PMP expert Cornelius Fichtner has prepared a series of how-to articles designed to help interested parties prepare for the PMP exam. This article is the seventh in the series.
Don't blow your chances of passing the PMP exam and earning PMP certification by failing to prepare for exam day logistics. Here's what you need to do before the exam and on exam day to make sure you're ready mentally, physically and logistically.
You have devoted months to studying for the PMP exam. You've spent hard-earned money on study materials and classes, and you've sacrificed your social life all in the name of earning your PMP certification. Don't blow all that time, money and effort by failing to prepare for exam day logistics: Understand the check-in process at the test center; know what identification you need to bring; and always, expect the unexpected.
To ensure that you'll perform at your best the day you take the PMP exam, make the following mental, physical and logistical preparations both before and on the day of the test.
Before the Exam
1. Get a good night's sleep. If you don't know the material by the night before you're scheduled to take the exam, cramming with an overnight study session is not going to further your chances of passing. Instead, set a time the day or evening before the exam when you are going to stop studying. The best thing you can do to make sure you're rested and ready for the big day is to get a good night's sleep.
2. Take the WHOLE day off. If you're taking the PMP exam on a work day, plan to take that entire day off from work. You don't want to have to worry while you're taking the exam about what will greet you at the office when you rush to work after taking this four-hour, 200-question test.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Food and drinks are not allowed in the test area. Be sure to eat a quality breakfast the day of your exam--something with protein and carbohydrates that will stick with you for the four hours you will be in the exam area. Avoid eating any type of food that you would consider "exotic." I failed to heed this advice once, tried a new dish for lunch, and felt sick during most of my PMP exam.
4. Dress comfortably. You're going to be seated at a computer for four hours taking the PMP exam, so wear comfortable clothes. Bring a sweater with you in case the testing center is chilly. You may need to remove your sweater at check in for security purposes, but you should be able to wear it during the test if the room gets cold. Just ask.
5. Cancellations. If you need to cancel or reschedule your PMP exam for any reason, do so at least 48 hours in advance. Otherwise, you will forfeit your full PMP-credential fee and have to pay it again to take the exam.
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