One of the things people struggle with when preparing for the APM PMQ exam is the best approach to answering the questions. The marking guide looks for three things in general
1) For list and describe questions a list of the points that you are going to make in the answer. Strictly is applies only to the list and describe questions but I think its useful in describe and explain questions. You won’t lose makes for including a list in explain questions, but you will lose 20% of the marks if you don’t include a list in list and describe questions. So get into the habit of always making a list to plan your answer.
2) Each question paragraph is generally marked against two sets of criteria. Have you demonstrated basic understanding and have you described further understanding of the topic. Each represent half the marks, so you won’t pass the exam if you just demonstrate basic understanding.
How to demonstrate further understanding. Basic knowledge is demonstrated by a statement of fact. Take a typical questions
List and describe the differences between project and business as usual?
The list would look like:
1) Projects are unique.
2) projects are temporary.
3) Projects produce a product only once.
4) Projects are often funded out of capital
5) Projects have a higher risk of failure.
Score 10/50 =20%
Take the first point which is worth a further 8 marks, 4 for basic understanding and 4 for demonstrating further knowledge. and then describe it
1) Projects are unique whereas business as usual is on-going.
This describes the what and is only going to get 2/4 for basic understanding and 0/4 for demonstrating further knowledge.
1) Projects are unique and in general have not been executed in this configuration before whereas business as usual is on-going and are often repeated day in day out.
This is still just covering the what but would get 3/4 and 0/4. To get the further understanding we need to add and explanation of why this is important and include examples.
1) Projects are unique and in general have not been executed in this configuration before whereas business as usual is on-going and are often repeated day in day out. For example the operation of a metro system day in day out is a good example of a BAU operations whereas the construction of a new metro system is an example of a project. This is important because BAU operations must focus on doing the same thing in a very consistent way whereas project must concentrate on the management of change and associated risks.
In my view this paragraph demonstrates both basic understanding and further knowledge. The key phrase this is important because is quite useful in helping you explain why a project manager would care about the point you are making. I hope this help and please do leave your feedback below.
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