PMP Exam Tip: Get familiar with the Windows Calculator

As you prepare for your PMP Exam, you should know that there are many PMP Exam formulas that you will be expected to know. Among them are Earned Value, PERT, communications channel and about 40 others you must have memorized.

Since these formulas must be in your head, you will not be allowed to bring your own personal calculator into the exam room with you because it could have some of the formulas saved with it.

However, some of the calculations you will be required to complete are likely to be complex enough that they will require the use of a calculator. So during the exam you will have to use the Microsoft Windows-based calculator.

It’s important for you to be prepared for all facets of your PMP Exam, and being comfortable with the Windows calculator should be included in your preparation.

That’s why after learning that they will not be allowed to bring their own calculator into the exam room, most people simply stop using their hand-held calculators and fire up the Windows calculator every time they are faced with a formula in a sample question. I recommend that you do the same.

And here is my most surprising recommendation: use the calculator for every single calculation you have to make: 100 divided by 2? Use the calculator. 3 times 10? Use the calculator.

The reason for this is simple: Taking an exam is stressful and it’s easy to make a silly mistake in your head. And we don’t want 100 divided by 2 to suddenly to be 200. So use the calculator.

Passing your PMP Exam is too important to your future. It will be stressful and you may struggle to have enough time to finish it. It only makes sense to use all of the tools you have at your disposal to make it as easy as possible. This includes being prepared to use the Windows based calculator.

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Kitty Wooley

This sounds almost too simple, but it’s a great tip for people who get stressed about tests. That must be a lot of people, because I know a couple of dozen people who went through boot camps but talked themselves out of taking the test, which is really a shame.

A related tip is to write down on scratch paper all the formulas you memorized as soon as you’re settled at the exam site, and then you won’t worry that you’ll forget them.