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Getting PMP Certified - A Guide to Tips and Tricks

written by: Rupen Sharma, PMP • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 5/18/2013

There are long ways to getting certified and then there are short ways. The latter typically involves implementing the tips and tricks to getting PMP certified. These tips and tricks are the cumulative learning of other people who are now PMPs.

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    Shortcuts Cannot Replace Knowledge

    Before I start of listing the tips and tricks to getting PMP certified, let’s get something very clear. These tips and tricks only apply after you have thoroughly reviewed and understand the intention of the material presented in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). It is not only necessary for you to know what is in the PMBOK, but also what is expected of a PMP.

    Some questions on the PMP exam are simple recall-based. If you have reviewed the PMBOK thoroughly, then those questions are easy pickings. Most questions, however, will not be so simple. The non-recall questions test your comprehension and application of project management concepts in theoretical project situations. Answering these questions correctly is what it takes to get PMP certified.

    Next, I’ll present some tips and tricks to achieve PMP certification.

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    Basic Helps

    1. During the exam, some questions are very difficult; mark them and carry on. Do not get unsettled by them. Those questions can easily come in the beginning of the exam and wreck your frame of mind. Use the process of elimination to determine the most logical answer.
    2. Pace yourself during the exam. Four hours is more than enough. However, if you panic, four hours is not enough. Project managers do not panic. Therefore, even in the exam you should not panic. You should approach the exam by setting and following a pace. If you have time to spare in the end, DO NOT walk out. Rather, use the time to review your answers.
    3. Some questions test you on what happens next. For those questions, simply follow the PMBOK process. For example, if a project ends abruptly, what should you do next? Or, after a scope change is accepted, which artifacts must you update?

    There are some concepts that are difficult to comprehend, but are likely to show up on multiple occasions in the exams. These concepts are:

    Last, make sure you have done enough practice exams (preferably written by PMPs). Here are some free PMP exams:

    Read the How I Passed the PMP Exam on the First Attempt article for more tips and tricks that I used to get PMP certified.

    Good Luck!