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APM PMQ Exam Questions & Tips

As you get ready to sit for any exam, it can be hard to know exactly what you will face. For many, it may be a long time since they have taken a more formal style of exam, and the revision and question-answering skills learned during college or university may be a distant memory.

Here, we plan to take a look at some of the questions that have come up from people preparing to sit their APM PMQ exam and the best way in which they can be tackled.

We will also provide some all-important tips that will hopefully help you when it comes to sitting your APM PMQ exams because no matter how long ago, or how recently, you sat your last set of exams in any subject, it never hurts to be as prepared as possible.

Examples of questions

Describe five of the key principles of project governance.

This question comes up a lot, so it can be a good idea to consider your answer structure. It is important to ensure that your answer includes five clear points. You should also describe what governance is, and also why it is important. Where possible, you should aim to give an example for each point that you make.

List and describe five steps in creating a robust schedule.

Ensure that you begin by listing all of the steps, as this will help with the structure of your answer. The five steps are:

  1. Producing WBS
  2. Estimating durations for executing work packages
  3. Preparing precedence diagram, and also calculating floats
  4. Determining any critical path
  5. Determining all your Project Milestones

You should also ensure that you give each item in your list a good description before moving on to the next one. Add examples where appropriate.

Explain The Primary Use Of Earned Value.

This is another of those questions that might come up, so it can be a good idea to make sure that you understand exactly what the question is looking for.

Earned value allows the project manager to have an understanding of whether a project is making good progress or not. This is a term that is used for describing products that have already been delivered to a project and, therefore, cannot be removed. A calculation is used to multiply that which has been delivered to the project by the planned completion date and the time that has actually been spent.

Once you have a brief explanation that will answer the question, ensure that you also add an example to explain it fully, for example:

If the costs of a project are under what the planned costs were expected to be, then this is good news. However, you should conduct further analysis in order to ascertain if this is true. It may in fact be that whilst you haven’t spent as much as you expected to, you may also not have actually produced anything either and this isn’t good news.

Does spelling and grammar matter in the exam?

With such an everyday reliance on technology for those things that we write, it can be hard when we find ourselves needing to use pen and paper, and when you add in the stress of an exam situation, it can be even more challenging. Whilst spelling and grammar undoubtedly matter in the world of work, the good news is that in an exam situation, there is a lot more leeway.

What you should be concentrating on with the answers on your exam paper is ensuring that you should you have a good understanding of the course materials and how to apply project management scenarios in the real world. A few spelling and grammar mistakes shouldn’t make too much of a difference, but do try to ensure that you spell the names of terms correctly to avoid any possible misunderstandings.

Tips for exams

Exams can be stressful no matter what level of your career you are at. With this in mind, it is important to take on board a few general pieces of information that can really help no matter what exam you are taking.

Be prepared

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your exam. That means setting aside some time in the run-up to the actual exam to revise the course material. Read through your notes and the course materials that you have. Make more notes, and if you have any questions, contact your instructor. They will be happy to clarify things for you so that you understand them.

Make sure that you take breaks during your revision; research has shown that this is actually one of the best ways to retain information for exams. Last-minute revision sessions are not as helpful as a revision plan that is undertaken in this way.

Complete past papers

This is a great way of seeing what type of questions you might be up against in the exam. Consider the marks that each question is worth and work out how much time you should be giving to the question during the exam. Plan your answers out and ask for feedback where possible. This will allow you to see where you might be able to improve your answers.

Read questions thoroughly

There is nothing worse than answering the question you think you read only to lose marks because you later realise that you misread it. It may seem obvious, but read each question over very carefully to ensure that you are answering them correctly. The difference this could make to your marks could be the difference between a fail and a pass.

Look at the marks for each question

The marks indicated for each question will also help when it comes to formulating your answer. If the question is worth 50 marks and asks you to talk about 5 things, then you should assume the marks are equally spaced for each item you need to discuss. Try to give examples to ensure as many marks as possible.

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