Project Management

Taking the PMP Certification Test – My Advice

Taking the PMP Certification test is very anxiety provoking. When the test starts, there is a 15 minute tutorial on how to take the test. The only thing they let you have is paper and pencil in the testing facility. I learned a few tricks in taking the test (which is 4 hours).

·         As soon as they started the clock, I wrote down as many equations as I could. This way I would have that sheet to refer to later on in the test when I was stressed out. You can get this done in the first 15 minutes and use it later.

·         I took a 5-10 minute break every hour to get a snack, water and stretch my legs.

·         The allow you to mark a question that you want to come back to if you are not sure of the answer, so I went through all of the questions and marked a few but went on. I wanted to answer as many questions as possible and not get stuck on one hard one.

·         One thing to remember is the questions are very situational in nature. This means more than one answer can look correct. They also us the famous “none of the above” or “all of the above”. Those questions freak me out!

·         The test database is huge and your test is randomly selected so no two tests are exactly alike.

This was what I wrote down as fast as I could in the first 15 minutes so I could refer to it after my brain turned to mush.

·         I wrote down all of the knowledge areas, inputs, tools and techniques and outputs. This helped me figure out a lot of questions.

·         I wrote down all of the formulas I could think of: they included:

o   Expected Monetary Value (EVM) = Risk event probability X event value

o   Expected Cost = Sum of products of Expected Monetary Value

o   Expected Time = optimistic estimate + 4*most likely estimate + pessimistic estimate/6

o   Activity Standard deviation = pessimistic estimate –optimistic estimate/6

o   One standard deviation = 68 +/- % on a bell curve

o   Two standard deviations = 95 +/- % on a bell curve

o   Three standard deviations = 99 +/- % on a bell curve

o   The number of communications channels = n (n-1)/2 where n is the number of people.

o   Earned value terns are Earned value = EV, Planned Value = PV and Actual Cost = AC.  In an equation in Earned Value Management, EV always comes first.

o   Variance = Budged – Actual

o   Subtract for variance

o   Divide for Performance Index

o   SV = EV – PV (plus means ahead of schedule, minus means behind schedule

o   CV = EV – AC (plus means under budget, minus means over budget

o   Cumulative CPI = sum of EV/sum of AC

o   Variance at completion VAC = BAC – EAC

o   There are four ways to calculate EAC

§  EAC = BAC/CPI (assumes that whatever affected past results will also affect future results)

§  EAC = AC + remaining BAC/CPI (alternate way to get same results)

§  EAC = AC + remaining BAC (assumes that whatever affected past results will NOT affect future results)

§  EAC = AC + ETC (assumes that enough has changed to warrant a new estimate.

Good luck taking the exam. When I completed going through the questions I thought I knew the answer to, I had 30 minutes to look back at the ones I had marked. I didn’t change any of them. I panicked when I pressed the “Complete” button (which I didn’t until they rang the stop clock) and it seemed like an eternity, but I ended up with a 98% score! If I can do it, so can you!


September 29, 2008 Posted by | PMP | | 5 Comments