I am a worried test taker; what should I do? There are a number of things that you can do to be more comfortable (if it is ever possible to be comfortable with taking a test). I will address some of the most important things, as well as some you may not have thought about.
First you want to make a list of things that are worrying you about the exam, the test center, the study process, etc. The longer the list, the better it will be. Why the longer the better? I look at it from the standpoint that a long list is more inclusive, and if you can deal with the longer list first, smaller or less important items will remain. Once you have the list, go through it point by point and decide if the item will significantly bother you in getting ready for the exam. Put the items in priority order, and address the ones at the top of the list.
As these big problems are identified and addressed, you will begin to feel more comfortable with the entire process. Let’s look at some of the things that will make your test-taking experience more rewarding. Did I just say rewarding? YES! Let’s start to think of this experience as a fun and exciting opportunity. I want to look specifically at attitude, possible surprises, testing, and checklists.
Positive Attitude First and most important is to put a good light on your objective. Looking at the experience as an opportunity will help you see the benefits and focus on the positive aspects.
If you worry, you are spending time on the negative and will, in all likelihood, have a terrible experience. What can you do to change your view? Good question—I’m glad you asked. Start by thinking about the good that will come from getting your PMP certification—a promotion, better projects, better tools to use on projects, more work as a consultant, or maybe even keeping a job (though this has a hint of the negative). As negative ideas creep into your mind, shoo them out. Remember that you are a good project manager, and this exam is just a validation of that fact. They cannot hide anything from you!
Since you now have the beginning of a positive outlook, continue building it. Let’s think about the exam itself. Many people before you have passed the exam; about 70 percent overall pass, according to PMI sources. Now, even better, almost all of the people who took the RMC PMP Exam Prep class passed the first time. (It is nice to know that those few who did not pass were not the ones who were initially nervous about the exam; they were the ones who did not develop and follow a study plan!) You can say to yourself that you are in the right place, using the right materials. There, now that helps, doesn’t it?
Another feather in your cap is the fact that you ARE well prepared. You took the time to lay out a plan and stuck to it. You understand the material as if you have been doing it all your life. Since you are so well prepared, you will not need to cram the night before; you will not need to study six to eight hours a day. You can be assured that there is no way you will NOT pass the exam. This assurance will help you look at the exam as just another challenge you can pass.