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Exam Tip – beware of the smudge

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88When I took the PMI-ACPSP exam, one of the small surprises that I encountered involved logistics at the testing center.  I’ve taken exams for 3 PMI credentials now…the PMP, PgMP, and the PMI-ACP.  In all 3 cases, the majority of the testing center logistics were identical…show government-issued identification; store items in a locker; take nothing into the testing room; and the like.

Here’s a difference:

  • PMP and PgMP – I was handed pencils and paper to use for scratch paper
  • PMI-ACP – I was handed an erasable marker and 2 laminated sheets

So, when I began my brain dump during the 15-minute tutorial, I found that I had to jot down my notes carefully.  If I rushed my note-taking, I smeared the page.  The laminated sheets are erasable, so if I inadvertently dragged my palm across the page, my precious notes became a distant memory smudged on the side of my hand.  Naturally, that black ink migrated to my face as I wiped the test-induced sweat from my brow or nervously scratched my face during the 3-hour marathon.  What a mess.

To top it off, the marker was dull – not a fine point.  Louis recalls that he received only 1 laminated sheet.  He explains it this way: “I was at a discount testing center.”  Hilarious!

My strategy was to write notes and formula (the brain dump) on 1 sheet and place it to the side for future reference and try to avoid SMUDGING it.  Used the other sheet to make notes during the exam, work out the math, or doodle smiley faces.

Good luck with the PMI-ACP exam – beware the smudge!

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