The PMP Exam Changes After 11 January 2016. Here’s What This Means For You.

Business meeting Depositphotos 9139188 xsEvery five to seven years, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® performs a “Role Delineation Study (RDS)”. This is basically a big survey among project managers like you and me from around the world with the goal to identify what it is that we do on our projects. As a result of the most recent RDS, PMI now has a pretty accurate picture of the tasks that we project managers perform, as well as the knowledge and skills required for our job.

PMI has used this information to update the PMP Examination Content Outline. This document is the basis for the PMP Exam. And because this document changed, the PMP exam also has to be updated.

The update to the PMP exam is scheduled for 11 January 2016.

Let’s first look at why this change is happening and then we will examine what this means for you. You’ll be surprised at how little is actually changing.

Why is The PMP Exam Changing?

PMI wants to ensure that the PMP Exam is an accurate reflection of the tasks, knowledge and skills project management professionals actually perform and need on a daily basis. If PMI didn’t regularly add new methods and remove outdated ones, then PMP aspirants like yourself would still be tested on obsolete tools and techniques that were used 30 years ago when the PMP exam first came into being.

The PMBOK® Guide Isn’t Changing

This is important: The PMP Exam is based on the PMP Examination Content Outline and NOT on the PMBOK® Guide. Yes, there are many overlaps, but they are not 100% the same and the exam content outline even has some unique sections not covered by the PMBOK® Guide. The PMBOK® Guide itself, however, is not changing.

The PMP Exam Structure Isn’t Changing

The PMP Exam is a computer-based exam. You have to answer 200 multiple-choice questions in four hours. There is no change in this aspect of the PMP Exam.

The Domains and Score Report Aren’t Changing (Much)

When taking the PMP Exam, you will be tested in the five domains of Initiating (13%), Planning (24%), Executing (31%), Monitoring & Controlling (25%) as well as Closing (7%). At the end of the exam you will receive a score report that tells you how you did in each domain and whether you passed or failed the exam.

There is just one minor change here: Executing went up from 30% to 31%, while Closing went down from 8% to 7%. This is negligible and should not affect how you prepare for the PMP exam.

The PMP Exam Eligibility Requirements Aren’t Changing

The PMP Exam eligibility requirements remain the same. You still need to show the same amount of education and experience as before. You can find the details on page six of the PMP Credential Handbook. No change.

The Exam Changes on 11 January 2016. No Ifs, Ands or Buts About It.

The change was originally scheduled to take place on 1 November 2015. This was not enough time for everyone involved to get ready, so PMI changed the date to 11 January 2016.

The current exam will remain active until 11 January 2016. After 11 January 2016, only the new version of the PMP exam will be administered. In other words:

•    If you are taking the exam on or before 11 January 2016 you will take the current exam.
•    If you are taking the exam after 11 January 2016 you will take the new exam.

Your Study Materials Will Change

The new PMP Exam Content outline, includes some modifications to existing tasks, removal of a few tasks and the addition of eight new tasks. Some of the main drivers for the exam changes include:

•    Emphasis on business strategy and benefits realization
•    Values of lessons learned
•    Project charter responsibility
•    Enhancing stakeholder relationship.

PMI states that about 25% content change is based on new topics from the 8 new tasks, which were previously not tested. Note that in addition there are other changes to overall exam questions, which will be updated that are not tied to these 8 new tasks.

One of the reasons why PMI has moved the exam changeover date to 11 January 2016 is to give Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) more time to include all the new concepts into their training materials. It is their responsibility to ensure that their training materials are up to date. And so, as a student, this should not concern you too much. You should simply be able to expect that your provider ensures that your training materials are current. That’s what you are paying for.

My Recommendations For PMP Students

1.) Take Your PMP Exam before 11 January 2016
Plan your PMP exam studies in such a way that you can take the exam before 11 December 2015, which is one full month before the changeover. In this way, you avoid the last minute rush in January when everyone wants to take the old exam before it changes. This timeframe also gives you an extra four weeks to recover and retake the exam, if worst comes to worst and you don’t pass on your first try.

2) Study the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
You must study the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition no matter if you are planning to take your exam before, on or after 11 January 2016. It is still the primary source to learn about exam concepts.

3.) Use Study Materials From PMI Registered Education Providers
We and other PMI R.E.Ps are working fast to update our study materials to cover the new concepts that are being introduced. And because of this, you and all other PMP students don’t have to worry about the changes at all. Instead, before you buy study materials from a PMI R.E.P., ask them to confirm that the materials are current first.

4.) Read The PMI FAQ:
Read the PMI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page if you want to delve into all the details.

Conclusion

My final recommendation to you as a PMP student is this: Don’t worry about the coming change too much!

