PMP Exam Changes

Kirsten Lora, Global Knowledge Worldwide Product Director for Business Training, explains the changes to the PMP Exam that will take effect on August 31, 2011.

Good morning. This is Kirsten Lora, Worldwide Product Director of Business Training at Global Knowledge. Today I’d like to talk to you a little bit about the PMP exam. As you may know, it’s changing soon. In fact, it’s changing in August. And we want to talk today about why it’s changing, when it’s changing, and what the changes actually mean.

So the exam is changing in August. August 31 there will be a new exam that is released. For those of you that are a little risk adverse, this means you might want to take the exam now. If you can’t take it before Aug 31, I suggest that you pay attention to what is changing so you can study and make sure that you are ready.

It’s not that the exam has major changes, but you will see that some things are moving from one section to another. The reason for the changes is that the the PMI conducted what is called a role delineation study. This was an international survey of project managers that asked them what are the skills and abilities that are important to you today? They conduct this survey every two to three years to try to get a pulse about what’s changed in our profession.

What they learned is that they needed to adjust what is tested on the exam to make sure that it is accurate for today’s marketplace. So how the exam has changed is that we dropped one of the areas that is being tested. It used to be that professional responsibility was a separate area of concentration. And what they’ve done is they’ve moved that into the other five lifecycle phases. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be asked questions about professional responsibility and ethics, but it means that they’ll be asked in the context of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Specifically if we look at each section, let’s talk about what changes.

In initiation, the current exam, before August, has 23 questions. When it changes August 31, it will go up to 26 questions.

Currently the planning section has 46 questions. After August 31, you’re going to see 48 questions in that section.

The section on executing is another section that has an increase in questions. We’ve gone from 55 questions to 60 on the future exam.

Monitoring closing is the section that has the most changes. Currently there are 42 questions in that section, and it will be going to 50 as of Aug 31. So if you wanted to spend a little more time in that area, it might be worth it.

The area of closure is one that’s actually decreased in the number of questions, but just by one. It just means that the role delineation study discovered that skill and ability is not as important as ones that increased in the area of their scope.

Finally, the area of professional responsibility used to have 17 questions on its own. Those 17 questions are gone because, as we just discussed, they’ve been increased in the other areas. So I hope you guys are ready to take your PMP exam before or after Aug 31. You now know what you need to focus on. Thank you.

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