The APMP exam is certainly a tough one to pass, however, with the right dedication, hard work and preparation it is not impossible to pass it. As with any exam, knowing about the subject and knowing how to complete an exam properly are the two things that will give you the best chance of success. Good project management training can provide you with a lot of the skills and knowledge needed to pass the exam, but you must go the extra mile to give yourself the best personal chance for success.
Here are 10 tips for passing the APMP:
- Keep The Project Lifecycle In Mind
The project lifecycle can often be used as a guide, no matter what the question is you’re being asked. So if, for example, a question relates to project budgeting, you can think about all the different stages of a project lifecycle and identify the parts that involve money.
- Be Specific About Project Management But Not About Your Own Job
You should always describe and use your project management experience, but try not to apply that experience to a specific job or industry if possible. The examiner will not know about the industry you work in, or the technology you use, so you must try to keep the answers specific to project management, but not to any specialised area of it.
- Go Back To Basics
Remember in school when you were marked down for just writing down an answer, rather than showing how you got to that answer? Well the same rules apply all these years later! Calculation questions must always show the workings that got you to the answer so the examiner can see the processes you went through to get to the answer at the end. In some cases if you provide an incorrect answer but your workings show some correct methods, you may be given some extra marks for the correct parts of your answer, even if the end result is incorrect.
- Choose The Right Questions
37 of the 52 Body of Knowledge topics are covered by the APMP syllabus and any 16 of those 37 topics will be tested in the exam. Give yourself enough time to select your questions carefully at the beginning, so that you have the best chance of answering them in the allotted time. Know your strengths and weaknesses so you can quickly identify which questions will work best for you.
- Give Yourself A Time Plan
You have three hours to complete your exam, which will fly by. You must answer all the questions in the allotted time in order to have the greatest chance of passing. This means it is really important that you have a time plan and select 10 questions that you know you can answer in the allotted time. When you practise the exam you should get a feel for how long each question takes you to answer, keeping that as a rough guide will help you structure those precious 3 hours. Remember to leave yourself enough time at the end to check through your answers as well.
- Be Structured
Be structured in your answers to ensure they are easily followed by the examiner. Follow the basic ‘beginning, middle and end’ structure to ensure you write all the necessary components in a concise order. It can be a really good idea to map out your answer structure before you write anything down so that you have a rough idea of what you need to include as you go along.
- Explain Yourself
When you are asked to explain your answer to a question, it can seem a bit daunting fully elaborating on why you have said something. A good way to work through this problem is to think about the consequences of not doing something. By thinking about this, you should be able to clearly recognise why the process explained in your answer is important. The negative consequences recognised can also be used to strengthen your answer.
- Remember The Key Factors Of A Plan
When you answer questions relating to plans, remember that all plans involve what, how, when and who. So what needs to be done, how will it be done (processes), when will it be done and who will be doing it.
- Keep Calm And Carry On!
If you make a mistake answering a question, don’t start again! Cross the mistake out and keep going, you simply cannot afford to start again, especially when you’re completing charts and diagrams.
10. Refine Your Answers
Although it is tempting to write down everything you know about a subject when a question relates to it, you must not do it. Answer the question you are being asked specifically and avoid a general answer that talks about everything and anything relating to the related subject.