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PMP Exam Changes: What’s New

Fall is just around the corner (or spring, if you’re in the southern hemisphere). Either way, change is in the air. In a post for PM Hut, Andrea Brockmeier outlines the latest changes to the PMI certification exams. She covers the general why, what, and how of each change.

What and Why

It’s not uncommon for PMI to change its exams according to Role Delineation Study (RDS) or the Examination Content Outline (ECO). Overall, the five domains, or “process groups,” will remain. Some tasks in each domain have been modified or deleted, and new tasks are created. Knowledge and skill areas are also altered. More specifically, agile and business analysis are working their way further into the RDS, meaning more questions covering those topics.

In sum, outright changes include the benefits of analysis and realization, a new “opportunity” angle on risk management, more emphasis on communicating with stakeholders, and a “lessons learned” section. Also, starting November 1st, the ECO will increase its emphasis on some existing areas like these:

#1. The PM contributes to the development of the charter; they don’t create it themselves.

#2. The term “stakeholders” is broad and can include many different people. Prior ECO use of “sponsor and customer” has been replaced with “relevant stakeholders.”

How (to Study)

Brockmeier recommends giving the new ECO a good look before taking the certification. On p. 11, there’s a cross-cutting knowledge and skills section that pretty much contextualizes the bulk of scenarios presented in the exam. Combine ECO with the PMBOK Guide and the Watermark Learning PMP Certification Bootcamp manual for the best results while studying.

When (to Take the Exam)

Since the exam is new, don’t expect anyone to have a lock on it just yet. Of course, if you’re near the end of your preparation, go ahead and take the exam. But if you’re simply contemplating a certification, it would be beneficial to wait until 2016, at which point more will be known about specific changes.

What isn’t Changing

And just to dispel any further worries, the following aspects of the exam will not be changing: qualifications for the exam, scoring, the exam report, the application process, the cost, and the timing of test results. Now that you know what’s coming, you can breathe easy and welcome the change.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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