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vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

Tips for passing PMP exam


Concept: The PMBOK Guide is always right
Concept: A Project Manager is proactive
Technique: Read the PMP exam question (first 7 words carefully to identify group) then
last statement to find knowledge area
As obvious as this sounds, some people dont do it and end up missing important parts of
the question. Start out by reading the question carefully, make sure that you understand it,
and that you can distinguish between the important facts and the extraneous information.
Learn to ignore those facts that do not relate to the question. Then read all four possible
answers; usually two of the four will be very obviously incorrect and can be eliminated.
Finally, weigh the two remaining options against each other and make your choice.
Technique: Use your brain to answer the PMP exam questions
Start out by reading the question but not the answers. Now close your eyes and think...what
should the answer be? When you are ready, open your eyes again and read the answers.
More often than not "your" answer will be there.
Technique: Start bottom up for long PMP exam questions
Read the answers first and then read the question. This upside down approach can be
helpful in the case of very long questions.
Technique: Read Last sentence first when answering a long PMP exam question
Another useful technique for approaching long questions is to read the last sentence first.
The last sentence usually contains the actual question. Now that you know what they really
want to know, read the remaining text in this light. Also remember, you will have a
checkbox that allows you to mark any questions you are uncertain of and want to come
back and review later.

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com

vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

1. Focus on the processes in the Process Group (especially your weak areas). Re-read
those sections in the PMBOK completely. Review Annex A1 to help you think about
the processes within each Process Group collectively.
2. Make sure you answer questions according to how the PMBOK organizes project
management. If a question seems to differ from real life, don't answer the question
according to your experience. Instead, answer as the processes described in the
PMBOK would suggest.
3. Be solid in your knowledge of the processes, their inputs, tools/techniques, and
outputs. Create as much as acronym for ITTO
4. follow the steps like Read question, Glance at answers, Read setup, Eliminate details,
Read setup, Think about answer, Look at answers
Tip 1 Question types
The PMP exam includes a lot of question styles as a way to test your project management
knowledge as well as your skills in tackling exam questions. Questions include:
Short and direct questions
Lengthy questions spanning 3 or more lines
Situational or scenario-based questions giving you a description of the current situation
and asking you the next step
Formula-based requiring you to select and recall the most appropriate formula to
calculate the answer (formulas must be remembered by heart)
ITTO questions asking you about the inputs, tools and techniques and outputs of project
management processes
Tip 2 Read the questions CAREFULLY
This is particularly true for lengthy questions, you must read the questions carefully to look
to KEYWORDS that would have decisive impacts on the correct answer. Just look at the
following list of keywords and you will know what I mean:

Most Likely

Least Likely

Best

Not

Except

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com

vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

Play attention to these keywords (they will not be highlighted or italic in the real PMP
Exam paper!) by reading the questions at least twice during the exam, in particular at the
latter part of the exam when your mind is a bit fatigue and your attention span has been
drained.
Below is an example of such type of tricky question:
Question: All the following are false statements regarding the Perform Qualitative Risk
Analysis process, except:
A. Project risks are assessed in numerical terms.
B. Project risks are prioritized.
C. Project risks are identified in this process.
D. The risk registry needs not be updated.
Tip 3 For lengthy questions, read the last sentence of the question and answer choices first
One of the characteristics of many PMP Exam questions is the length more than half of
the questions span several lines. Reading these lengthy questions alone would take up
considerable time, not to mention the time taken to find and understand the core
information in order to answer the questions correctly.
One very useful technique to answer these lengthy questions in a smart way is to read the
last sentence of the question and the answer choices which would give you all the clues
on what to look for in the lengthy description that precede it.
Question: Josephine is the named project manager of a project to provide secure messaging
solution for various departments of the company. The project will include requirements
gathering, conceptual design, contract negotiation with an outside vendor, user testing,
integration testing, deployment to company IT infrastructure and providing training to staff.
In additional, there are top concerns for access control and security as the staff are located
in 5 areas around the globe. The project is now falling behind the schedule as a result of
change requests from some staff members whom Josephine has known and met for the first
time. Major grievances includes the deliverable up till now does not actually address the
collaboration needs of the staff. Which of the following project management processes is
more likely to have overlooked by Josephine?

