Getting It Done PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ACTION
70 PM NETWORK AUGUST 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG
Raj Kaushik, PMP, is a customer relation-
ship management expert with Amdocs Inc.,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
years, but you cannot expect to pass the exam
without studying. So set up a schedule and reasonable expectations for learning the material. Also
attend a review course and take practice tests until
you get more than 90 percent of the questions
right within the time limit.
3. Get in the zone. Exams can be long. A great
deal of concentration is required to answer the
PMP exam’s 200 multiple-choice questions in
the allotted four hours.
Develop a habit of mindfully checking on your
every 10 minutes. If you
catch yourself getting distracted, consciously bring
your attention back to the
task at hand.
During the test, answer
questions you immediately
know first and then return
to the more difficult ones.
4. Feel the fear. We allow fear to paralyze us
because we don’t like to face it. But success typically requires embracing the fear, not avoiding it.
Imagine you failed the exam. Tell yourself, out
loud, “So what? It’s not end of the world.” Then
take a short break and continue studying.
Fear of failure is natural—but you can conquer
test anxiety by relaxing, preparing well, staying
focused and facing your fear. PM
Ten years ago, I joined a new com- pany as a Java developer. Soon after, the organization decided that all its project managers should achieve Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification within two months.
Just to test my mettle, I signed up for a PMP®
review course and took the exam with the project
managers. We all passed—except for one experienced, highly respected project manager. Anxiety
and stress certainly played
a big role in this. No doubt
the project manager was
nervous because of a fear
of failing and putting a
hard-earned reputation at
stake. In contrast, I had no
anxiety or fear of failure,
because all I had at stake
was the fee I paid to take
Research shows that test
anxiety can hurt results
because stress limits how
well different areas of the brain communicate. As
you prepare for a PMI certification exam, follow
these tips to reduce fear.
1. Learn relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises such as those taught in yoga can release
stress and improve physical and mental health. Sit
in a comfortable, upright position with your spine
straight. With your mouth gently closed, breathe
in and out of your nose as deeply as possible. Make
the duration of inhalation and exhalation equal.
2. Sharpen your exam-taking skills. You may
have been practicing project management for
Beat the Fear
Practice and relaxation help manage test anxiety.
By Raj Kaushik, PMP
to face it.