What to Do the Week Before PMP Exam?

What to Do the Week Before PMP Exam?

After you have gone through the PMBOK® Guide, PMP Exam prep course(s), exam reference books and numerous mock exams, how would you spend the very last week leading to the PMP Exam?

By making wise use of the final week before the exam, you will be able to increase (hugely) your chance of passing the exam in the first try. I sincerely invite you to read this personal experience of my PMP Exam last week preparation with a view to shed some lights on your last week’s plan

Planning the Final Week

It is often highly desirable to take a whole week’s leave from work and household obligations in order to focus on getting a pass in the exam. But it is often not practical. I was no exception. I simply couldn’t afford the luxury of forgetting everything except the PMP Exam. That’s why a wise plan for the final week is very important.

Try to sleep well and eat well during the last week. Your health condition will directly affect your performance. Stay fit and stay health is most important.

  • 7 Days before the Exam
    • I tried to collect all the study notes and keep them together neat and tidy.
    • I wrote down my exam time management plan (e.g. how many time for each PMP question, how many breaks, when to take breaks, etc.) => click here to view my plan
  • 6 Days before the Exam
    • I got to the Exam Centre to familiar myself with the traffic, surroundings as well as the environment of the centre. Surprises are for parties only but not for important occasions as taking the PMP Exam.
  • 5 Days before the Exam
    • I went over my study notes and the PMP Glossary (link here) with a view to refresh my knowledge of the PMBOK® Guide and the exam content.
  • 4 Days before the Exam
    • I practiced my exam time management plan by taking one full-length 4-hour mock exam (a list of suggested exams).
    • I tried to stick as close as to the original time management plan as possible. I ended up having to make adjustments to the toilet breaks and the time allocated for each question.
    • It is often helpful to practise as much as possible. But if you are running short of time, it is recommended to try at least a full-length 4-hour mock exam in the week leading to your big day.
    • Taking PMP mock exams would also help to identify knowledge gaps to focus on when reading the study notes tomorrow.
  • 3 Days before the Exam
    • Another day to go over my exam study notes by focusing on the areas that I got wrong the day before. I tried to go over the study notes slowly and word by word to dig out any concepts or terms that I had missed during my previous studies.
  • 2 Days before the Exam
    • I did one 4-hour full mock exam question 2 days before the Exam with a view to give me the assurance of having studied enough and get the very last practice of the strategies of time management.
    • It is most ideal to take the mock exam at the same time slot as your real PMP Exam in order to really understand your stamina at that time of the day.
    • Also, I would go over my study notes once again and be psychologically prepared (important tips here).
  • 1 Day before the Exam
    • Aspirants normally would plan to burn themselves out on the day before the Exam. I did the very opposite. I did all sorts of things that I liked — playing with kids, reading books (anything not exam reference books, PMBOK® Guide, etc.), walking around, etc. except even thinking about the PMP Exam nor the PMBOK® Guide matters.
    • I intentionally “forgot” about the exam to let my brain and body to get the relaxation that was desperately needed over the previous 2 months of hard work.
    • Relaxation is extremely important for aspirants as they will have to keep their focus during the 4-hour exam time. If the brain is over-stressed, keeping the stamina is very difficult.
    • I highly advise you to spend the night (preferably the day if you can take a day off) with your loved ones and make an effort to not think about the exam and whether you can pass or not … I know it is very difficult.
    • The most important tips for today is: have a good sleep!
  • On the Date of the PMP Exam
    • I got up early and had a wonderful breakfast with my family.
    • I read my own study notes while riding a bus to the exam centre (I planned to get to the exam centre at least 30 minutes earlier). And before getting to the exam room, I looked first for the location of the washrooms.
    • I just keep telling myself: “Keep calm and get the pass you deserve!”
    • You also deserve a pass for your PMP Exam!


Wish you PMP success! Do let me know your success story!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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2 Responses

  1. Jawahar J says:

    Hi Edward,
    Glad to inform that I passed PMP today on first attempt and with all AT. your notes and suggestions helped me a lot. Thank you very much!