We have done an extensive comparison between the old and new examination content outline and I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing “big” coming. Yes, there are a number of exciting concepts like lean principles, regulatory impact, or emotional intelligence listed in the new outline. But most likely you have already heard of these new tasks, knowledge and skills, or you may even be practicing them at present.

Also remember that PMI is continuously updating the PMP exam. For example, some time back questions about “delegation” started appearing on the exam. PMI didn’t officially announce this and so nobody made a fuss about it. But now that PMI is officially announcing an update everyone gets anxious.

So instead of agonizing about this change, a more positive approach for you as a PMP candidate is to simply purchase and use the right study materials that cover all the concepts you need for your exam. Focus your energy on your studies and don’t worry about the update.

Freebie Friday: The Agile PrepCast – Free Lesson on YouTube – Lean Software Development

freebie FridayThis free lesson of The Agile PrepCast will be describing the Agile method called Lean. The term “”Lean Software Development”” was first used in the book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, written by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. Lean Software Development is a translation of lean manufacturing and lean IT principles and practices used in the Toyota Production System and then adapted for software development. Seven basic principles form the foundation of Lean Software Development, which in turn are implemented on Agile projects by employing a set of 22 supporting tools.

Watch the Free Agile Lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5gN66KFtaI&hd=1

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Narender Jayachandran, PMP

PMP exam lessons learned Lessons learned on becoming a PMP shared to us by Narender Jayachandran, PMP.

I am glad to say that I passed the PMP exam today and now it is my turn to pass on the wisdon. It took me 4 weeks to prepare. Here is how I did it.

Resources: How to Pass Your PMP on your First Try, Andy Crowe
PM Prepcast by our very own Cornelius Fitchner
PM Prepcast exam simulator
PMBOK Guide
(I just did the end of chapter questions in Rita Mulcahy)

Method: I usually read a chapter in Andy Crowe’s book, grasped the basics and then I would listen to the corresponding podcast from PM prepcast. This really helped me. I then attempted the end of chapter questions in both Andy Crowe’s book and Rita Mulcahy’s book. If I made mistakes I would consult the text book again.

Read more here: https://www.project-management-prepcast.com/kunena/lessons-learned/4202-passed-pmp-exam-with-4-weeks-of-preparation

PMP Exam Tip: Take a PMP Exam Prep Class

PMP exam tipClasses that offer extensive and comprehensive coverage or the material required for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam should go onto your short list. The primary benefit of these sessions is that you can interact with the trainer (make sure that he/she is PMP certified) and with other project managers in the classroom studying alongside. This interaction ensures you get a firsthand experience on how to approach situations and the underlying principle that govern them.

The best courses are those that meet once a week over the course of a couple of months and allow you to do self-study in-between and really soak up the material over time.

Through this classroom type learning, you are given a weekly “checkpoint” to see how much of the lessons are really learned and retained. This is important because the PMP Exam tests your ability to apply the theory to real-life project management situations through varying scenarios in the exam questions. A large number of free tests are available online that you can use to assess if you are ready for the exam. But free tests only go so far, and you should consider subscribing to an online exam simulator that will really test your knowledge and ability to pass the exam. These online exam simulators teach you the necessary time-management skills for this 4-hour exam and the detailed reports allows you to review your performance and learn the correct answers for questions you missed.

If you have not decided on which PM Exam course to get, begin with an internet search. Here you get to choose which one is best suited for you and start preparing for your certification exam. Though often expensive, an in-classroom PMP exam prep course is one of the best ways to begin preparing for the PMP Exam.

Free PMP Exam Sample Question

Free PMP Exam Sample QuestionWhat is risk tolerance?

A. Risks created by tolerating customer behavior
B. Willingness to accept varying degrees of risk
C. Risks created by zero tolerance
D. Being tolerant if stakeholders are willing to accept risks

——————–
HINT: Look for the “least strange” answer.
——————–

All our questions are updated to the latest PMBOK® Guide standard. Stop by at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/freesimulator and try the PMP Exam Simulator free for 3 days. We also offer 110 free questions at http://www.free-pm-exam-questions.com. We are a PMI Registered Education Provider.

Answer and Explanation:
The correct answer is B.

Do you feel that three of these choices are odd? Correct, they are and they were included intentionally. Sometimes you can expect to find some “funny” answer choices. Risk tolerance is the stakeholders’ willingness to accept varying degrees of risk.

PMP Exam Coaching Class Early Bird Offer​: Until August 23 Only

We are now offering another 5-week long GROUP PMP Exam Coaching class to help you ace the PMP exam! Here are more details:

Your Coach: Dan Ryan, MBA, PMP

Dan has delivered in person and virtual PMP Exam prep classes since 2011 and has developed a global reputation as a leader in one-to-one and one-to-few PMP Exam Prep coaching and tutoring.

