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Can Your Project Manager Pass a Skills Test?

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 6/10/2013

Trying to decide who should become your next project manager or are you a project manager looking to see how you can improve your skills? Read on to learn about project manager skills tests and where to find them.

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    Testing the Project Manager

    Whether you're a new project manager looking for job opportunities or have been a manager for quite some time, there are reasons why you should consider taking a project manager skills test. Beyond the certification it provides, you'll be better prepared to deal with teams, stakeholders, upper management, and clients. With a renewed commitment to excellence, It may even help you to land that job of your dreams.

    Companies who seek that perfect project manager can also benefit from candidates applying for and taking the project manager skills test in order to evaluate their management knowledge.

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    Knowledge Section

    A project manager is responsible for the overall success of a project. Deciding who in your organization has the prerequisite skills to take over this role can be daunting. One recent development to help deal with this issue is the project manager skills test.

    A variety of companies now offer this test. While each program is different, generally the test explores the following components:

    • Knowledge
    • Personality
    • Cognitive Skills

    The knowledge part of the test measures what the potential project manager candidate already knows. Generally, this part of the test follows the Project Management Institute’s Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK, and covers nine knowledge areas:

    • Project time management
    • Project integration management
    • Project scope management
    • Project cost management
    • Project quality management
    • Project human resource management
    • Project risk management
    • Project procurement management
    • Project communications management

    With the results, companies and individuals can see where the candidate is proficient and where further training is indicated.

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    Personality Test

    Source: http://www.lisisoft.com/imglisi2/1/8/18451-pmi-pmp-exam-simulator.jpg Another part of the exam is the personality project manager skill test. Basically, this part of the exam is an indicator of the candidate’s potential. Does he have the right temperament to lead? Can he handle the responsibility? These results are then compared to the personality profile of a successful project manager.

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    Cognitve Area

    The final part of the project manager skill test is the cognitive assessment area. This part of the exam measures the potential of a project manager's reasoning ability. A large part of being a project manager is the ability to measure verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Verbal reasoning involves using words and numbers. Non-verbal reasoning involves using shapes and/or figures.

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    Using the Project Manager Skill Test Scores

    For potential project manager candidates, test results are typically given to the organization if the organization paid for the test. The information provided to the organization will indicate the candidate’s strengths and areas needing improvement, and will suggest certain knowledge areas that need further tweaking. From there, the organization can decide if the candidate has enough knowledge to take on the role or still needs to grow into the position.

    Candidates who take the exam, on the other hand, can see where they are proficient according to delivered scores. They can also utilize their scores to help them recognize knowledge areas where they still need more education.

    If the company decides that the potential candidate has fair skills, it may opt to provide a training program that will allow the project manager candidate to acquire needed knowledge. Often, companies that administer the test will offer an organization solutions to assist the company in putting together a program for the candidate.

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    Companies Offering the Skills Test

    Below is a list of some of the organizations currently offering the project manager skills test. Check their websites for test schedules, pricing, and more information.


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