PMP Exam Content Changing – November 1, 2015

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PMP Exam Content Changing – November 1, 2015

Like This Blog 0 Steve Fullmer
Added by July 20, 2015

PMI is changing the question emphasis on the PMPC exam effective November 1st, 2015. There will be no exam transition overlap as occurs with most PMBOK edition updates since this is NOT a PMBOK update. The exam remains based on the PMBOK 5th Edition™ and the additional reference materials upon which our course is based.

In other words, only the relative distribution of content on the exam will shift on November 1st, 2015. This should have little impact on candidate preparations if you took your pre-requisite 35 hours at Interface Technical Training. The Interface Technical Training Course covers all relevant content for either exam format. We will likely shift delivery during the week to more heavily focus on content being emphasized starting on November 1st, although the exam remains based on the five process groups and ten knowledge areas as delineated in the PMBOK 5th Edition.

Overall, the emphasis shift appears minor. The content additions within the five process groups will be slightly more significant. For those of you who have attended my course: As always, ‘before and during’ will continue to require more emphasis than ‘after’.


Percent of Questions

Through 10/31/2015

Percent of Questions

Starting 11/1/2015

  Initiating  13  13
  Planning  24  24
  Executing  30  31
  Monitoring and Controlling  25  25
  Closing  8  7


You can find a copy of the new Exam Content Outline on the website. The press release covers changes approved June 15, published July 15, and in effect November 1, 2015.

The exam will continue to be based upon the PMBOK 5th Edition. This exam update is based upon a Role Delineation Study (RDS) that re-defines the current role of a Project Manager across industries and business types. The RDS changes the content emphasis on the exam to assure a current recipient is prepared to perform their professional role upon credential receipt. The material covers the same type of career evolution and updates that a credentialed PMP should follow to obtain Professional Development Units and maintain their PMP credential.

We previously mentioned the change in PMI Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). You can review additional changes on the PMI certification site which focus on the PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership, Technical Project Management, Strategic and Business Management. The exam changes appear to be consistent with the knowledge, skills and behaviors required of project managers in an evolving business environment.

PMI released a webinar through Brainshark on July 15, 2015 that provides an overview of the exam changes that will go into effect on November 1, 2015. The webinar is about 15 minutes long, so there is no need for me to repeat the content available through the webinar. I will however, highlight and clarify a few elements.

First and foremost, if you have taken the PMP Certification course from Interface Technical Training in the past six to twelve months, you have already been exposed to many of the changes that will appear on the exam starting in November. We continue to share best practices in project management within our classroom, as well as industry trends and directions.

The tasks listed in the Examination Content Outline have been updated and slightly modified. The PMI announcement released July 15th may be found at CERTIFICATION EXAM UPDATES: What You Need to Know. The exam content outline listed on the PMI website still reflects the August 2011 requirements. You can find the June 2015 requirements (which will take effect on November 1, 2015) via the press release page or here.

The press release refers to the addition of 8 tasks not previously incorporated within the Examination Content Outline. I have displayed the eight tasks relative to the five process groups in the following table.


The 8 “new” tasks as listed across the five process groups above will receive greater emphasis on the exam. The webinar suggests that the addition of these tasks will create 25% new content on the exam as related to the new tasks. The exam remains the same format, question count, scoring mechanism, and duration.

These eight tasks are already defined and explained in the PMBOK 5th Edition™ and Interface Technical Training PMP course.

  • Identify key deliverables based on business objectives (Initiating, Task 2)
  • Conduct benefit analysis with key stakeholders (Initiating, Task 7)
  • Inform stakeholders of the approved project charter (Initiating, Task 8)
  • Develop a Stakeholder Management Plan (Planning, Task 13)
  • Manage information flow by following the Communication Management Plan (Executing, Task 6)
  • Maintain Stakeholder relationships (Executing, Task 7)
  • Capture, analyze, and manage lessons learned (Monitoring & Controlling, Task 6)
  • Monitor Procurement activities according to the Procurement Management plan (Monitoring & Controlling, Task 7)

As I have previously discussed, the creation of the Stakeholder Engagement Management knowledge area, the separation of tools from the communication management knowledge area, and the role of the Project manager’s interaction with stakeholders will continue to influence the evolution of the PMP Certification. The new exam changes are directly in keeping with this evolution.

As suggested by Aileen Ellis, those of us who create test materials including questions have a lot of work ahead of us.

The one change you can count on from Interface Technical Training, is fresh content that will help you to prepare for your certification and help you in your efforts to expand your project management career.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional CertificationWindows 7Windows 8.1 and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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