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How to create your PMP exam brain dump sheet

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP | Feb. 2, 2011
The Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam is a 'closed' book exam, the only reference material you are allowed to carry into the testing facility has to be contained in your brain. PMP expert Cornelius Fichtner explains how to create an exam brain dump sheet as an effective way of getting reference material into the testing facility with you.

FRAMINGHAM, 2 FEBRUARY 2011 - There's no better catalyst for self realization than taking the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. I'm kidding you, of course, but there is some truth in that the PMP exam day will illuminate that "you don't know what you don't know."

The PMP Exam is a 'closed' book exam. That means the only reference material you are allowed to carry into the testing facility has to be contained in your brain. But during your exam, your brain is going to be very busy interpreting the exam questions and trying to apply all of the knowledge, skills and principles you've accumulated in your studies and work experience.

If you haven't already, you should go for a visit to the local testing facility where you'll take your exam and confirm what to expect. Most likely, on your exam day, the exam monitor will check you into the testing facility, hand you six or so sheets of scratch paper and two pencils, then show you to your seat and confirm that your PC is working. Then you'll have about 15 minutes to go through a tutorial that really only takes about 5 minutes to do. Then you begin your exam.

During the test, recalling what you do know can be daunting. Quite frankly, some of your ability to access that knowledge is going to seem misplaced amongst your grey cells. So how do you create the best opportunities to pass the PMP Exam that day? You can use the 10 minutes you don't need from the tutorial time to do a Brain Dump!

What is a Brain Dump?

A brain dump is a technique used by many students on closed book exams to create their personal mini reference table. Brain dumps are abbreviations of components and concepts, which you have committed to memory and are then spilled out on to sheets of paper prior to the exam for reference.

Brain dumps contain just enough key concepts, theories, formulas and content, which will jog your memory. By having the information on your brain dump, your mind can focus on the question at hand instead of trying to remember the formula needed to answer the question. It helps you to be in the the right frame of mind specific to each question.

What Goes into a Brain Dump?

Brain dumps are only as good as the quality and quantity of information that you can spill out on the piece(s) of paper just before you begin your PMP exam. They contain the formulas, theory, concepts and PMP-isms that you might otherwise forget for a moment at the very moment when you need it most.

 

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