PMP Exam – Failed? Try this approach and increase your chances to pass

It is ironic that the PMI is unable to get the brightest PMs into their membership of PMPs. This is very often due to a lack of proper preparation for the exact requirements of their exams by prospective PMP candidates. If you have crashed an exam, then that’s that and there is nothing that can be done now except to learn from the past mistakes and forge ahead to succeed the next time. If you know that you didn’t fare too well at your exam even to scrape through, at least you can now have the satisfaction of knowing where you bungled most and prepare anew to give the examiners a good run this time. When you are armed with that sort of frame of mind, there are many options that you can take to ensure success the next time. The first thing you must do immediately on coming home after the exam is to do a thorough brain dump and take all possible steps to make the best use of your past experience with the crashed exam and use your failure as a launching pad to future success. 

Try to relax and think back with a fresh mind to make an honest assessment of what actually went wrong and what factors stood between success and failure. If I may suggest a few from my own experiences and those of many others of attacking examination papers (although I never had the fortune or misfortune to do any exam a second time!), one of the most common blunders that students make is not reading or understanding questions properly or getting confused over choosing the correct answer out of a choice of few suggested answers that look very much alike at the examination hall. Some even go and deliberately pick on the wrong answer! Don’t just stare at me in disbelief. Yes, it does really happen; especially when you are clueless about the question or the correct answer and then deliberating hang on to some answer assuming and trusting to luck that it would be the correct answer. 

Now look at all the above possibilities and truly put your heart and soul into trying to visualize how best to deal with each situation. You don’t need a top psychologist to tell you that you are prone to pounce on a wrong answer even while knowing what is correct, when under stress. 

Under such circumstances there is a strategy that really works for many. Your action plan should be to keep repeating “No, it is not possible” to the first answer that your eyes take you to. If you wonder why I am telling you to do such an unorthodox thing, it is because that switches on another vital part of our brain to take command of the situation and make the correct decision. Whether you believe it or not, it won’t hurt you to try out this technique a few times and see for yourself. If you find that PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and Rita are somewhat beyond your comprehension, Head First, should be a good option for you. Head First is the technique of using images to explain concepts. 

Don’t let the repetitive process of reading the same notes and chapters over a second time make you bored and disinterested. If it is real success that is your ultimate goal, keep focused on your objective continuously without wavering in your determination. It is also very important that you keep your cool at this point without making any ill conceived decisions or making haphazard changes of a drastic nature in your action plan for your renewed preparations. Treat this the way you would make preparations for childbirth. It has to take its own course of several months that you cannot shorten. It is not something that holds true only for the first child, but for the second, the third and even the nth as well. There can of course be exceptions to the rule. 

Your next endeavor should be to nurture you preparation with all due care that includes reading, validating, testing and finally planning and executing. Maintain a chart of the daily tasks planned and the proportions completed as a percentage. Halfway to the exam, pick up Raja Rani to have cursory check as to what extent the notes have sunk into your mind. Then try to relate what you have studied up to now to the Raja Rani notes.

Practice what is called “relativity” by putting down your own notes and thoughts right next to the relevant sections in the RR notes. This would be very advantageous to your effort. Simultaneously, keep habitually looking at your brain dumps from the previous exam especially with regard to ITTOs, and formulas. Your preparation is and should be a continuous and cumulative process that includes revision of the earlier chapters as well. Make provision for variances, for the unexpected always happen. Complete whatever is planned for a week within the week itself. If not, catch up on lost ground during the weekend or the subsequent week, the latest. A chart plotted of your planned preparation and the achieved progress should go parallel to each other. If your achieved progress takes a downward curve at any point of time, make sure it comes back to its expected trajectory at the earliest opportunity and maintains a parallel path to your planned preparation.

You could do some fully fledged tests from the PMHUB as well as some other sources; taking care to be very careful in the choice of tests you select. It is tests with credibility that you must always go for. As already suggested, you may try some IOs on a single paper with revisions every morning and evening. Reading LLs will help you to learn the important aspects you need to keep focused, besides some useful “do”s and “don’t”s that will improve your chances of success. When you read, try to read between the lines too. My last (but not the least) advice to you is to firmly believe in your success and never doubt it. Always believe in something positive, and never negative. Just believe in something without being an atheist!

Translate this post