The Day Of Your PMP Exam – Tips For Success

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

The time has come for your project management exam. It is daunting, but these useful tips will help you feel more confident in the task in hand.

You have devoted thousands of hours to working on projects and have sat through hour upon hour of PM training courses. You have studied for hours, completed many practise questions and tasks, and you have successfully completed for application for the PMP exam. You have paid, been accepted, and now you have a scheduled exam day. GULP. You have invested so much in this one exam, talk about pressure!

If this is what you are facing, don’t panic, these tips for the day of your exam will help you feel much more confident about the task in hand:

  1. Investigate the test location before the actual test day, so you know the route and any potential ‘traffic hot spots’ and building works.
  2. Get to the test location early on the day, so you don’t have to enter the exam in a rush
  3. Have a coffee, but only one! A coffee an hour or so before your exam is a great idea, as it will give you a temporary brain boost. Don’t have loads of cups though, or you’ll be jittery!
  4. Have all the paperwork ready and make that your top priority on the day – you’ll be told what you need to take (usually your acceptance letter and 2 forms of ID) so set a reminder to take those with you.
  5. Make the most of your prep time – you have 15 minutes with instructions for how to complete the exam, before a 60 second gap where you can start the online test. Make the most of this time, reading the instructions properly, not rushing them.
  6. Remember although the clock doesn’t stop if you take a break, you can still schedule breaks in for yourself. Answer a set amount of questions before having a small break.
  7. Practise concentration – it can be difficult not to notice all the people coming and going, and any other distractions, but use focus techniques (which you can master as part of your prep) and you will be fine.
  8. If you are unsure about any of the questions, don’t panic and guess. Leave the questions for review and come back to it.

You can also watch some PMP Exam success videos here.

The Day Before

It is also worth completing these things the day before, so the day of the exam goes smoothly:

  • Set several alarms so you are certain you will be up on time
  • Fill the car up with petrol so you know it is good to get you to the place of the exam
  • Check again that any childcare or other necessary bookings are made, so you won’t have to worry about anything during the exam
  • Relax – try to have a long bubble bath, watch something that makes you happy and go to bed early. You might struggle to sleep well, but you must try and be well rested to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep

Good Luck!

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  1. These are extremely useful tips for Project Managers and people who are currently training for the PMP Examinations. The day of the examination can make one feel very nervous and anxious , the tips here should help a lot in focusing and performing better at the exam!


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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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