The PMP® exam – I’ll give you 15 bonus minutes

Home The Savvy PM Blog The PMP® exam – I’ll give you 15 bonus minutes


You’ve got 4 gut-wrenching hours to pass a standardized test.  Gulp.  What would you say if I were to give you 15 bonus minutes – would that help?!

Earlier, we talked about separating fact from fiction and setting proper expectations for the day of your exam.  Before you walk into the Prometric Testing Center, you need to be aware of what will take place immediately before your 4-hour PMP®® exam begins.

  • You will be handed 6 sheets of blank paper and 2 pencils.
  • You will be escorted into the testing room and asked to sit at a desk in front of a computer with monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • On the monitor, you’ll see easy-to-follow directions for a tutorial.
  • The tutorial describes how the exam questions will be displayed and how you can navigate through the exam…what to click, how to click, etc.


You are allotted 15 minutes to review this tutorial.  It will take a fraction of that time to complete it.  Do you know how to use a mouse?  Do you know what happens when you click “Back” or “Next”?  Good – you’ll fly through the tutorial!

Here’s the great news…you can use what’s left of those 15 minutes to perform a brain dump.  Use those sheets of paper and pencils.  Make notes.  Scribble down the SPI formula before it slips out of your head.   Write out the names of the 5 Process Groups and 9 Knowledge Areas.  Recreate your memory triggers or those acronyms you were studying in the car before entering the building.  (Later, we’ll share more ideas on performing this brain dump!)

Just to be clear, we’re talking about 15 minutes before the 4-hour clock starts ticking.  The time for the tutorial is in addition to the 4 hours for the PMP® exam.  (Same thing applies for the CAPM®®, PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, and PMI-SP® exams.)

Exam Tip: plan how you will use these 15 minutes.  Practice your brain dump.  Turn your exam stress into success!