By: Felix Soto Morales
A few months ago, I wrote a post about the differences between PSP and PMI-SP exams, the first one is awarded by AACE and the second one by the Project Management Institute. Both institutes aim to certify someone who has the skills in planning & scheduling for projects. I wrote the post based on researching and after speaking with some colleagues who had taken those tests. Now, that I just got my PSP credential, let me make a more accurate review about this exam.
This is an almost five-hour exam with three parts of multiple-choice questions and one written answer section. One of the multiple choice part really gets deep into networking calculations skills; this is an every day issue planners have to face when they calculate their schedules and then review them, they need to master this in order to fix and understand scheduling problems. For me, this was the most exhausting part of the exam, I think a basic calculator is needed, unfortunately I did not bring mine so I recommend that you bring one and ask the proctor if you can use it, do not try to use your cell phone, it is not permitted.
This test is a very practical exam with almost all questions based on reality of projects. This is good news for people who work every day in scheduling, because you don´t really need to study for this exam, this is a test to verify all the skills you have learned as the role of planner & scheduler. Of course, maybe you need to get some book to revise concepts that you have already learned and perhaps you do not know how to put it clear on a piece of paper e.g: the concept of free float.
Besides the multiple choice questions, you will be asked to redact a one page memorandum to communicate your imaginary boss, issues about some topic granted as well as proposing solutions. This is the thinking part, I strongly recommend to leave this section to the end of the test, because once you start writing, you cannot stop being focus in such subject. Leave at least 50 minutes for this part, make a draft with your ideas and then put them clear on the paper. This is a very interesting section of the exam because it makes you think as a planner given a specific case. If you are a project manager who never played the role of scheduler you will need to put on planner´s shoes otherwise you will fail this part. Although the exam is given in English, you don´t need to be proficient in writing skills, remember that those who will evaluate you are planners as you and they care too much about how you can provide solutions for the case, not if you have or not grammar errors. I´m sure they will understand.
In conclusion, this exam is a very good way to show you, your employer, your client or the owner that you possess scheduling skills and it is awarded by a very well recognized institution not just in north America but in the rest of the world too.
Try to find an AACEI’s chapter in your country or just look for information at www.aacei.org
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