PMP(R) Certification Exam Prep - Give yourself a great chance to pass the first time. So Get Rid of Hurdles So You Can Pass the PMP® Certification Exam.
Last Updated 1-2-2021 - first written Feb 2016
by Nereda Haque, PMP
Our goal at SmartPath LLC is to help you pass the PMP Exam especially the first time. Why take the Exam twice?
Your goal should be to “shelve” any information that you may hold dear that conflicts with the knowledge you must acquire in order to pass the PMP Exam. This brings us to the first hurdle.
Hurdle # 1: You must “unlearn” in order to pass. The PMP exam preparation requires that you “unlearn” or “delete” from your reference anything that conflicts with the knowledge you need to know to pass the PMP exam.
This sounds easy. But believe it or not, this is sometimes the most difficult hurdle to conquer. In class some people want everyone to "admire" their tremendous knowledge of project management. Best thing to do, so you don’t get embarrassed, is not to broadcast your knowledge. Also be considerate of others in the class. There is a lot of information that may be new for them too. And you may confuse them with knowledge that conflicts with PMI PMP knowledge that you and everyone needs. However, the more times you discuss the knowledge and skills that conflicts, the more times you are going to ingrain "the non-PMI knowledge" in your head. You are ingraining it more into your brain as a "truth." Shelve your "truth" for now as you have a PMI PMP Exam to pass. When you are thinking about what you want to say next, you are not listening to what the instructor is saying and more importantly, you are missing crucial information. Instead interact with the topic at hand in a positive way to reinforce what you are learning.
If you have a question, do ask it. However, be ready to learn. After all you are in class to learn so you can PASS the PMP exam NOT to show off how much experience or knowledge you may have. You will hear the instructor say "delete, delete, delete" or "unlearn, unlearn." Simply do this. It will make passing easier.
Now that you are rid of this large hurdle (your pride), you are well on your way to opening your mind and learning the information you need to know in order to pass the PMP exam.
Hurdle # 2 – Beware of Information Overload: Some people are in a fury to find everything on the web so they can pass the PMP exam. They may be afraid that they may not have received all of the information they need. They will practice thousand of exam questions! Their heads are ready to explode and about 33% or more of the material may conflict or it may be just stuff for the wrong PMP exam (there have been many new PMP exams since 2009). Since you are not fully ingrained in the PMP exam your are taking, you may become confused. This is not a certification exam where you have a practice disc and all the exam questions are on it, and you only have to remember it! Not! You could do thousands of exam practice questions and never receive anything like it in the PMP exam! Actual PMP exam questions are written by PMP professionals from all over the world. And they can change constantly. They will look similar or familiar. So don't exhaust yourself looking for the questions that you hope to find in the Exam as they don't exist.
Instead understand the information thoroughly that you received from SmartPath LLC so you can pass!
You also run two risks (a) information overload - questions and study areas that deal with areas you will never get in the Exam and (b) quality of questions - lots of errors, or sites based on different versions of the PMBOK GUIDE
which will thoroughly mix you up. Some companies gather all possible information and throw over a 1,000 pages on the web, mostly in fine print at you. Beware of this kind of training. If they throw this much at you, they are clueless about knowing what you need in order to pass. If they don't have quality custom training materials, you are not getting a quality training product. Avoid them like the plaque. For the V7 PMP Exam that starts 1/2/2021, PMI has solved this dilemma by developing their own PMI(R) Authorized PMP(R) Exam Prep book with only Authorized Training Providers can provide. And SmartPath LLLC has created supplemental materials to provide you a a Comprehensive Materials & Tools Package
Therefore, any exam practice questions you do in class are just that – PMP exam practice questions. PMP Exam practice questions are for the purpose of acquainting you with the different kinds of questions – verbose, double negative, negative, "except," or fuzzy questions, etc. so you get use to analyzing many types of questions that are related to your exam. You will receive many situational questions. Pay attention to the concepts you learned so you get past the fluff and identify the nitty gritty of the questions. There are now questions that will ask you to choose 1, choose 2, choose 3 from up to 5 answers. Or their are match questions, hotspot questions, and some limited fill in the blank questions.
Best way to pass the PMP exam is choose a company that has created PMP exam preparation supplemental material for job and exam visibility to increase your chance of passing and help you at work as everyone's expectation of you will have risen once they hear that you went to PMP certification training. Concentrate on on just those materials and tools you receive through us, so you don’t get information overload. After all, you are in class to PASS the PMP exam, not in it to explode your brain. You are in it to pass quickly to avoid taking months or years to do it. Keeping your study lean, keeps it manageable.
Hurdle # 3 – Don't Skip Any Area: If you are told you only need to concentrate on Scope, Schedule and Cost and the math questions, think again. Wrong! I’ve heard people claim that their exam was nearly all risk questions or nearly all quality questions. There are no lopsided questions. In class it will be explained to you how many questions you will get in each of the process groups. You will receive questions in all of the areas, so you had better learn it all or you won't pass.
Hurdle # 4 – Cramming - Understanding the Processes Is Key to Passing The Exam. If you are told to cram for 5 days, then quickly sit for the exam before you forget you are most likely on the high road to failure. If you understand all of the course work as you go through it, you have a HUGE advantage. There is no substitute for understanding. And now as the exam as become more difficult, there is also no substitute for practice (both exercises and quiz practice. If you cram for the Exam it is difficult to match your "cram" with the question. If it doesn't match you can't answer. What is the likelihood of that? Understand first, practice, then cram if it makes you feel better. But remember you can't apply what you cram, only what you understand.
Hurdle # 5 – No Learning or Studying - If you have not studied the materials after the course work or during the course work, passing may be difficult, especially pay attention to your checklist at SmartPath LLC of what you must know before taking the PMP Exam. You must study – some need to study more than others. At least 20-40 hours of studying! You can do less study by using the SmartPath LLC quiz practice to study. Be prepared to put in the time if you want to chime with excitement after taking the PMP exam. There is no substitute for studying. And if you do not know the PM roles, inputs and outputs, along with the tools and techniques YOU WILL NOT PASS. Perhaps the more experience you have in all of the Process Groups that align with the PMBOK® Guide
, the easier it will be for you to pass. Because you will be able to pick the correct answer through the process of elimination. However, in our experience most project managers have a lot of gaps in most of these areas and are not familiar with all the tools and techniques or how to apply them. So if this is you, shelve your experience as it will only help you to earn PMP Exam approval, not PMP Certification.
SmartPath LLC has proven materials, exercises and tools that will help you pass the first time. It is safe for you to "unlearn" in order to pass the PMP exam. You will not receive information overload – just what you need to know in order to pass. You will receive training in the areas you can be examined on. We will never tell you to cram, although there are some areas that need memorizing (formulas and memory joggers). Associate the knowledge for acronyms and OTTIs. Understanding and practice are key and our laminated workflows will help you with start to end project management visibility, process sequencing (what happens next), processes, process groups, knowledge areas, and inputs and outputs, tools and techniques, and the 44 PM roles including role dependent processes. Use the Workflows/tools, and exercises to summarize your learning, add visibility, increase and deepen it through understanding and practice, and by stimulating your brain cells, creating cognitive brain tracks. Sitting in class is not enough. Take the time to practice - see our recommendations. Draw from your experience only when you can do safely, and associate your experience to what you are learning only if it aligns with the training. Cancel from your mind any conflicts of processes you've been using at work. That will also help.
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