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Christa Sterling

May 8th, 2017

Not only is the PMP certification highly-regarded among corporate teams, the exam is also very difficult. The pressure is intense for many project managers who are seeking their PMP certification, but there are also ways to reduce your stress as you prepare for this difficult but important exam.

Allowing Adequate Time to Prepare

Chances are, you’re preparing for the PMP certification exam while working and possibly raising a family, caring for elderly parents or handling other life responsibilities. Trying to rush your preparation process will end up causing stress levels to skyrocket, and for many people, increased stress will affect their performance on the exam when they do take it.

One guideline for preparation is to spend 150-180 hours preparing over the 30 to 45-day period just before taking the exam, in addition to the 35 hours spent in a formal preparation course. For project managers working while preparing, excellent time management skills are needed to adequately prepare for and pass the exam to become PMP-certified.

Understanding the Exam

The length of the exam, the number of questions, and the way the exam is scored can all impact the way you prepare. For example, the PMP exam weights questions based on difficulty rather than simply requiring a certain number of correct answers, so giving more attention to the most difficult material may pay off when taking the exam.

Additionally, the exam is structured so that missing too many questions in a single section may trigger a failing score, so knowing at least something about every topic covered is important as well. Another important component of the exam is that it intentionally includes extraneous information in order to more closely mimic the project management environment. It’s necessary to know this in order to be able to weed out the extra information and concentrate on the necessary while taking the exam.

Know When to Take Breaks

It may seem like there’s no time to take breaks while preparing for this exam, but not taking any breaks can lead to burnout and make it even harder to succeed. When it’s getting difficult to concentrate and it feels like no more information is going into your brain, walking away from your studying for an hour or two can refresh and renew your mind so that when you return to preparing, you can concentrate better.

Taking a short walk, drinking some water, or even doing a few chores around the house can be just the distraction you need to give your mind the chance to recharge.

Preparing Properly to Reduce Stress

Choosing a quality preparation course with a proven track record can be a tremendous help in getting ready to take the PMP certification exam. The exam instructor should be PMP-certified in order to guide you in the best way possible.

CCSU offers a PMP certification prep course as well as the ability to bring the course to your location.  If you are interested in learning how the PMP or the Certified Associated Project Manager (CAPM) (I call it PMP lite!) course will benefit you and your employees, please contact us.   Join our mailing list to learn more.