Practical Tips for Passing the PMP Exam

How to Maximize Your Time Before, During and After the PMP Exam

These are practical tips based on the things I know I did right or wish I had done instead to breeze through the PMP exam.


Before the exam

Visit the testing site at least a week before the exam


               Locate the site in Google Maps and go to the site to familiarize yourself with commuting or driving directions and how much time it takes to get to the venue. It’s better to go the same time that you’ll have your exam to simulate traffic conditions.


Go to the office, introduce yourself and explain that you are scheduled to take the exam on so and so date and confirm that you have all the documents and IDs they require to take the exam. This gives you peace of mind that you’ll be allowed in without a hitch.


Daily Brain Dump exercise


Practice writing your brain dump / cheat sheet / formula sheet as fast as possible every morning. 


Eat healthy and exercise… and take memory vitamins (it helps!)

I took B-Complex vitamins while reviewing and it helped me have better focus and longer stamina watching training videos and taking notes. I also ate healthy by loading up on fruits, vegetables, lentils and quinoa (cheap in South America!) and avoided alcohol and coffee. I practiced yoga and ran by the beach every morning to clear my head. Now these tip isn’t just applicable to before taking the exam but is a general tip to live a “wellthy” life.


Eat protein-packed meal right before the exam

Protein digests longer and makes you feel full longer, which you need for a four-hour exam. What I ate for breakfast:


Two hardboiled eggs

Grilled chicken breast 

Yellow lentils

Yogurt with chia seeds 


During the Exam


Fast during the exam


Fasting has been touted to have health benefits but you’re not going to do this for health reasons. You’re doing it for efficiency. Why? Because you have to go outside the testing area to eat. And you have to sign out. Then before going back in, you need to get inspected and sign back in. Every second count in this exam and you don’t want to waste your precious minutes doing this.


Is it your first time to fast? Don’t worry, four hours might seem too long to skip a meal but I assure you that you won’t even notice the time. The exam is 200-question long and you’ll scrambling to finish answering and reviewing it within the four hours allotted.





Avoid bathroom breaks


Same reasoning as tip 1. Pee before the exam and do not take any more liquids a full hour before the exam.

Do not spend too much time on one question

If you are unsure of the answer, mark the question for review and move on. Make sure you have enough time after the 200 questions to review these items you marked.


Allot stretching exercise after every 50 questions


Stand up and stretch your neck, arms, legs, even your eye sockets. Sitting in front of your computer for long periods of time is tiring. Exercising periodically during the exam will help blood circulation and make you feel re-energized and awake.


Allot 30 minutes for review


After going through all 200 questions, go through all questions you marked for review. If still unsure, do the process of elimination and mark the best answer. Do not leave any question unanswered. There are no penalties for wrong answers.


After the exam


Go out and celebrate with family and friends


The exam site I chose was in IBEU in Rio De Janeiro, right in front of beautiful Copacabana Beach.

So on the day of the exam, I convinced myself that I WILL be PMP certified at the end of the day and to commit to that event (I utilized the law of attraction here), I packed a swimsuit and a picnic basket and told myself I was going to head straight to Copacabana Beach to swim, eat and have a Caipirinha to celebrate my success.


And that’s exactly how things happened!


Announce on every social media that you got your PMP


Getting a certification in PMP is no easy feat so passing the exam gives you complete bragging rights to post it in every social media you use. I spent the rest of the day in Copacabana beach, posting photos of myself on Facebook in a neon bikini, caipirinha in one hand and my PMP exam results (Above Target in all 5 Domains!) in the other. It was a perfect day!  

Update your CV, Resume, and Linkedin Profile 


Getting PMP certified means you have achieved a great milestone in your career as a project management professional. This means you have proven your expertise in this profession. An important impact of having PMP suffixed to your name is being able to get recognized by the industry as a competent project manager and the ability to command a higher salary. Therefore, you should update your CV and Linkedin profile with your PMP certification number as soon as you have it!

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