Mastering Basic PRINCE2 Exam Techniques
The best preparation for PRINCE2 exams is to know the method well. That means hard and dedicated work while you’re learning; if it pays off with exam success, it will have been worth the effort. Here are a few tips for the exams themselves:
Get plenty of sleep: No, not during the exams, because that can seriously reduce the number of marks you score. Do, however, get a good night’s rest before the day of an exam. You’ll be at a disadvantage and likely to misread questions if you’ve been revising hard until 3.30 a.m. and have then gone into the exam room tired.
Arrive in good time: If you’re travelling to the exam, set off in plenty of time. Currently the rules say you should be there 30 minutes before the start of the exam, so aim for quite a bit earlier than that. Don’t rush into the exam room hassled and right on the 30-minute limit because there was a travel delay and you didn’t allow sufficient contingency; you need good project management skills!
Eat well: Especially if your exam is in the morning, do have breakfast. An empty stomach does not help with exam nerves. Equally, if your exam is in the afternoon, have a light lunch and not a heavy one. Be especially careful if you’re on a training course and your course provider has hired a hotel or conference centre which automatically provides a three-course hot dinner at lunch time. You could pay dearly for that meal if you end up sleepy in the exam.
Carry the right gear: You don’t need much for the PRINCE2 exams, but make sure you have everything to hand that you actually do need. Have a couple of HB or B pencils (wooden ones are rather better for shading in the ovals on the answer sheets, as the leads are thicker than with automatic pencils and are less likely to break).
Have a pencil sharpener, a decent eraser and, for the Practitioner exam only, your PRINCE2 manual. You might like to have a few sweets and a bottle of water as well. If you take sweets, make sure they don’t have noisy wrappers that will annoy other candidates as well as embarrass you in the silence of the exam room.
Take photo ID: Registration for the exam currently requires a photo ID such as a passport, photocard driving licence or official photo security card if you work in a large organisation such as a government department. Be careful not to forget your ID, as you can’t sit the exams without it. The idea is to make it harder for someone to attend a course pretending to be another person and then sit the exams for that person.
Avoid last-minute cramming: It’s not usually helpful to cram information in the minutes before the exam. Instead, walk about, breathe deeply and try to relax. It can be a good idea to avoid other candidates if you’re a bit nervous. If you talk to others and they mention something you didn’t revise too well, it will only increase your tension.