Tips for getting your PRINCE2 certification

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Michelle Symonds
Michelle Symonds spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in SEO.

If you are planning to get qualified in project management using the PRINCE2 programme, congratulations. A formal project management qualification is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your career. Here are a few tips for those attending project management courses to study for PRINCE2 certification.

  1. Allow adequate time
    Time is a resource project managers are often short of, but when it comes to getting your PRINCE2 certification, it’s best not to scrimp too much. Allow plenty of time before your course for the pre reading, as you will benefit so much more from the training if you have done your homework before hand.
  2. Love the manual
    The PRINCE2 manual will be your best friend while you are studying for this certification. Learn to love your manual, and use highlighters, labelling and annotation to make this manual your own. It can be fairly heavy going and is not really good bedtime reading, so as well as allowing yourself adequate time for pre reading, make sure you allow quality time too.
  3. Find past papers
    The PRINCE2 certification is completely exam based, so get hold of as many past papers as you possibly can. There are plenty of mock exams, quizzes and sample questions available on the internet, so practice these as much as you can to familiarise yourself with the format. Practice answering them against the clock too, as in the real exam time is pretty tight.
  4. Listen to your trainer
    Listening in your lesson is critical to your success. As well as cementing important pieces of information in your mind, trainers often drop big hints about what is going to be in the final exam. They want you to pass as much as you want to pass, so actively listen to what they are saying and take good notes to review later on.
  5. Read the questions
    If it’s been a while since you finished school, exams are probably a distant memory to you. Think back to your GCSE’s or O Levels and remember what your teachers said – ‘read the questions properly’. In the exam your brain will be working overtime and it can be tempting to glance at the questions without reading them properly. Take a deep breath and read the words slowly to make sure you are answering the question they are asking, and not the one you think they are asking.
  6. Skip the hard questions
    There is nothing more demotivational than looking at the first question and not having a clue. The best thing to do is just skip it and move on. Answer all the questions you know straight away, and come back to the harder ones later on. Once you come back to them you might find your brain is more engaged and you’ll remember the answer.
  7. A good night’s sleep
    If you are on a residential project management course, it can be tempting to stay up late having fun in the bar with the other course attendees. Don’t do this. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast to be in with the best chance of acing the exam, and save the party for once it’s all over.
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  1. I would like to register for Prince 2 Project Managemnt I have a certificte with University of South Africa Business School

  2. Innstead of pushing certain methodologies for project management we should be concentrating on making sure we are selecting the right people for the project managers role in the first place. No amount of training will turn someone who does not possess the natural abilities and skills into a good project manager – anyone can learn a method and implement it by the book but it is the soft skills and people skills of the project manager that will make or break a project


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