Changes to the PMP Exam content

In its continuous efforts to keep the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification relevant to the requirements of the trade, align with the industry best practices and the project manager’s evolving role, the Project Management Institute proceeded with changes to the PMP exam content outline. These changes, which usually happen every 3 to 5 years, are made according to the Role Delineation Study (RDS) that ensures the validity the PMP exam content.

The Role Delineation Study is a large-scale research effort that examines the role of the project manager using the input of subject matter experts and a group of volunteer PMPs around the world. This task force distills the role of the project manager to identify and determine key competency areas. Following the above outcome, a larger scale survey takes place among the practitioners around the world in order to validate the outcomes. These practitioners review and comment on the task force findings through questionnaires. Once these outcomes are validated, the findings are integrated within the exam content outline that represents the blueprint to the PMP exam questions.

Changes to the PMP exam content outline will be effective from 11 January 2016 and will include questions from new topics. To better clarify, these new topics included in the exam content outline are not really new concepts, but most of them are already included in the latest PMBoK edition (5th edition). If you have followed a proper PMP course you have definitely learned, or at least heard, about them. However, there weren't any questions in the exam relating to these concepts up to this point.

One other prominent change made is in the language/vocabulary used to describe the various topics. The other important thing to consider is the change in the weights assigned to each domain relating to the process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing). Furthermore, there are some topics that are removed from the content outline, and consequently, the questions related to these topics will be removed from the exam. The most important thing to consider is that the PMBoK serves only as a guideline and it cannot be used as a standalone resource to prepare for the exam.

The table below shows the new weights assigned to each domain and the new topics included. You can refer to the PMP exam outline handbook to read the details about each new topic.

Initiating

13%

Planning

24%

Executing

31%

Monitoring & Controlling

25%

Closing

7%

Task 2 Task 13 Task 6 Task 6 No new tasks
Task 7
Task 8 Task 7 Task 7

 

In a summary, the key changes in the exam refer to the following topics:

  • Strategy and benefits realisation
  • Project charter responsibility
  • Stakeholder relationship
  • Lessons learned

Keep in mind that the education, experience eligibility requirements and scoring methods for the PMP certification are not affected or changed.

To learn everyhting about the changes visit the PMI's website or download the PMP exam content outline handbook