The PMP® Exam is 200 questions long and you have four hours to finish it, but are four hours enough to finish the PMP Exam? When you first start studying for the exam and taking some practice questions, you will find it difficult to finish in four hours. Furthermore, you will probably feel brain dead after 200 long questions. Let’s look at some strategies to decrease your test taking time and finish with the best results.
Create a brain dump. Once you start your exam, take five minutes and write down all of the formulas. See my brain dump here. You are no longer allowed to do the brain dump during the tutorial, so just start the exam and take five minutes to write it down.
Most of the exam questions on the PMP are situational. You are presented with a situation or a case to read. Each question looks like a short paragraph and has a lot of information in it. There is a lot of “fluff” or superfluous information in the question. As you read each question, try to eliminate, strikethrough, or cross out extra information that is just there to distract you.
As you go through each question, highlight the content that you deem most important. Since most questions are long, you should highlight the important content so you can focus on it. Don’t be distracted by extraneous information.
Throughout the test, you will come across questions that just don’t make sense. Mark them so you can go back to them once you have finished all the other questions. Since you have roughly 1.2 minutes per test question, you can’t afford to waste time thinking about a specific question. Go back to it later. Consider using the “Marking” feature for questions you want to review. This feature can help you immensely.
Most of your premium, and some freemium, exam simulators will offer the features mentioned above. I strongly encourage you to use an exam simulator. The difference between premium and freemium simulators is mainly the quality of the written questions. There are some great free exam questions, but others leave a lot to be desired. Use a simulator and take multiple practice exams. Get used to striking out extraneous material, marking questions for later, highlighting relevant information, and decreasing the amount of time it takes you to read and understand the question. Practice simulators are great for this.
Is four hours enough to finish 200 questions? Most definitely! I took about 22 practice exams before taking my PMP Exam. I made sure I was getting over 80% correct to augment my chances of passing the test. This number of tests boosted my test-taking confidence and helped me read through each question, understand it, and determine the correct answer at a much faster rate. I completed each practice exam in roughly two and a half hours. On exam day, since I was a little bit more cautious, I took closer to three hours to finish – still more than enough time to finish the 200 questions!
If you have any questions, comments, or your own tips on how to finish 200 questions in four hours, please add your comments. For more on project management certification, check out the Get-Certified Articles page.