Three Proven Test Taking Strategies for Success with the PMP Exam
You can find hundreds of books for becoming better at taking exams. You can also find numerous books about what to study for taking the PMP exam. And you can take weekend classes, join study groups, and do many sample practice exams. Many people think this is sufficient effort to pass the PMP exam, but that is why over 40% fail.
Being able to pass PMI’s PMP exam is not just about being good at taking exams or knowing the material on the exam. To pass the PMP exam, you must know how to access the part of your brain responsible for “executive functioning” (everyone has this part of their brain), and connect it to both your working memory (your experience), and your short term memory (instant recall). Here are three strategies that help you do this to pass the PMP exam:
1. Learn how to convert your “energy” from anxiety to intense focus.
The best brain state to be in for answering the complex questions on the PMP exam is the state that allows for optimum functioning of your pre-frontal cortex – the part responsible for what is called “executive functioning.” When you bathe your brain in a state of test anxiety, you increase the frequency of your brain’s beta waves (caffeine and sugar can have a similar impact). While this increased beta frequency can cause heightened alertness, it also activates your limbic fight or flight brain. This decreases your ability to access the executive functioning part of your brain – the very part of your brain you must fully engage to correctly answer the complex and confusing questions on the PMP exam.
Learning how to shift even minor “test jitters” makes a significant difference in how you perform on the PMP exam. Cheetah students, under the careful guidance of their skilled Cheetah PMP coaches, master how to make the shift from normal test anxiety to intense focus quickly as soon as they feel increasing energy related to their exam taking experience. This is why the majority of Cheetah students report back to us years later what they learned in the process of prepping for the PMP exam with Cheetah has helped them be more successful in every part of their life. Being able to override the jitters and activate your higher order thinking is a valuable life long skill. Can you imagine what else you could do with this super power as well?
2. Integrate your experience into the PMI way.
At Cheetah Learning, we have seen the more experience someone has managing the complexities of projects, the harder time they can have with accepting what has become the agreed upon global standard for project management called the Project Management Body of Knowledge (aka the “PMBOK”). Yet the PMP exam actually tests the depth of a project manager’s experience and how well they can integrate it into this global standard. And for some very good reasons. Yes we all have our nuances for managing projects – but we all do need to work better together. Aligning our unique way of doing our projects with the PMBOK is truly a win win for everyone as it simplifies working across cultures – whether it be with a vendor’s unique company culture around the corner, or a colleague from a different country across the globe. Think electrical outlets here. We need to know how to work effectively together using a common standard for doing both large and small projects.
Cheetah students are some of the most experienced project managers on the planet and they come to us precisely because the techniques we use in the class enable them to quickly synthesize their imbedded, even habituated, highly successful practices with the information in the PMBOK. It’s so much fun to see the escalating “aha” moments happen as the accelerated four day program progresses when the expert Project Managers, who have placed their trust in us, start to see how what they are doing all fits together. This is why when a colleague refers their co-worker to Cheetah, their advice is – “just follow Cheetah’s program, it works.”
3. Get your mind into a state of peak performance.
We have people take the Cheetah Exam Prep for the PMP just because they have heard it’s like an “outward bound” program for your brain. Most Cheetah students report the four days was nothing at all like the “boot camp” experience they anticipated that many other exam prep providers offer. And it’s because it is not. Cheetah Learning designed a multi-dimensional wholistic approach to accelerated exam prep that starts with having Cheetah students attain a peak performing mind. The reality is most of us know what we need to do to take care of ourselves, but the busyness of day to day living makes that challenging for on the go Project Managers. We make it easy to do what we all know we should be doing by making it an imbedded part of the program design. Caring for our students at this level insures they succeed at Cheetah speed.
The PMP is a prestigious certification because it demonstrates you have the cognitive capabilities to integrate your experience with the globally recognized standard for project management. Cheetah students learn how to use this brain performance advantage cheetah fast, to get an added boost in their careers. (This is one of the reasons Cheetah Alumni become the top earners in their industries). In the Cheetah Exam Prep for the PMP program, you learn how to quickly process and synthesize new information integrated with your working memory – this ultimately long term helps you make better decisions faster.
Get the Cheetah advantage for your career and become a PMP, Cheetah Fast. Download the Cheetah SmartStart Guide for the PMP. You get instant access. (We do not share your email and this is a secure site).