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By Shawn T. Futterer, PMP ·
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So your thinking about taking the PMP Exam?

by Shawn T. Futterer, PMP In reply to

<p>You should know, it's a computer-based exam hosted by the Sylvan-Prometric Testing center. It is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK. Test questions are randomly selected from a database of over 2000 possible questions. The test taker has a total of 4 hours to complete the exam. The intent of the test is to ensure a thorough understanding of project management knowledge as set forth by the Project Management Institute. </p>
<p>The newest version of the PMBOK, the PMBOK Guide-Third Edition, was released to <a href="">PMI</a> members in October 2004. In addition, the exam and the passing scores have been adjusted. The passing score for the new exam has now been changed from 81% to 61%. The exam taker must answer 106 questions out of 175 correct. 25 additional questions will be asked on the exam for a total of 200 possible questions. The 25 - pretest items will continue to be part of the exam. PMI uses these questions to understand the performance of the questions prior to counting the questions towards a candidates score. The exam taker will not know which 25 are not applied to the pass/fail score. Out of the score able 175 questions, approximately 19 will come from Initiation, 40 from planning, 47 from execution, 37 from monitor and control, 16 from closing and 16 from Professional responsibility. </p>
<p><strong>Initiating the Project......11%</strong> </p>
<p>Conduct Project Selection Methods <br />Define Scope <br />Document Project Risks, Assumptions, and Constraints <br />Identify and Perform Stakeholder Analysis <br />Develop Project Charter <br />Obtain Project Charter Approval </p>
<p><strong>Planning the Project......23%</strong> <br />Define and Record Requirements, Constraints and Assumptions <br />Identify Project Team and Define Roles and Responsibilities <br />Create the WBS <br />Develop Change Management Plan <br />Identify Risks and Define Risk Strategies <br />Obtain Plan Approval <br />Conduct Kick-off Meeting </p>
<p><strong>Executing the Project......27% <br /></strong>Execute Tasks Defined in Project Plan <br />Ensure Common Understanding and Set Expectations <br />Implement the Procurement of Project Resources <br />Manage Resource Allocation <br />Implement Quality Management Plan <br />Implement Approved Changes <br />Implement Approved Actions and Workarounds <br />Improve Team Performance </p>
<p><strong>Monitoring and Controlling the Project......21%</strong> <br />Measure Project Performance <br />Verify and Manage Changes to the Project <br />Ensure Project Deliverables Conform to Quality Standards <br />Monitor all Risks </p>
<p><strong>Closing the Project......9%</strong> <br />Obtain Final Acceptance for the Project <br />Obtain Financial, Legal, and Administrative Closure <br />Release Project Resources <br />Identify, Document and Communicate Lessons Learned <br />Create and Distribute Final Project Report <br />Archive and Retain Project Records <br />Measure Customer Satisfaction </p>
<p><strong>Professional and Social Responsibility......9% <br /></strong>Ensure Individual Integrity <br />Contribute to the Project Management Knowledge Base <br />Enhance Personal Professional Competence <br />Promote Interaction Among Stakeholders </p>
<p><br />Exam Questions are designed to check both key understanding and the ability to practically apply concepts. The types of question and formats you may encounter are; Situational questions which require you to rely on your knowledge, PMI (PMBOK) experience and judgment in order to answer them correctly and Conceptual in which you must apply concepts to a new situation by using more than simple memorization. (All questions are multiple choice with four possible answers). Test questions will intentionally use different terminology or alternate versions of similar questions for the same concepts to test your understanding of the topic rather than your ability to recall a term. </p>
<p><strong>You may encounter:</strong> </p>
<p>Time-consuming questions that cause you, the test taker, to feel disoriented or overwhelmed. It's particularly stressful if you encounter these types of questions early on in the exam. (The Ready Set Pass program is designed to reduce the chance of this happening by including many exam-like questions in our practice material.) </p>
<p>Questions that require you to Fill-in-the-blank and other factual-type questions. These questions simply require the test taker to recall the definition or context of a word or set of words. (Likely worded identically as in the PMBOK Guide.) <br />Questions in which you need to select the exception from the four possible answers. If 3 correct answers are present look for the Odd man out. </p>
<p>Some questions will be long drawn out short stories. Much of the text of is not essential in answering the question. The test taker will need to weed out the non-essential data. More often than not the essential data is the last sentence in the paragraph. It may benefit you to read the last sentence first. </p>
<p>Questions that require you to perform calculations and/or draw simple diagrams. These are typically questions about earned value, cost, network diagrams, and schedules. In our estimation, around 75% of the exam questions come directly from the PMBOK Guide. </p>
<p>The remaining questions are derived from other reference materials and real-world situations. Solid common project sense should help you in answering these. Some key exam topics you won't find in the PMBOK but should understand are: Conflict-resolution techniques, Organizational theories, Problem-solving techniques and Theories of motivation. </p>
<p>You will encounter questions that will be difficult to answer with confidence. Commonly these types of questions seemed to potentially have more than one correct answer. Two or more of the answers are reasonable responses. However, there is always one best response, as determined by PMI. You should track these questions and revisit them at the end of the exam before it is submitted. <br />Be alert about answers that reflect common project management errors and unapproved practices. It is important to remember that the answer should reflect PMIs views. Remembering this should help you rule out any common sense answers that dont coincide with the PMBOK. The test taker must sift through answers that are factually correct but are not the correct response to the question. </p>
<p>As a Test Taker, it is important to develop a Strategy. Anticipate that many questions will have multiple correct answers. It is your challenge to pick the best answer based on how PMI outlines the situation should be handled. Remember to answer questions from PMIs perspective, not from your real-life experience. Think, What does PMI say I should I do? rather than Whats worked in the past? The actual exam allows you to mark any question for later review. Plan on making several passes through all 200 questions of the exam. (Double-check yourself on questions that you are unsure of your answer). On the initial pass through the exam, mark any question that you are not 100% sure of the answer. On the second pass, review all the marked questions. You may discover that the answer to a given question is detailed out in another question or answer throughout the exam. </p>
<p>During the exam, as the test taker, you will need to manage your exam time. 200 questions in 4 hours (240 minutes) = 1.2 minutes per question. Some questions will be as easy as 15 seconds; others may take 3 or 4 minutes. </p>
<p>You are not required to immediately take the exam when you sit down at the computer terminal. Use this time to gather your thoughts and prepare your reference sheet. Write down all formulas, diagrams, and information that will assist you with the exam. This allows you to clear your thoughts and focus better as you begin the exam. When you begin the exam process, you will initially be provided a tutorial of how to use the terminal and how to take the exam. If you feel comfortable with the information, you can pass over this tutorial quickly and begin the exam. Pace yourself and be sure to read all four answers completely. Do not just choose the first potentially correct answer you see, there may be a More right / Most right answer available. Take breaks throughout the exam. You have 4 hours for the exam, you need to complete at least 50 questions per hour and allot for periodic breaks to allow yourself to regain focus and rest. </p>
<p><br /><strong>How to prepare for this exhausting exam:</strong></p>
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