Start Date/Time: Sunday, August 30th 2015 at 8pm EST
Schedule: Every Sunday at 8pm EST for five weeks
Price: Order before August 23: $229.99 — Order after August 23: $249.99

Package includes:

  • 5 hours of coaching (1 hour per week)
  • FREE PMP Exam Formula Study Guide
  • FREE PMP Exam eBook Bundle (PMP Exam Prep Essentials, PMP Exam ITTO Memory Jogger and The PMI Exam Audit Kit)

Important: A max of 8 students will be accepted for this class. The class will be held online using WebEx.

Limited time only: If you sign up before August 23, 2015, you will get an early bird discount of $20!

To order please click here and select “Group Package” (item on far on right).

To receive the discounted price you must use discount coupon coach0815 during checkout and click on “validate”.

To learn more about PMP Exam Coaching please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching or email Dan Ryan at dan.ryan@osp-international.com

Freebie Friday: The Free Agile PrepCast

freebie FridayLooking for a way to prepare for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Exam?
Try The Agile PrepCast for Free!!

With the FREE version of The Agile PrepCast, get the following PMI-ACP Exam Prep Resources:

  • Free Agile PrepCast video lessons
  • PMI ACP Exam Overview lessons
  • PMI-ACP Exam Passers Lessons Learned
  • PMI ACP Exam Tips

Sign up now and and see what you’ll get with the full version: http://www.agileprepcast.com/free

Featured PMP Exam Lessons Learned from Leron Williams, PMP

PMP Exam Lessons LearnedHis journey and lessons learned on becoming a PMP shared to us by PM PrepCast student, Leron Williams, PMP.

I am happy to say that I passed the PMP exam on my first attempt. It was a long sometimes uncertain journey, however I eventually found out about the PM Prepcast; made the purchase and my confidence started to grow after watching the very first video.

In my country the PMP credential is only now really becoming as recognized as it is around the world, so one institution decided to start a class, which I signed up for to earn my 35 contact hours and prepare for the exam, turns out I wasted more than 3 months with this class and lecturer since she was not a PMP and therefore was somewhat clueless about the PMP exam.While she had received project management training, she could not provide the relevant guidance to the class for preparing and taking the PMP exam. I eventually expressed my disappointment to the said institution since I finished that course with less confidence that ever. On the positive side I realized it was time to develop a strategy for intense independent learning. When they eventually got a PMP to teach the course by then I was well advanced in my preparation and was asked to join the class, which I refused to do.

During the course I started off of course reading the PMBOK guide, however this was quite a task since its not the most “exciting” material. However after several weeks I made it thru after which I started answering some question just to see where I was. I was nowhere!

Read more here: https://www.project-management-prepcast.com/kunena/lessons-learned/4194-passed-july-24th-2015

PMP Exam Tip: The PMP Exam Is Largely Based On The PMBOK Guide

PMP Exam TipRemember that even though the PMP Exam is largely based on the PMI’s PMBOK Guide you should not only know all of the concepts from here, but you must be able to analyze and answer the situational exam questions with a combination of practical project management knowledge and with what the PMBOK Guide says. Generally speaking, going against PMI principles is never a good option. At least not during the PMP Exam. It is also better to choose the ethical option even though they may seem to be the tougher choice.

Here is what to expect on the exam: The PMP Certification Exam consists of 200 Multiple Choice Questions, which must be answered within 4 hours. These questions are randomly generated from a question database which has many thousand questions. Out of 200 questions answered, 25 questions are pre-test questions which will not be used for scoring. These pre-test questions are randomly inserted by the computer into your exam with the idea of evaluating whether these will be used as “real” questions in future exams. This is a normal and valid way to test new questions on actual exam takers and see how they respond. But because you don’t know which ones are the pre-test questions it is important to answer all the 200 questions to the best of your ability.

Since 25 out of 200 questions are not used for scoring, effectively, 175 questions are used for scoring on the exam. However, PMI does not release a “passing score”, so we don’t know how many questions must be answered correctly in order to pass. After the exam you will be given an examination report on which you can see the areas where you were Proficient, Moderately Proficient and Below Proficient. It also tells you whether you passed or failed.

So the problem is this: If we don’t know how many questions you have to answer correctly in order to pass the exam, how can you prepare? My recommendation is that you answer as many sample questions as you possibly can before you take the exam and gain your confidence. Only by taking many mock exams can you raise your understanding. By doing this you will come to a point where you will feel ready and know that you are ready. This is the point where your studies and practice exams will have given you the level of understanding and confidence and you will answer all PMP Certification Exam questions correctly by applying both your practical experience from being a PM and the theoretical know how from reading the PMBOK Guide.