Changes in PMP exam after 11th January 2016

Every 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.

 

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 outdates 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 is not 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 examination structure is not 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 domain and score card are not 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. No change.

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.

 

PMP Examination eligibility requirement is not 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. So there is no change here either.

 

The Study material 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.

 

The Exam is changing get ready for 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.