In this post, we will outline the 5 things you should know on the day of your PMP exam day so that you will be well prepared and ready to ace this exam.
If you scheduled your PMP exam for, let’s say, 2PM, and you show up at 2:15PM, you will NOT get an extra 15 minutes on your exam! Yes – your exam will end at 6PM just like everyone else’s.
If you are late, you brain may go into panic mode, and you may suddenly find yourself forgetting everything that you worked so hard to remember. It can be a downward spiral from there.
To avoid the panic, arrive at your Prometrics exam centre 1 hour before your actual exam starts. You may be saying to yourself, “wow, that seems excessive!” but it’s not.
One PMP aspirant I taught told me that he booked his exam on a very busy day, and it took him 30 minutes to find parking at his Prometrics exam centre!
Unexpected events can and do happen – traffic jams, missed busses, and overloaded parking lots – so give yourself enough time to deal with these situations before your exam if they do arise.
Make sure you bring 2 pieces of identification with you before your exam. Prometrics will verify your identity before you are allowed to write the exam.
The reason that they do this is because they want to eliminate cheating and plagiarism. PMI does not want someone else writing and passing your exam for you.
(Side note: There are also cameras in the exam room that will record your every move.)
The PMP exam is 4 hours long. Some do find it to be a strenuous exam. You are allowed to take as many breaks as you need to. However, there will most likely not be any food or drinks for sale. Thus, you should be prepared by bringing your own food and drinks.
Some good snack options to bring include: carrots, apples, celery + dip, granola bars, juice, water, etc.
The exam will promptly end at the 4 hour mark. Your computer will refresh and you will not be able to answer more questions or change any answers.
There is a timer on your computer that tells you how much time you have left on your exam. You don’t need to look at it every second because that will likely stress you out. But, keep an eye on the time periodically to make sure you are giving yourself enough time to complete the exam.
Before your actual exam, you should do at least 2 full length exams (I recommend 3 or more) so that you know how long it takes you complete one. It will also tell you how long your bathroom or snack breaks can be.
The 5th and final tip for your PMP exam day is to create a “cheat sheet.” Before you get too excited… No, you are not allowed to bring anything into the exam room with you.
Here’s how the cheat sheet works:
Before you go into your PMP exam, you will be given 2 blanks pieces of legal sized paper and you will have 15 minutes to watch a tutorial on how to use the Prometrics exam system.
You probably don’t need 15 minutes to learn how to press next, or how to go back, or how to mark a question for review.
Instead, you should use this time to draw a cheat sheet for yourself that you can use and refer back to throughout the exam.
Use your 2 sheets of paper wisely because if you need more paper, you need to trade in the sheets you’ve already got. Most students will not do the trade because they’ve got so many important notes on their existing cheat sheets already.
Thus, for all intensive purposes, just assume you’ve only got 2 sheets of paper to work with.
The process chart contains the 10 knowledge areas, 5 process groups, and 47 processes, and it is the skeleton of the PMBOK guide. Because of its importance in PMP exam, it is a great thing to include on your cheat sheet.
Writing out all your formulas is another great idea for your cheat sheet. There will be math questions on your exam, and you will be prepared if you know all your formulas before the exam starts.
If you are struggling with the math section of the PMP exam, download the complete PMP formula guide here.