So what did I do? I took a course at work (I worked as a financial controller). My boss was a really smart guy and he knew that I needed help so he gave me his own coaching course. This was like heaven for me!
In the coaching course, he stressed the importance of planning and organizing. The most important thing you can do to avoid taking a flop in the exam is to have clear objectives. You should know exactly what the outcome of the project is going to be before even starting it. He told me to make sure I didn’t leave anything to chance and to eliminate all possible distractions.
I also had to prepare myself mentally. This is very crucial if you want to take any kind of exam. I started studying by reading books about management and planning. I read books on business processes and project management. Once I got all the information, I created action plans for each topic so that I’d know what to do if and when I found myself in a sticky situation.
Once I passed the practical part of the online project management exam, I still had so much more to learn about the whole process. I wanted to become familiar with PMP courses and about planning projects. I needed to know all the terms associated with the PM job description. I needed to know how to deal with employees, and I needed to know how to handle clients. This was the phase where I was the most overwhelmed and the most afraid to fail.
Once I passed the written portion of the exam, the fear disappeared and I was able to start thinking positively again. Now, whenever I took the exam I knew exactly what to expect. I also learned that I was well prepared and I had enough knowledge and information to pass the online project management exam. All I had to do now was to take action and to focus on getting the job done as soon as possible.
As for the test itself, I prepared by studying as much as I could. I took the examination two times – once in person and once online. For the online project management format, I downloaded study guides and turned them into PDF documents. These are usually used by studying students before tests. I also made sure I had all my study guides so I did not have to wait to answer the questions.
When I got to the practical section of the test, I knew it was time to act. The day before the exam, I contacted my prospective online project management company and explained to them the situation. They were very understanding and helped me to understand the whole process better. They also gave me some specific study materials to help me prepare. That night, I slept like a log and enjoyed the sleep over.
I woke up early the next morning and prepared myself to take the test. The exam consists of four papers and I knew I could not afford to spend two hours for each one. To reduce the amount of time spent on the online project management course, I decided to break the text up into three short modules. This allowed me to dedicate a little time each day to review the topics and I was able to complete the exams in my allotted time.
After I took the first module, I was excited. My project manager was going to be impressed with my preparation and told me to read everything I could find about the topic. I spent about an hour reading the materials and I came away with a very good knowledge.
I was able to complete the final module in record time. On the day of the final examination, I got to the section where I was expected to do a written final review. I was very nervous about this and I almost fumbled my way through my response. Luckily, I nailed it and got my grade higher than I ever thought possible!