PMI Issues New Exam Content Outline

PMI issued a new Exam Content Outline in June, 2019 which provides the rules for exam questions effective June 30, 2020.

Exam Content Percentage Question Source
Current Post June 30, 2020
Domain % Domain %
Initiation 13% People 42%
Planning 24% Process 50%
Execution 31% Business 8%
Monitoring & Control 25&    
Closing 7%    

What does it mean for the exam?

The 6th Edition PMBOK was the most significant change since I studied the 3rd Edition for the exam. When the exam aligned with the new edition in 2017 the questions remained very similar. The older questions needed only to be updated to be in accordance with the new PMBOK with deletions and additions for several sub-process and concept changes.

To prepare students for the exam I emphasis 2 principles, thoroughly understand and know the PMI system, and train like you are going to run a marathon. The way you train is to systematically cover all the material multiple times, lay your hands on as many questions as you can, practice like you are in the timed testing environment; and when you get a question wrong nail down why. If you do that, you should never get it wrong again. There is no silver bullet for the exam, no short cut; the test is very challenging.

The 6th Edition added a great deal of leadership and soft skill material. This was a precursor to the Exam Domain changes published last June that are effective next June 30, 2020. I don’t believe that to be problematic. But, there will be more leadership soft skill emphasis to questions that the existing practice resources do not yet capture. PMI also provides an Agile Practice Guide as a companion manual when you receive your 6th Edition PMBOK. Before June 30, 2020 the exam will continue with a few questions that test that the PMP candidate recognizes an Agile/ Adaptive life cycle environment when they see one. That was new in 2018 and also a precursor. The PMP exam is not an Agile exam. The new exam formats will present half the life cycle scenarios as Predictive and half Hybrid and or Agile. It also means you can’t ignore the Agile Practice Guide. This shouldn’t be problematic either; again the existing practice test material will contain few examples of this format in the near term.

Some believe the current type questions will be compressed into the 50% Process Domain. There are plenty of current exam questions that are compatible with the new content outline in all three of the new Domains.  I believe that any student that learns and understands the PMI systems and studies hard will pass their exams after June 30, 2020.

Available Venue

The Central Ohio PMI Chapter is sponsoring a Boot Camp from 30 September through 3 October, 2019. The class includes a 950 slide handout book for lecture note taking and a Rita Mulcahy Exam Prep 9th Edition system. In addition to the 380 exam questions from Rita there are 2 x 100 question practice exams and 10 Knowledge Area quizzes. The Chapter is also sponsoring a 10 week, Tuesday evening prep course beginning  1 October and concluding  3 December, 2019. The fee has been lowered to $1325.00 for members, $1525.00 for non-members. The total training cost for 35 contact hours, membership, and exam for members is $1,884. Go to the Chapter web site at 2019 Events for more information and application.        

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