About Formative Tests | Project Management Concepts Course (online)

Project Management Concepts | Online Course

About Formative Tests (Mon-Thurs)

What is this about, and why is it important for Project Management?

Formative assessment is an education term which means ‘testing that forms part of the learning’. Many courses programmes include formative assessment in the form of a quiz or homework assignment after a lecture or preparatory reading.

This course is different, in that Formative Tests form the bulk of the course activities. The tests themselves provide a departure point for your discovery. You’ll be faced with questions which you have to figure out for yourself, either by drawing on existing knowledge, talking  to other people, searching the Internet or thinking veeeeery hard to make a calculated guess.

After all, this is how adults usually learn on the job, when faced with a problem, or challenge, or something they need to find out to be able to take a decision.

Throughout this course, you will be encouraged to learn in this way. This is to help you sharpen your information-finding skills, skills which you’ll need throughout your career in the realm of Project Management.

You’re not entirely on your own, though. We will provide you with the correct answers after your own attempts, and we’ll also give you feedback explaining those answers, so that you can begin to see where each snippet of information fits into the bigger picture of Project Management. (A bit of specific reading material will be provided later on for a few of the questions.)


The Formative Tests contain questions from two categories of content:

  1. Questions referring to Project Management concepts (plus tools, techniques and methods) as embodied in various Project Management standards and methodologies, such as the PMBOK® Guide, and PRINCE2®.
  2. Questions based on the Rule for Risk™.

About the Rule for Risk™

Rule for Risk is not a standard Project Management term, but a trademarked term used by ProjectManagement.co.za to embed a project reporting practice which is necessary for running projects of any size efficiently and effectively in any environment and industry. The Rule for Risk principle of timely reporting of risks and opportunities, is essential to effective Project Management.

Questions about the Rule for Risk will often describe a work situation, and ask you to select the most appropriate response to the situation. You will have to assume that the environment is one in which senior management have chosen to incorporate the Rule for Risk as a part of the organisation’s culture.

The Exam will contain questions from the first category only.


A Formative Test typically contains:

  • Two multiple choice or short answer questions which are marked automatically
  • Two free-text questions which are not marked

The Exam will contain some questions based on the feedback to the questions on Project Management concepts. There will also be questions based on the terms used as passwords to the Formative Tests, which you will need to record in your List of Terms. We provide you with a template and guidance for doing this. You can also expect comments and recommendations from us from time to time, in response to your submissions.

What is this about, and why is it important for studying Project Management?

The daily free-text questions are designed to stimulate your critical thinking to ensure that you actually understand and internalise what you are learning. You will need these skills to write reports at work later.

This is also important in preparing to answer these additional questions for the Exam. In fact, you will be asked to come up with questions which you think could be asked in the Exam, and your suggestions may well be used, provided that they are clearly worded and can be answered entirely based on the information contained in the feedback.

You will similarly be asked to come up with possible Exam questions based on the passwords to the tests. Typically, the passwords are Project Management terms, or the surnames of prominent systems thinkers. During the Exam, you will be asked to demonstrate that you understand the context and definitions of the terms, or that you know a little about what each famous person was actually famous for. Here, you’re on your own; there’s no feedback to guide you. However, where there are terms which could be ambiguous, we’ll give you solid clues in the e-mail messages containing such passwords.

Timing and marks

There’s no time limit to a Formative Test, and you can do each test as many times as you like, to entrench your learning.

You’ll be subject to a short forced delay period between the attempts, though. This is to ensure that you think through the answers properly and retain them better, instead of bashing your way through by repeated guessing, or by merely committing the correct answers to short-term memory. (If you re-do the Test again immediately, you’d most likely be drawing from your immediate working memory rather than from knowledge which is being embedded. And that wouldn’t help you much in the long run!)

You won’t be able to proceed to the next day’s test until you have achieved full marks for the current test. Your last attempt is the one that counts to give you access to the next test.

It is not necessary to answer the free text questions when you re-do a test, unless you would like to do to so to stretch your brain a little further.

The total available marks may differ for various questions and tests, and the scoring does not work in the same way for every question. For some questions, you will have to select all the correct options in order to get a mark. For others, you will get partial marks for every correct option selected. Either way, you’d have to select all the correct options to get full marks for the question. There are also questions where marks will be subtracted when you select incorrect answers.

A few of the tests won’t let you go back to skipped questions. In some tests, the questions and answer choices may appear in a different sequence every time you repeat the test.

← About the Test Series | About Summative Tests →

PMP, CAPM and PMBOK are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PRINCE2® is a registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. The Swirl Logo™ is a Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited.
All PRINCE2® courses on this site are offered by Accredited Courses Africa (Pty) Ltd.

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