PMP Examination Changes for 2011
The PMP Certification exam, based on the PMBOK® Guide - Fourth Edition, is expected to change by up to 30% in August, 2011. Although this year's change is not as extensive as when a new version of the PMBOK® Guide is released, it will still affect the preparation plans of those who want to take the certification exam. This white paper provides a brief overview of the changes along with an explanation of why PMI has initiated the update.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) prides itself as the largest project management organization in the world and for the comprehensive, standards-based Project Management Professional (PMP) certification it offers to project managers. In the PMI PMP® Examination Content Outline (September 2010), PMI says it "aligns its process with certification industry best practices, such as those found in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The PMP credential is also accredited against the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard."
PMI uses a role delineation study as the basis for identifying the knowledge, tasks, and skills required to perform the role of a project manager. "While the PMP Examination Content Outline and the PMBOK® Guide have commonalities, it is important to note that those involved in the study...were not bound by the PMBOK® Guide. They were charged with defining the role of individuals leading and directing project, using their experience and pertinent resources to help in this task," says the PMP® Examination Content Outline.
The following information attempts to summarize the impact of the 2009 role delineation study on the current PMBOK® Guide - Fourth Edition PMP examination. The PMP examination changes described here will be implemented on August 31, 2011.
First, the examination content outline has been reduced from the current six domains to only five, and the distribution of questions across the remaining five domains has been redistributed.
|Old Domains||% of Items/ Domains||# of Questions / Domain||New Domains||% of Items/ Domains||# of Questions / Domain|
|Monitoring & Controlling||21%||42||Monitoring & Controlling||25%||50|
|Professional & Social Responsibility||9%||17|
The total number of questions on the examination will remain the same (200). Additionally, the inclusion within the examination of 25 pre-test questions that do not count in the scoring of the examination will continue as in the past. This means that success will continue to be dependent on the candidate's ability to correctly answer 175 of the 200 questions on the examination.
Each of the domains addressed by the PMP examination contains tasks, knowledge, and skills that are required for competent performance. A significant list of what are referred to as "cross-cutting knowledge and skills" is also specified in the content outline. These cross-cutting knowledge and skills are the knowledge and skills that are used in multiple tasks and domains.
The following tables summarize specific changes in the examination content outline and list the cross-cutting knowledge and skills.
|Item||Change from Current|
|Number of Domains||
Reduced from 6 to 5
|Professional and Social Responsibility||
Eliminated as a domain
Shifts focus of Task 1 from "Conduct project selection methods" to "Perform project assessment based on available information"
Increases the number of tasks covered from 7 to 12