New PMP Exam Format: Ultimate Guide to PMP Exam Changes in 2016

new pmp exam format guideUpdate Sept-2015: While PMP exam format specific change is not included in PMBOK guide, Cornelius has confirmed that there will be a FREE upgrade to PM PrepCast incorporating all the information required to be studied for the new exam.

Update Aug-2015: PMI has postponed the date of new exam from 2 November 2015 to 12 January 2016.

This means that there is still time to get your PMP under current scheme of things! So, Stay calm and get that PMP! 🙂

Yes, there are changes brought about by PMI in the PMP syllabus from June-2015. In this 3-part series we’ll look at everything you need to know about the new PMP exam.

If you are planning for PMP exam this is the best time to plan for it and get your PMP credential before the new exam format kicks in.

Why you should avoid new PMP exam format?

1. Existing study material becomes incomplete

All the PMP material you find on the internet are all catering to current version of PMBOK and current syllabus.

All the study materials, tutorials, courses, tips, cheatsheets – everything. When the new syllabus rolls in from 12 Jan 2016, all these will become incomplete immediately. Then it takes many months to get the updated data.

2. How does the new exam look like?

PMBOK-5 itself is not the syllabus, or the text book for entire PMP study. It is just one of the (probably most authentic) reference books for PMP. The syllabus is given by PMI in Examination content outline. PMI is changing this document now, not PMBOK. So even after the updated syllabus rolls in PMBOK remains the same (may be for more than an year or two).

The point to note here is that syllabus updated only add few areas to the syllabus and do not remove anything that is already there. Therefore you will not find the current study resource useless – but it will be ‘incomplete’. You’ll need to study a bit of delta to get up to date with the latest PMP syllabus.

So don’t worry too much if you’ve invested in any books. It’ll still be useful for you. If you have invested with any REP (registered education providers – whose PMP teaching content is certified by PMI) please ask for an upgrade. PM PrepCast gives a free upgrade if you’ve invested in it in the recent past.

At this point, there is no sure-fire way to imagine the changes to actual exam itself. People who take the new format will be the ones who would experience first hand, and might have a position of disadvantage.

If you follow the game of cricket – it’s like the job of opening batsman. He does has to find pitch behavior, pace of the bowlers, ball movement – everything first hand. Batsmen down the order will be able to reap the benefits by watching opener play.

While cricket provides distinct advantage to the opening batsmen, in PMP it’s better to bat down the order 🙂
Point being – get your PMP credential before end of December 2015 – earlier the better.

3. The Grey area

Here is, at this point, the grey area that is making it hard to plan for PMP exam after 12 Jan 2016 –

The syllabus is changing (we’ll go into details of tasks being added in a bit) but there is no official word from PMI on the changes to PMBOK.

Not to worry, I am expecting a response from PMI on my query so do come back to this page to get the latest official word on this.

Update – PMI confirmed by email that there are no changes to PMBOK.

Before we move ahead to see actual changes, it pays to understand how these changes come about.

First of all, we know that PMI is the one that brings about these changes, right? How do they do it – it’s fascinating to know the process.

PMI does this using something called RDS – Role Delineation Study. This research study understands the changes to the role of project management professional across various industries.

What does RDS (Role Delineation Study) do?

RDS is conducted at regular intervals, and is conducted by an independent agency called Professional Examination Services.

They survey Project Management Professionals (PMPs) across the world, across various industries to validate real-life updates to tasks, knowledge and skills.

If there are significant changes found in this research study, then PMI decides to make changes to Examination Content Outline.

This is done for various certification courses such as PMP, PMI-ACP etc.

So we have understood the reason now – PMI wants to update the PMP syllabus to reflect the real project management scenario in the world. It wants to assess what is most relevant to practice as the Project Management profession evolves over time.

This in turn keeps PMPs updated with the latest project management practices, so they can get the best out there and implement in their own projects getting success quicker and with more certainty.

This increases the value of PMPs and their capacity to contribute in the industry, and increases their need.

Here’s how it happens –

How does PMI make changes to PMP exam 2015

New PMP Exam Changes in 2016

While RDS is a regular affair changes to PMBOK are expected once in 4-5 years. The last change was in 2013, so major changes should not be expected until, may be 2017 or so.

Now that we understand what leads to changes in PMP syllabus, let us see what are the real changes in the new PMP exam format.

Remember, the new PMP exam comes into effect on November 2, 2015 January 12, 2016.

PMP exam efforts can get quite hard if you miss the bus now and opt for an exam date post January 12, 2016. If you are on the fence for PMP exam, it is time to make up your mind and jump into the fray.

Click here to see review of one of the BEST online video course for PMP preparation – PM Prepcast. Also see if you qualify for discount and/or my free ‘PMP Last Mile’ books.

Download this entire guide in PDF format by sharing this page! Please use the button below.

Feel free to schedule a free Skype session with me to plan for your exam.

In this part you understood how new PMP exam is planned by PMI.

Read the other two posts in this 3-part series.
Part 2: What are the Changes done to PMP Syllabus in 2016 to plan how to plan for new exam prep?
Part 3: New PMP Exam Tips: Ultimate Guide to PMP Exam Changes in 2016.

[SneakyAffiliate sneakyaffiliateurl=”http%3A//” sneakyaffiliatecookiexpdays=”1″ sneakyaffiliatesplash=”Would%20you%20like%20to%20learn%20more%20about%20the%20popular%20PM%20PrepCast%20Video%20course%3F” ] [/SneakyAffiliate]

like the post

<-- Liked this post? Help your friends by sharing this using social network buttons. Thanks for being awesome!

OSP sidebar

PMP Study Books

Help Run This Blog At No Cost To You.. Use this box to search and purchase your stuff on Amazon. Thanks!

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Sam March 24, 2016, 2:53 pm

    Howdy Shiv,
    Goodday, kindly help with professional advice and current study materials for PMP.

    • Shiv Shenoy March 29, 2016, 4:11 pm

      Howdy Sam! 🙂
      Please visit the Start Here page from the menu to get started. Do not hesitate to write to me directly (use the Contact form/Skype schedule on this page/direct mail shiv-at-pmexamsmartnotes-dot-com) for any help you may need with the prep.

      Good luck!

  • Nihar November 24, 2015, 10:00 pm

    Hi, I would like to know as the syllabus is going to change on Jan’16, will there be new books publish on Jan 2016 or the current books available in market would be sufficient ? Pls help ..based on that i will start prepare .. Thanks.

    Shiv Shenoy:
    Hi Nihar,
    Most of REPs update their content to align with the changed syllabus. For instance, Cornelius has promised to give a free upgrade to his PM PrepCast when the new exam rolls over.


  • evias mabara August 13, 2015, 7:31 pm

    Hie Shiv
    How long does it take to prepare and write the PMP exam. I have been waiting to start and want to ask you this: can I start from scratch now and still beat the 2 November deadline.

    • Shiv Shenoy August 14, 2015, 8:25 pm

      Hi Evias,

      In my view, with proper study resources and daily study commitment it is very much possible to clear your PMP exam by end of October, even if you start from scratch. I am confident that all the resources shared/suggested on this blog and accompanying FB Community will help you do this effortlessly.
      A good place to start is the ‘Start Here’ menu above.
      Feel free to write to me for any help you may need.