How to Answer PMP Questions?

In this post I have tried to consolidate some tips which will be useful for correctly answering PMP exam questions. These should be helpful to PMP aspirants. I have categorized the tips for answering the questions under 4 different categories. Read on…

Questions

  1. Read the question carefully. Understand what the question is asking.
  2. Read the questions patiently. Do not rush through the questions.
  3. Read the language and context of each question carefully and patiently.
  4. Identify the PMBOK Guide keywords in each question.
  5. Separate actual question from redundant sentences and/or words.
  6. There might be long wordy questions. Do not skim the questions.
  7. Do not assume any information that is not provided in the question.
  8. Look for the negative keywords like NOT, EXCEPT, EXCLUDING, NEVER. Make sure you have understood what do they want to ask.
  9. Look for words like BEST, FIRST, INITIAL, NEXT, LAST, ALWAYS, MOST, MOST LIKELY, LESS LIKELY, MOST UNLIKELY, PRIMARY etc. Make certain how would the answer change because of these keywords.
Always remember that the key to answer is in the question itself.

Options

  1. Read all the options patiently. Do not rush through the options.
  2. Read all the options completely even if an option is looking obviously incorrect by reading initial words.
  3. Understand the meaning of each option separately.
  4. Read the language and context of each option carefully and patiently.
  5. Try to ascertain and understand the difference between the close options.
  6. Try to eliminate obvious incorrect options.
  7. There might be long wordy options. Do not skim the any of them.
  8. Do not assume any information that is not provided in the option.
Always check if there is a correlation between what is the question asking and what option is saying.

Answers

  1. Try to identify process group, knowledge area and the process in question. Only then answer the question.
  2. Think that you are a project manager for a large project while answering.
  3. Remember PMI-isms when answering
  4. Think yourself as a project manager working in a matrix organization while answering the question. It means that you are sharing the authority with a functional manager.
  5. Choose the best answer from the options given. It is possible that the most appropriate answer to the question is not amongst the 4 options
  6. In the situational questions choose option that is the best thing or the first thing or most likely to be done in the given situation.
  7. When there is a ‘fill in the blank’ question, it is possible that correct answer may not give grammatically correct result when inserted in the blank.
  8. Try to identify true statement in the options but which is not the answer to the questions being asked. Eliminate them.
  9. Look out for definitive options which include words like ALWAYS, MUST, MANDATORY, CERTAINLY, NEVER, DEFINITELY, COMPLETELY etc. Most probably this would not be the answer.
  10. Alternatively options having words like LIKELY, PROBABLY, SOMETIMES, PERHAPS, OFTEN, GENERALLY etc. are likely to be the correct answers.
Always remember that PMI is looking for the best answer for the given question.

General

  1. Understand all the project management terms and abbreviations. You can refer to glossary in PMBOK Guide; it has all the abbreviations and definition of terms.
  2. Practice formula based questions diligently. Understand which formula will be applicable in which situation.
  3. Look out for the PMBOK terms which are written as part of question or options that are irrelevant to the question. These are there to confuse the test taker.

Some More PMP Exam Tips

A request for certified PMPs: Please leave your comments if I have missed anything. It will help PMP aspirants.

 

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

8 thoughts on “How to Answer PMP Questions?

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  2. Regarding the PMBOK – read it carefully you will see that it repeats and re-emphasizes the important concepts. Highlight these points and all the process flow pages; follow-up on supplemental materials with concepts that are not clear or where you see you have a lack of understanding as revealed from taking practice tests.

  3. Nice post , good tips for pmp exam prepation. Today PMP certification is very essential for career growth, its recommended for every project manager to do this certification.

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