After 2 months of studying and preparing, I finally got the PMP Certification.
And I’m glad that I passed the exam on my first try.
Studying for the exam while dealing with my work wasn’t easy.
Being extremely bad at memorising, I tried to understand the meaning and concept behind each process.
Ricardo Vargas’s video and diagram really helped me a lot to understand the overall flow of the processes.
After that I just focused on the Prepcast practice exams, making sure to understand why I got the questions wrong each time.
Reddit was a great source of information and tips.
However, 1 thing that didn’t make me very happy about getting the certification was the way the exam was conducted.
This is a lesson learnt which I will definitely transfer to my lesson learnt repository…
The lesson learnt is…
Either you don’t drink too much water before the exam, or bring a pee bottle with you in your room.
I’m not joking.
I opted for the safer choice of taking the exam at home (I think the exam centres are also not open in my country), and I didn’t expect that the protractor would not allow me to go to the toilet at all.
I saw that there was a 10 minutes break in between, so I assumed that I could go for a toilet break during this time.
To my horror, the exam rule of “not leaving the webcam” also applied during the break!!
They expected us to take a break on the spot without going anywhere!!
I pleaded several times with the proctor to allow me to go to the toilet.
I even said that I will be back within 30 seconds.
He simply repeated the same sentence: “It is against the policy to leave the camera view, and I will have to disqualify you if that happens.”
Zero concerns were given to the state of my bladder and the possible implications to my health and modesty.
In the end, I had to go through the excruciating experience of holding my bladder and trying my best to prevent it from bursting while answering the questions at the same time.
I wanted to end it quickly by doing the questions faster but I simply couldn’t because the brain’s functionality drops when you are in such an urge.
Thankfully everything ended without much damage, but this experience is not something that I would like to go through again.
And the trauma from this experience is having a bigger impact than the fact that I passed the PMP…
I can’t believe they expect you to sit there for 4 hours without going to the toilet even once.
I didn’t even experience that in school last time.
I understand that they are afraid of cheating, but can’t they grant just 30 seconds of toilet break?
I mean, what can you do in 30 seconds?
If you don’t have the relevant knowledge I don’t think 30 seconds will make any difference.
Sorry for the long rant, but I’m just sharing this experience so that other people can take note of this very important yet easily missed issue.
Please remember to put it in your risk register and prepare the appropriate risk response in advance, otherwise you will have to find a workaround…