PMP® Test Day Preparation

Instructor: Lindsey Mitchell

Lindsey has achieved a bachelor's degree in Global Policy and Communication, with minors in biology and French. She currently teaches English in France.

In this article, individuals who would like to get ready for their PMP examination can learn how to study for the exam and get some general tips for taking standardized tests.

PMP Exam: Test Day Preparation Tips

In order to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, you must take the PMP examination. There are steps you can take to prepare specifically for the content that will appear on this test in addition to a few other ways you can get ready for the day of the exam.

Find Out What's on the Test

This 200-question test covers content from five different domains: initiation, planning, monitoring and controlling, executing, and closing. Each domain makes up a different percentage of the 200 questions on the exam. The Project Management Institute (PMI), the organization that has created and administers the PMP exam, provides more details about each of these domains on its website, which you may find helpful as you prepare for test day.

Create a Study Schedule

To prepare for the exam, you may want to devise a study schedule that takes into account a number of factors, like how much time you can devote to studying, other commitments like work or family, and how familiar you already are with the content of the exam. Once you've determined how much time you wish to devote to preparing for the exam, you can begin studying.

By following a study schedule spread out over a reasonable timeframe, you may be more likely to successfully learn and retain the information that will be tested on the exam than if you tried to study a large amount of content in a short amount of time. This approach also may make the day of the exam less stressful, as you can be confident that you have adequately prepared.

Consider Using a Test Prep Resource

Using a test preparation resource, like the PMP Study Guide created by, may be a good idea if you would like extra help creating and sticking to a study schedule to prepare for test day. This course is broken down into five chapters that are further organized into manageable lessons covering specific concepts that will likely appear on the exam. When preparing for the exam, you could make a schedule that involves covering a certain number of lessons per day according to your timeframe.

Take Care of Yourself

In the days leading up to the exam, it is important to get enough sleep, especially on the night before the test, so you'll be able to think clearly and make the most of the time you have spent studying. Additionally, it is a good idea to eat a healthy breakfast, as becoming hungry during the exam could be distracting.

Learn How to Manage Your Time

During the administration of the exam, there are also ways in which you can maximize your efforts. For the PMP exam, there is a four-hour time limit, so it may be helpful for you to keep track of the time and make sure you have answered a certain number of questions by the end of each hour. Because there are 200 questions on the exam, you can be sure you are on track to finish on time if you have answered approximately 50 questions every hour. Keeping track of time can help ensure that all questions are attempted and that there will not be a rush at the end of the four hours to answer any remaining questions.

There is more to earning the PMP certification than taking the examination. If you would like to learn more about this process, you can do so by going through's lesson on PMP Certification.

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