The Project Management Institute (PMI) exam is composed of 200 multiple choice questions, 25 of which are not included in the final grade since these are pretest questions. Of the 175 test questions, you can be very sure that there will be mathematical formulas involved.
In fact, there are 47 formulas and 19 numerical values included in the PMI exam, which you need to memorize and understand in order to provide the correct answer. Just imagine 47 formulas, all of them involving many factors and unknowns!
To name a few, there are basic earned formulas, earned value forecasting formulas, return on investment, net present value and internal rate of return. And did we mention that you also need to be prepared for the situational questions? Thus, the imperative need to memorize formulas cannot be overemphasized!
Fix Your Memory
Not that there is anything wrong with it. However, the rigors of the PMI exam demands that your penchant for memorizing formulas be enhanced especially when your passing rate might very well depend on how well you do in the memorization department. Did we mention, too, that passing the PMI exam opens many doors of employment for you, recession notwithstanding?
Fortunately, there are effective tips to help you memorize these formulas to your advantage. First, let the PMBOK be your guide, that is, only memorize what is in the book regardless if other references list more formulas. Remember that the PMI exam will never veer away from the PMBOK; let it be your bible for the period.
Second, start with the easiest and move on to the hardest formulas. You will find that the simple formulas form the foundation of the more complex ones, not to mention that you will have more practice with memorization by the time you move on to the hard parts.
Third, practice makes perfect. Instead of just reciting by rote the said formulas, put them into constant practice until you feel comfortable doing the mathematical operations. You will discover that it will feel like second nature as time goes on.
Furthermore, you will be better equipped to analyze and answer the problems - what formulas to use even when there are variables thrown into the mix to confuse the examinees, how to apply the formulas to the given set of variables, and even how to interpret them.
Fourth, make associations between everyday objects and the formulas. This way, every time you see the object, you will be reminded of the formula, which ought to firmly implant it into your memory.
Fifth, carry along a small notebook that contains the more difficult to memorize formulas. Understand the formulas for a few minutes each day, even without solving problems related to them.
Sixth, and most important, learn to relax. If you cannot immediately understand the formula, you can do this relaxation technique: Close your eyes, take slow abdominal breaths, and then imagine yourself becoming the master of the formulas. This is in accordance with the proven thought that what you think, you can become!
All these tips are common sense advice. You will remember doing these, too, with your math and physics formulas in high school and college. Now, however, you have so much more at stake than a passing grade - a flourishing career amidst job layoffs once you pass the PMI exam!
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