PMI has made many changes to the PMP exam. PMI has made it clear that you cannot take the PMP exam in the old format, including changes to the application process, supporting material, and the exam itself. After that, the exam will transition to the new format permanently beginning January 2, 2020.
Joe Keim and Mauro Zafalon, who have decades of combined managerial and training experience and trained hundreds of PMP aspirants around the world as GreyCampus instructors, discuss these changes and what it means for those who want to be Project Management Professionals in the coming year.
Mauro explains that PMI’s key goal with this update is to make it easier for candidates from all over the world to take the PMP exam and become certified. PMI does this by standardizing training and providing a set of uniform materials for instructors to use.
The exam now tests the candidate’s ability to manage projects. PMI made this clear to ensure that only managers with real experience can take the exam. This is in contrast to candidates who simply attend a bootcamp and don’t have any work experience as project managers. Joe explains that PMI will be testing for this by asking questions that are situational and story-based, asking the candidate what a PM would do under the given circumstances. Joe mentions that PMI may also be looking for video responses.
The exam’s length and the fact that the 200 questions are all answered in one go is a major problem for test takers. PMI offers a smart solution to this problem. A ten-minute break is possible halfway through the exam. However, questions that were attempted before the break are inaccessible.
Joe suggests that test takers review these questions before moving on to the next set.
Joe and Mauro discuss the possibility of taking the test at home, given the pandemic lockdown. The PMI’s proctored exam requires the test taker to answer a few questions and take photos of the surrounding area. They also need to pan the monitoring camera around in order to find study material. Students had to account for their involvement in initiating, planning and executing projects. However, PMI has made it much easier to apply. The requirements are now only 36 months after a bachelor’s degree and non-overlapping experience. Students would need to describe their projects and their roles. Mauro points out that the interface for applications now requires less information, with a few additional fields like the budget and size of the project.
Joe suggests that you cover the following points when it comes to project description and role:
What were the most memorable things you did?
What were the deliverables of the project?
What were the timelines? What was the procedure for resolving any delays?
What were the results of the project?
Mauro says that this field can be answered in less than 500 words, with a minimum number of one hundred.
Joe and Mauro make the last point about the reduction in the requirements for years of experience for students who have taken courses that are recognized by GAC (Global Accreditation Center). For GAC accredited universities and courses, the requirement for courses with 3 or 5 years experience would be dropped to 2 or 4 years instead. GAC-recognized courses would also count towards the 35 contact hours.
The examination checks your experience and that you are able to pass.