How To Prepare For PMP Exam

Project management has emerged into one of the most wanted skills in the IT industry nowadays. However, it is also one of the toughest certification that most IT professionals can experience. The exam has 200 multiple choice questions and last for 4 hours (short break allowed).

These tips are based on my personal experience. I took the 5-day course and 2 months to prepared myself for the PMP exam. Here are the tips to pass your PMP exam:


Before the exam

I actually really read the whole PMBOK book. That’s why I took 2 months to prepare for the exam. I didn’t pressurize myself on memorizing the terms but instead trying to understand the concepts more.

I also watched some tutorial videos to help refresh my mind because I took the class many months ago and I was afraid I missed the important points. It’s good if you can have refresher class too from your training provider.

I tried few mock tests too at the same time so I can familiarize myself with the question format.

Read the glossary. My friend gave me this tip and I think it’s helpful.


During the exam

1. Make sure you’re well rested and your stomach is not empty

2. Arrive at the testing center earlier

So you don’t need to rush and be panic.

3. Keep pace with the timer

There are 200 multiple choice questions you need to do in 4 hours. That means averagely you need to do 50 questions in 1 hour. Always check your timer and keep pace with it once in a while.

4. Eliminate wrong answers so you can focus on correct answers

5. If you’re not sure, mark the question to be reviewed later but make your best guess first

6. Read the question carefully

Some of the questions are quite lengthy and confusing. If you don’t get it at the first time, re-read the question before answering.

7. Get a short break

Get a cup of water to refresh yourself a bit.

Your Learning Ability Can Boost Your IT Career

IT Career

I read an article on by J.T. O’Donnell about one skill (I like to call it a trait) that could fast track your career in the next 10 years time. Currently, big companies observe that there is one specific important trait that successful employees have in common. Google and Ernst & Young call it “Learning Animals” skill and put this into criteria in recruiting new hires. People with “Learning Animals” or “Hungry Brains” skill constantly learn about new things. They are proactive in acquiring new knowledge and they have faster professional growth rate.

In a fast pace field like IT, I feel this skill is important to have. In technology, people can not acquire new knowledge today and expect this knowledge will keep them afloat in their career forever. Technology is a dynamic field. There is always new technology being developed everyday which makes the current technology obsolete in maybe three to five years time. That is why the IT certifications expire in three years in average and require you to renew or refresh with new ones. In order for you to be competitive in IT, you need to keep learning. For me, I aim for at least one certification or new skill every year.

There are few methods to upgrade your skills in IT:

1. Take course or certification exam in the field of your interest

This is one of the standard method in upgrading yourself in IT but this may be the most costly method of all.

2. Join the professional community, forum or interest group

3. Take online course in your spare time

Today online courses have emerged into one of the popular method of learning. You can get new knowledge with minimum cost, at your own place and most of the time, at your own pace. Some sites even offer online programs from prestigious school with certificate. What a deal!