The PMP® exam can cause nightmares and push people to the edge mentally and physically due to its steep learning curve.
However, not all is doom and gloom. This exam, like any other, can be cracked with a bit of planning, dedication, and hard work.
While the Best PMP® Exam Prep Books and courses help make life a little easier, you still have to follow some techniques to prepare for your exam.
That’s where Examspm comes in. In this article, we’ll cover the most important tips and tricks you need to know to ace that exam. We will also share some valuable information regarding preparation for the actual test.
At the end of it all, you will come out less intimidated, more enlightened, and surely more confident!
Is a PMP® Certification Still Worth it?
This is a very important question and one that many people still ask. Knowing whether the certification is worth it can be a driving factor behind choosing to sit for the PMP® certification exam.
First, it is crucial to understand that today’s job market is more competitive than ever. This means that you could really use any sort of “extra” push that comes your way.
For project managers, this is especially true, and the first step to being a good project manager is to make sure people recognize you for your credibility.
A PMP® certification will certainly put you on the map, and it helps you climb up the ladder of success much faster than your peers. Here, we have discussed some of the many benefits that make the PMP® certification truly worth it.
Being almost universally accepted means that the certification can benefit you at any place and anytime without fail.
The PMP® certification is accepted in as many as 80 countries worldwide, which makes it widely valued.
Companies now want more skilled workers, and the PMP® certification certainly displays skills like no other certificate out there. It is a benchmark of quality, and it shows just how capable you are in what you do.
Proof of Dedication
A PMP® certification shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to pursue your dream and passion.
Getting this certification is not an easy feat by any means, and thus, anyone who has this certificate has proven themselves to be the most dedicated of the lot. It means you’ve gone through a period of rigorous hard work and challenges, and you’re willing to do so again.
It also means you’ve sacrificed your free time and used it to improve your skills as a manager. These skills will serve you for a lifetime.
Companies and firms want to see this level of dedication in their workspace, and you, with your certification, will make a good first impression during interviews and set the tone just right.
Boost Over Others
Having the PMP® certification in the bag is no mere show. It will put you on a pedestal and place you ahead of many others in this field.
It will also help you move faster up the ladder and cement your position.
Why is the PMP® Certification Pass Rate so Low?
One frequent complaint about the PMP® certification exam is the associated pass rate. Recently, it has fallen, and there are several reasons behind this.
Different sources place the pass rate at different numbers. However, after rather extensive research, we found that the average passing rate has fallen below 68% over 14 years.
This means that out of all the people who sit for the exam at a given time, less than half of them end up cutting it.
It is truly a frightening statistic and a good indication of the difficulty level of the PMP® exam and how dedicated one needs to be to get that certification.
So now, let us come to the associated reasons. Just why exactly is the passing rate so low?
An exam like the PMP® needs several hours of hard work to just pass, and this is made more difficult by the fact that the pass rates are on the lower side. On top of that, having to solve 200 MCQs in under only 4 hours is not an easy feat. The theoretical and graph drawing can make things even harder.
You have to put in the hours and sometimes even pull all-nighters to cover your syllabus. This takes a significant toll on a person’s mental health, and the exam ends up being a lot more difficult.
Not a Lot of Good Practice Materials
There’s an old saying that “Practice makes a man perfect!”. Well, nothing could be closer to the truth for this particular exam.
Acing this exam requires a great deal of practice, and the main problem is that there are not many good practice materials to choose from.
Sometimes, the bigger problem is that candidates fall for cheap or 2nd-grade material while forgetting or neglecting the useful materials out there. As a result, many students end up struggling more than needed and consequently fail the exam.
Hence, it is very important to practice from the right material and stick to it closely.
Another big problem that many people have with this exam is that it is conducted entirely in English worldwide.
The fact is, people from all nationalities attempt the exam, and for many of them, English is a second or third language. That means a significant language barrier already exists, and you must overcome that to do well in the exam.
