The PMP® exam – make the most of 15 bonus minutes

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What can you do in 900 seconds?  How many terrorists can Jack Bauer maim in 15 minutes?  How many culinary delights can Rachael Ray whip up in 15 minutes?  How many teenage hearts can Justin Bieber slay in 15 minutes?

Ok – those 3 are exceptions.  How about you?  How many useful memories can you jot down in 15 minutes?  In a prior blog, we described the 15 “bonus” minutes you’ll have just before the 4-hour PMP® exam begins.  Most exam takers zip through the tutorial and have time to use those 2 pencils and 6 sheets of paper.  Plan your strategy now.

Let’s focus on tactics – making the most of those 15 minutes.

Here are some ideas for your brain dump:

  • Names are important on the exam.  You should be able to repeat the 5 Process Groups and 9 Knowledge Areas.  Practice jotting down the 42 Process names or the abbreviations for all 42.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms – my guess is you’ve been exposed to a ton of these during your leisurely stroll through the PMBOK®® Guide or my favorite prep book.  Jot them down, especially the ones that are easy to confuse, such as EMV and EVM.
  • Trigger words or images – many Students develop words, phrases, or other devices to help recall lists.  For example, in our instructor-led class, we make use of word pictures or mind maps to associate PMI terms with visual triggers.
  • Formulas – as I walked from my car into the testing center, I was rattling off my list of formulas in my head… out loud!  I’m sure I looked like Raymond in Rain Man, but I wanted to keep bouncing those essential formulas in my brain so I could dump them on paper.  It worked – I passed!

Strategize – determine what you want to produce.  Practice your brain dump.  Set a timer, grab a blank sheet of paper, and work your magic.  Repetition is very powerful in this exercise.  You’ll gain confidence over time.  When the day of the exam arrives, you’ll have a clear plan for success because you will make the most of those 15 bonus minutes!