Thursday, May 12, 2011
Improving Your PMP® Exam Score
- Read the question, along with each answer, in one flow. You may be able to detect incorrect answers by detecting grammatical errors. This may be effective in “guessing” at the correct answer.
- Read all of the choices, even when you believe that the right answer is obvious.
- Don’t read anything into the question or an answer that isn’t stated.We all have a set of beliefs; yours may influence you to read something into the material that the author didn’t intend so try to avoid this.
- Try to anticipate the correct answer after reading the question and before reading any of the answers. This will help you to verify you’ve read the question and directions for answering correctly: if the answer you’ve anticipated does not appear in the choices, re-read both the question and directions carefully.
- Cover the answers as you read the question to eliminate the possibility of “cheating” by reading the answers before you can anticipate an answer.
- If the question contains a negative such as “none”, “not”, “never”, or“neither”, the correct answer must be a fact or an absolute; other answers may be correct statements but cannot be the correct answer.
- If the question contains a superlative such as “every”, “all”, “none”,“always”, or “only”, the correct answer must be an undisputed fact. Qualifiers such as “usually”, “often”, “generally”, “may”, or “seldom” might indicate a true statement.
- Try labeling the answers with a true or false label in the context of the question, then look for a pattern in the labels. Remember to consider any modifiers in the question when determining the correct answer. For example, if the modifier is always and there is only one “true” answer, it should be the correct answer. If the modifier is a word like “never” and only one answer has a false label, it should be the correct one.
- Look for key words in the question that appear in the answer. If only one answer contains the key words, this may be an indication it is the correct one.
- If 2 answers are very similar (called “partner” choices), this is usually an indication that one of them is the correct answer.
- If you’re having trouble choosing the “most correct” answer between 2 choices, compare each of them with the course terminology. The correct answer should be the one that most accurately mimics it.
- Study the sentence structure of the question. Identify the subject and verb and then identify the adjectives and adverbs. This approach helps you to determine whether you’re looking for an answer in the form of an absolute.
- Beware of double negatives. Phrases like “not never” should be translated into “sometimes”. If “not” appears in the question and “never” in the answer, this grammatical error may indicate a wrong answer.
- Beware of extraneous information not directly related to the question. Try re-phrasing the question without these “distractors”.
- Ask yourself if the answer you’ve selected requires an assumption. If the answer is yes, there is a very good chance this isn’t the correct choice.
- If the question appears to you to be a “trick” question, try reading the question and directions over again to eliminate any misunderstandings. Multiple choice exams do not use deception to encourage wrong answers.
- Be on the lookout for questions which answer other questions in the exam. This is mainly a memory exercise, but if a question you’re having difficulty answering, triggers the memory of a previous question, it may be worth your while to review the previous question and answer.
- Don’t shy away from changing your answer to a question if you identify a problem with the original answer.