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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Project Cost Management Formulae, such as Earned Value Forecasting Formulae. Read the Examples of Earned Value Forecasting Formulae and Basic Project Management Formulae for more information.
- The Knowledge Areas and Process Groups. Usually recall questions during the exam.
- The plans that’ll be impacted by project changes.They test your understanding of the processes.
- Decision Trees and Expected Monetary Value calculations
- Know how to respond to risks.
- Understand the types of costs and what their sources are.
- Construct a Precedence Diagram and identify the Critical Path.
- Types of control charts and how to read them.
Last, make sure you have done enough practice exams (preferably written by PMPs). Here are some free PMP exams:
- Free PMP Quiz on Cost Management
- Free PMP Quiz on Time Management
- Free PMP Quiz on Scope Management
- Free PMP Quiz on Risk Management
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.