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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.

Here is what you can generally find as part of a PMP Exam Brain Dump:

• Table 3-1 of the PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition
• Formulas, such as earned value, PERT, communication channels, procurement, probability, project selection and depreciation
• Values, such as 1, 2 and 3 sigma and estimate ranges
• Acronyms, such as BAC or TCPI
• Powers of a project manager
• Conflict resolution (best to worst)
• Sources of conflict (order of priority)
• Herzberg's motivators
• Project closing check list

And of course: you must include all the items that you personally have trouble remembering during your studies and that you feel need to go onto your sheet. The list above or using a Brain Dump that someone else created can be a good start but you really need to customize it to your needs. Dont study what others are having trouble remembering. Instead, include what gives you the hiccups.

How Do I Study a Brain Dump?

Brain dumps are pure memorization. As part of your exam preparation, exercises and studying, go ahead and practice committing the content of your brain dump to memory and then writing them out onto a blank sheet of paper on a daily basis.

Every morning, practice your brain dump until you're satisfied with your progress. By the end of the first week you should be able to write out your brain dump in its entirety on the first go.

Then continue dumping it on a regular basis, going back to the daily routine in the two weeks leading up to your exam.

So What *IS* the Secret of Creating My PMP Exam Brain Dump Sheet?

Creating and studying your very own, personalized PMP Exam Brain Dump Sheet is a means to an end in itself. It all begins with creating the content that goes into it by getting to know your weak areas as you prepare for the exam. Then you memorize, you dump and you repeat. Pretty soon what seemed too complex to remember is at the forefront of your knowledge.

So the secret is that you will accelerate your studies and knowledge simply by going through the motions of creating, studying and knowing what's on your personalized brain dump.

Your PMP Exam Brain Dump is a great tool not that allows you bring your reference material into the testing facility, in addition knowing the information you need is on hand as you encounter questions that require it can significantly cut down the stress factor. Creating your personalized brain dump helps you learn the material as you study for your PMP exam which gives you an important edge in passing.


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