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com

vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

A.
B.
C.
D.

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

Identify Stakeholders
Control Schedule
Project Stakeholder Management
Control Stakeholder Engagement

Tip 4 for situational questions, choose the BEST among several correct answers
PMP situational questions are usually lengthy questions in themselves, however they are
also more tricky. These questions will describe a situation (usually problematic) and ask you
how to best deal with it. There is usually no black and white distinction for the correct
answer as usually 2 to 3 answer options are logical or reasonable. Situational questions will
usually ask you to identify:

the best next course of action

the first thing to do

the best response


Dont make the common mistake of reading the answer choices from A to D and select the
first option that looks okay there are usually 2-3 situational question options that look
okay, your task is to find the BEST one among them according to PMIs point of view.
It should be noted that since PMI expects project management to exercise responsibility and
autonomy, ignoring the issue, escalating the problem to senior management or pausing the
project to solicit advices from others tend to be incorrect be careful here as this is
a general observation NOT a law.
Question: Sally is the project manager of two related projects (project A and B project A
is more important) concurrently with resource sharing. In view of the changing business
scenario, the senior management has just made the decision to reprioritized the projects
but focusing on project B with more resources. Some project team members have been reassigned to project B. However, remaining team members for project A have reflected that
the project milestones cannot be achieved with the reduction in manpower. Morale is low
among them as this project looked promising. They do not understand senior
managements decision. What is your best next course of action?
A. Brainstorm with the team members for conflict resolution in order to find a way to
regain their morale and dedication to the project.

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com

vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

B. Ask staff to work overtime on weekends on project A with a view to catch up with
the project schedule. This can ensure both projects to meet the schedule without
asking for more resources from management.
C. Escalate the problem to senior management with the hope that they would allocate
more resources to work on project A by re-allocating some resources from project B.
D. Review the resource allocation and project data from both projects in order to find
ways to better utilize available resources through sharing.
At first sight, it can be seen that all the 4 answer choices are feasible. Before giving the
answer, we would provide a little more description on a possible way to solve such kinds of
questions. It is suggested to follow the following steps:
1. Pick the most important and relevant information from the description of situation.
2. Read carefully all the answer choices for at least twice (it may be a good idea to
read the options in reverse order, i.e. from D -> C -> B -> A for the second time).
3. Eliminate the obviously wrong answer(s) usually only 1 to 2 options are obviously
wrong.
4. For the remaining options, re-read them to closely understand their implications /
rationales in order to find the best answer according to principles outlined in the
PMBOK Guide. Pay attention to the consequences for the actions.
Tip 5 formula questions: use the correct formulas
The most important tip for getting PMP formula questions correct is to remember and
make use of the correct formulas. Since PMP Exam is a closed book exam, PMP aspirants
would need to learn all the formulas by heart.
Though some PMP aspirants consider the PMP formulas questions to be among the most
difficult questions of the PMP Exam, there are various types of formula based questions to
be found in the PMP Exam, ranging from very easy to very difficult:

EVM Graph Questions

Definition of EVM Metrics

Simple EVM Calculation Questions

EVM Estimate At Completion (EAC) Questions

Wordy Calculation Questions

Complicated EVM Calculation Questions

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com

vCare Project Management Pty Ltd.

ABN: 28 154 672 269

Level 12, 95 Pitt Street, Australia Square,


Sydney 2000, NSW Australia
Phone +61 422418076
http://www.vcareprojectmanagement.com
Email - info@vcareprojectmanagement.com

GLOBAL PMI REP (Registered


Education Provider) # 3998

Again the technique here is to read the questions carefully to extract the important parts
and make use of the correct formula to substitute the values into it.
Question: You are currently managing a building project where 20 houses are to be built
over 20 months (i.e. 1 house to be built per month). The budget set aside for the project is
$2,000,000. It is now at the end of the 12th month with 10 houses built and $1,000,000
spent. There was a work strike for a month that affected the project. What is the
Cost Performance Index (CPI) of the project as of now?
A. 1.0
B. 0.9
C. 1.1
D. 1.2
Tip 6 Getting ITTO questions right through logical analysis
There are over 600 Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs (ITTO) for the project
management processes outlined in the PMBOK Guide. Many PMP Certification Aspirants
would have the question of whether all the ITTOs need to be memorized for the PMP
Exam.
Since the PMI Exam is not about your ability to memory lots of facts (it is a test of your
expertise in managing projects), asking PMP Certification Aspirants to remember all the
ITTOs is not an expectation of the PMI. I only got 1 to 2 questions that ask me directly which
one is / is not the ITTO of a project management process in my PMP Exam.
After careful study, one should be able to understand the logical relationship of the ITTO to
the project management processes. And you should be able to recall such relationship while
answering the ITTO questions i.e. no need to memorize them. Time can be better spent
on doing PMP mock exams as well as memorizing the PMP formulas

vCare Project Management

Dharam Singh 0422418076

vcareprojectmanagement.com