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No More Brain Dump Before PMP Exam – Do This Instead

Before your PMP exam begins, you are given two blank sheets of legal sized paper to create your PMP Brain Dump. Since you have 15 minutes to watch a tutorial on how to use Prometrics’ testing software, you can use part of this time to draw yourself a “cheat sheet” on the paper that you are given.

However, the rules have changed.

You can no longer use the first 15 minutes to write anything. You can only begin writing when your PMP exam starts.

After speaking with some recent test takers, they say that some Prometrics testing centres do not even proactively give you the two sheets of paper anymore – you will have to ask for them.

If you run into a situation like this, make sure you ask the exam proctor for your scrap papers.

You can still create a cheat sheet

Just because you can no longer use the first 15 minutes to create a cheat sheet does not mean that you cannot create one at all.

You can still use the first 5-10 minutes of your exam time to compose your thoughts and create a brain dump.

Since the PMP process chart is the “skeleton” of the PMBOK, it is an useful chart to include on your cheat sheet.

You may also want to include all your formulas on your cheat sheet.

Learn how to draw a cheat sheet here.  

Will I still have enough time to finish my exam?

Absolutely. If you are well prepared for your PMP exam, it should take around 3 hours to finish all 200 multiple choice questions.

You can still afford to use the first 5-10 minutes of your exam time to create your brain dump.

What are the benefits of having a cheat sheet?

Walking into the Prometrics testing centre can be an intimidating experience with all of its formal procedures and surveillance cameras.

Taking the first few minutes to compose your thoughts, calm your nerves and draw a cheat sheet may be a good method for your to de-stress.

You can refer back to your notes at anytime during your exam, which helps you recall project management concepts that you may have forgotten under pressure.

Can I have more than two sheets of paper?

Yes and no. If you want an additional sheet of paper, you need to give back one of the sheets you currently have. At no point in time can you have more than two sheets at once. Since you’ve already got important notes on your paper, it’s probably not worthwhile to trade them from a blank sheet.

What should I do next?

Two weeks before your PMP exam, try drawing out your cheat sheet once or twice a day. You want the process to be so ingrained and automatic that you barely need to think about it.

When you are drawing your cheat sheet, time yourself. Make sure you can finish it under 10 minutes, leaving you with more than enough time to finish your exam.

Also, note that you cannot bring a ruler into your PMP exam with you. When you are drawing the process chart, you need to get good at fitting the entire chart on one sheet of paper. Getting your proportions right may take a few tries.

Here’s what a cheat sheet could look like: