PMP® Exam is not a simple exam to crack. It requires focus, serious studies, understanding of project management concepts, persistence and consistent preparation to pass the exam. More than this, you need to understand PMI® philosophy. If you understand PMI point of view, get aligned with it and think from that perspective, the PMP® Exam become much simpler. Here are some tips and trick that talk about PMI® point of view. These tips and tricks make your preparations easy and fast.
- Understand and practice concepts referred in PMBOK® Guide (May or may not be fully explained in PMBOK® Guide)
- Only real life experience is not sufficient. Moreover your real life experience may misguide you. Many times real life experience is not what PMBOK® Guide recommends. In such case your real life experience may make you to tick wrong answer.
- Your real life experience is indeed important. In fact we have observed more experience people understand project management concepts better and pass the exam qucker. However if your real life experience conflict with PMBOK® Guide, please keep it aside and tick the answer that PMBOK® Guide advises.
- Questions are situational and more than one answer appears correct. Your clear understanding of concepts will make you distinguish them and tick the right answer.
- Practice Sample questions as they will help you to understand what type of questions will appear in exam and how to attempt them
- You may need to memorize some stuff like input, output, tools and techniques (IOTT) & some formulas. However I discourage you to do so at first step. When you prepare, many of these things are logical and your preparation & practice will make you remember most of the stuff. If you are still struggling with some stuff, then only mug up things you are struggling with.
- Many times questions could be too wordy that may confuse you. Remember it is not necessary to use all the information provided in the question. Most of the times last statement of the whole paragraph could be critical. Give special focus on last statement and see if there is some important information lies in the question’s narrative.
- Some options may be true but not relevant in the context of that question. Give special attention to this. Sometime a universally true statement is given as one of the options. Like if you plan better, you will see less problems during execution. If you are not too sure about answer, you tempt to tick this as this is a true statement but it may not be the answer of the question. In fact universally true statements will not be correct answer in most of the cases.
- Answer the questions from PMI® perspective. If your earlier learning is different than PMBOK® Guide’s recommendations, forget your learning for the exam sake and always answer from PMI® perspective.
Above are general rules help you to tick the right answer or make an intelligent guess if you are not sure about a question. Now I will discuss pure PMI® philosophy. We call it PMIsm. PMIsm is the PMI® Philosophy that you can consider true when giving answers to the questions in PMP® Exam. Irrespective of what your experience is, you can consider these statements true.
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PMP Exam Best Practices
Best practices are not always in practices. Many times what we practices we consider best practices while it may not be. As I explained earlier, you need to give answers as suggested by PMBOK® Guide and not what you practice, in case you have a conflict. Here are some of such practices, you can consider true while answer question in PMP® Exam
- PMP® Exam is a test of PMI’s processes and philosophy
- Project Charter is a must to start a project.
- Project managers have all kinds of soft and hard skills
- Project Manager is authorized via charter and he has all authority to take any action in the interest of project
- The project manager takes an active approach to the job and do not wait until a risk materializes
- Lessons learned from previous projects and historical databases are available
- PMI® does not approve construction of extra feature (not in the scope). This is termed as gold plating.
- Roles and responsibilities matrix are defined on all project
- Working over time is the last resort, all options must be tried out before. This is important. In general practice, overtime is the first option to be tried out. Which is against the PMI philosophy. If you do not understand this, you probably mark all related question wrong.
- A performance criteria is determined in advance and EVM is employed to measure the performance.
- All changes go through Change Management and impact on scope, schedule, cost, quality and risk are informed to all stakeholders. The change management (Click here to learn complete process of change management) is quite important and we should understand its flow.
- Project Manager obtains formal acceptance of deliverables and project
- All stakeholders need to be identified
- Lesson learned are documented through out the project
- Project Manager evaluate effectiveness of corrective actions
This is not an exhaustive list but indicative of PMI® philosophy. I hope you will find these tips useful to accelerate your studies. If you have any question, you can leave it in the comments below, I will answer as soon as possible.
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