[Important!] Brain Dump NOT Allowed for PMP Exam Now
Writing PMP brain dump was one of the top advice for any PMP Aspirants. NOT NOW! What should we do?
[Important Note: Many Aspirants have alerted that writing brain dumps during tutorial time is NOT allowed any more!]
As pointed out by the Lessons Learned by PMP exam takers, the use of “brain dump” tops the list of suggestions for getting PMP Certified in first try. However, there seem to be changes in the administration that discourage the use of brain dump. Below are the details.
Remarks: What is brain dump?
A PMP Exam brain dump is a technique employed by many Aspirants to help them memorise important facts, concepts, formulas, etc. for the exam. You can find the details of what a PMP Exam brain dump is here.
Can I do brain dump now?
Fortunately, the answer is still YES. But you may need to spend some of your exam time to do the brain dump.
In the past, most exam takers and instructors would advise you to do the brain dump during the “exam tutorial” before the actual beginning of the exam. The exam tutorial is a period of around 15 minutes before the exam to get you familiar with the exam interface and operation (e.g. how to mark a question for review, how to call and use the built-in calculator, how to submit your exam, etc.). Normally, Aspirants will need only 5 minutes to go through it and the rest 10 minutes of so would be spent on writing the brain dump onto the scrap paper provided — PMI does not explicitly permit the use of the tutorial time to write Brain Dump or not. And by taking advantage of this tutorial time, exam takers virtually had a study note at their hands during the actual exam.
But now, in order to prevent such kind of “unfair” advantage, many exam centres will NOT allow Aspirants to do their brain dumps during the pre-exam tutorial time. But this does not mean that Brain Dump is now forbidden. Aspirants will still able to put their memorized knowledge onto the scrap paper after the beginning of the actual exam.
Many recent Aspirants told us that they were not allowed to do the brain dump during the tutorial time now as the centre staff would not give them the scrap paper to them or asked them not to write anything during the tutorial.
PMI have not issued any rules or announcement on whether writing is allowed during the tutorial time. But more and more PMP Exam centres are adopting the restriction on writing during the tutorial time. Perhaps this can be seen as a sign that PMI is tightening up the rule in 2017.
Yes, you will need to make use of your valuable exam time for writing the brain dump now. But considering that it takes around 5 to 8 minutes to do the Brain Dump, the gains of having a brain dump at your disposal far outweigh the time invested in doing one during the exam. Brain dumps can free up your memory and stress to allow you to concentrate on the exam questions during the exam. You need not worry about forgetting important ITTO’s, formulas or definitions by having them written down early in the exam.
Conclusion: Do the brain dump anyway!
If the exam centre allows you to do PMP Exam Brain Dump during the tutorial time, that’s fantastic. If the centre doesn’t, you can still do the brain dump immediately after the beginning of the exam. I would highly suggest you to do the brain dump anyway. To avoid hiccups, you may query the exam centre directly on the policy of brain dump / tutorial time before your schedule date to let you have better psychological preparation.
Most Important Advice for PMP Exam Brain Dump:
For 2017 onwards, Aspirants should distill the most important concepts/formulas to be used as brain dumps. Do try to formulate your OWN personalized version of the brain dump that includes the facts/concepts/formulas that help you most (e.g. you often get those mixed up or you would need to refer to often). Try practising dumping your brain dump as fast as possible during your exam preparation (i.e. less than 10 minutes) so that you would not cut much into your valuable exam time.
Wish you PMP success!