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Formulas To Remember For The PMP Exam

Use this formula on the PMP exam to calculate the variance of an activityI think back to when I sat for the PMP exam and remember taking the first few minutes to quickly write down the following formulas.  It was my cheat sheet.  There was enough to think about for the next few hours and worrying if I could remember some key formulas was not one of them.  So, here is a bit of advice.  If you’re preparing[1] to take the PMP exam, MEMORIZE these formulas.  The exam won’t come right out and ask you to identify the correct formula for a variance of an activity. Rather, it will offer a question like:  Your current activity was pessimistically estimated at 65 hours and optimistically estimated at 40 hours.  What is the variance of the activity?  (you can use this formula for both time and cost)

You can see how knowing the formula is going to make you or break you on this question.

Do yourself a favor.  Make flash cards, get a tattoo, it doesn’t matter.  Commit these formulas to memory and you’ll save yourself some pain and suffering (and a few points on the exam).

The Formulas

Acronym Title Formula
PERT Program
Evaluation and
Review
Technique
Use this formula on the PMP exam to calculate PERT
P = Pessimistic Estimate
M = Most Likely Estimate
O = Optimistic Estimate
Standard Deviation of Activity Use this formula on the PMP exam to calculate standard deviation of an activity
Variance of an Activity Use this formula on the PMP exam to calculate the variance of an activity
Total Float LS – ES or LF – EF
Communications
Channels
[N(N-1)] / 2
CV Cost
Variance
EV – AC
SV Schedule
Variance
EV – PV
CPI Cost
Performance Index
EV / AC
SPI Schedule
Performance Index
EV / PV
EAC Estimate
at Completion
BAC / CPI

AC + ETC

AC + (BAC – EV)

ETC Estimate
to Complete
ETC = EAC – AC
VAC Variance
at Completion
BAC – EAC
CPIc Cumulative
Cost Performance Index
Σ EV / Σ AC
TCPI To-Complete Performance Index Use this formula on the PMP exam to calculate TCPI
[1] This is a link to a product I created

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

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