The PMP certification is easily the hardest certification I’m attempting since I started working. Getting to the exam stage is hard enough, but the exam itself is the toughest part of the certification.
There are simply no shortcuts for this exam, and you need a solid four to six months of effort before you can clear it. I am still preparing for the exam so this post is by no means from an expert, and that is something to keep in mind when you read it.
That said, I discovered a few things that improved my score on the practice tests, and I think they will benefit you as well.
Review the PMBOK for every wrong answer
Almost everyone prepares by taking practice tests, and reviewing their wrong answers. I review by having an electronic copy of the PMBOK at hand, and then spending 5 – 10 minutes on the PMBOK on the concept that I got wrong. So, if I got a question on Quality Assurance versus Quality Control wrong then I do a CTRL F on these two words on the PMBOK and read about them, and let information settle in. Very quickly I realize what I misunderstood in either the concept or the question, and from there on I see that I’m able to answer similar questions with ease.
Always Use Elimination
While taking tests, eliminate answers rather than trying to find the best fit one. This is relatively easier to do, and is perhaps more in line with how the questions are framed, and how the brain processes information.
For example, you get the following question:
You are managing a project that will implement a new Insurance software package. Two project team members have difficulty working together. They come to you, for help resolving the issues. You immediately set up a meeting that includes the functional manager. After the meeting you and the functional manager discuss the issues and agree on a solution. What type of organizational structure you are working in?
B) Balanced Matrix
D) Strong Matrix
The way I think about this is to say to myself, right, this is definitely not Projectized because there is a Functional Manager, it can’t be a Strong Matrix or you wouldn’t need to involve the functional manager. At this point you know that it can be either the Functional or Balanced, and then you can further eliminate Functional because had it been functional, you would have relied on the functional manager to solve this problem. That leaves us with Balanced Matrix which is the right answer, and if you look at it in the context of the question, not just elimination, you will see that it looks quite accurate.
These two tips have helped me a fair bit, and other than that I really recommend going through this PM Zilla page on 10 PMP question types, and how to prepare for them?