided. Write down the question number that has the diagram in case you need to go back and refer to it.
- Be sure to master the forward and backward pass and the inclusion of lead and lag times in your network diagrams
- Be sure you know how to identify the Critical Path
- Be sure you know the difference in how to calculate free float and regular float
- Be sure of your calculations, one number wrong and the whole network could be wrong, this is especially important since there may be several questions based on the initial network diagram.
- Try not to get too nervous right before the exam… do some relaxation techniques after your brain dump, such as visualizing, taking deep breaths, (yes, praying worked for me too!), etc. The less nervous you are, the more you can focus on the questions.