English can be a very tricky language, and during the exam, even simple phrases may sound complicated in the heat of the moment.
For non-English speaking applicants, they are required to put in extra effort to do well, which adds to the stress of the environment.
What Score Do You Need To Pass The PMP® Exam?
To understand this point, it is first important to understand the structure of the PMP® exam itself.
The exam consists of about 200 multiple choice questions, and you get a total of 230 minutes to answer all 200 problems.
This means you get a little over 1 minute and 20 seconds per question. Now, when it comes to a good score and a passing score, it can vary a bit, and there is no fixed value.
A common belief is that one must achieve half the marks or somewhere around 60% to pass the exam.
However, this is a myth, and there is no official statement from the test-makers that states this information is in any way correct or accurate.
In reality, and considering all the facts, there is no solid or fixed passing score. To be more precise, it all depends and varies on the level of difficulty encountered individually in the exam.
This is because not every question carries the same amount of marks, and as a result, they do not provide equal weightage.
Thus, if you keep encountering easy or medium-level questions or if the overall difficulty level of the exam is easy, then the pass mark will be higher.
Hence you will have to score more to get a good mark. On the flip side, if you get harder questions or if the overall level of difficulty is on the harder side, you will need fewer marks to pass.
3 Tips to Follow in Order to Pass the PMP® Exam
Now comes the fun yet one of the most crucial parts – tips and tricks.
There are no shortcuts or foolproof techniques that will carve you a perfect score when it comes to an exam like PMP®.
Without hard work and perseverance, it is impossible to crack this challenging exam.
That being said, we are going to provide some tips to ensure that you do not feel like you are lost at sea when preparing yourself. However, these tips are for people who are already dedicated to studying and ready to burn the midnight oil to get a good score.
Make a Routine
This is perhaps the most clichéd and overstated tip for any exam, be it the PMP® or a school-level exam like the SATs.
However, making a routine is the first step to success because a smartly made routine will ensure that you are always on schedule. Therefore, tune out distractions during your prep time.
A routine needs to be made with your strengths and weaknesses in mind. You must identify your strengths and weaknesses and model the routine in such a way that more time is spent on working on weak areas and less time on already strong areas.
Another aspect of making a routine is to calculate the time factor. How much time do you have? 3 months or 6 months or even more?
You must have a tentative date in mind and stick to it. The best thing would be to model your routine according to the time on your hands.
Give Mock Tests
This is another golden tip and perhaps one that could cut it or break it for many people.
No matter how stringent of a routine you follow, without practicing tests or questions, that routine will serve no real benefit.
The reason is that the PMP® exam is lengthy and is mentally very taxing. You need to get used to the pattern and duration both physically and mentally to get a good score.
While solving questions and giving a lot of mock tests, you get to understand the exam pattern and thus make fewer mistakes each time.
It helps you pinpoint all your weak areas and strengthens the strong areas that you have.
The good thing is that several training schemes are available online and offline that contain official questions from previous exams. Yet, it is still prudent to do some research when buying physical guides from the market if you want to avoid practicing from low-quality, 2nd-grade material.
Read Official Guides
The official guide to the PMP® exam is the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®® Guide) – made and published by the examining body itself. This guide is a must-have for test-takers, and it fully habituates you with the type of questions you will face in the actual exam.
You should not neglect this guidebook, as doing so might cost you a good score. Go through it carefully, and make sure you understand everything in it thoroughly.
While it may seem boring to read at first, you will start noticing improvements soon enough, provided you put in the effort.
However, there are also plenty of other exam prep guides available online. Such guides usually cover all grounds, whilst including boot camps and simulation training as well.
Hopefully, you’ve gotten enough insights by now. By following our methods, getting that elusive PMP® certification no longer has to be a distant dream for you. Be sure to stick to the guidelines and put in the right effort, and you will be surprised at how well you can do!
To learn how you can pass your PMP® certification exam in the next 6 weeks, sign up for a free class to get a study plan + valuable tips & tricks!