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No more "brain dumping" allowed during 15 min tutorial time before PMP Exam


PMI enforces this new policy since Oct 20, 2016.


PMI staff member Gregg Shaffer is Manager of the R.E.P. Program and posted the following update:

Brain-Dumps at Prometric Test Centers 
Over the past few weeks we’ve received a few questions regarding the practice of “brain dumps” while taking a PMI exam. Here is PMI’s policy on this matter and what will be enforced at Prometric testing centers:
• Testing candidates can start to utilize their scratch paper/note boards once the exam has officially started
• Doing a “brain dump” during the 15 minute tutorial period or prior is not allowed
• All scratch paper/note boards will be collected at the end of the testing session


Cornelius Fichtner summarizes everything you need to know about this change:



PMI moved the date of the exam update to January 12, 2016 to allow all stakeholders more time to prepare.

Well ... this stakeholder was ready in time anyway ...


PMP® Exam changes on November 2, 2015 January 12, 2016


PMI updates each certification every 3-5 years to ensure the certification remains relevant and reflects current practice
The 2015 Role Delineation Study (RDS) provided an updated description of the project management professional role
 More than 2300 practitioners from 96 countries responded to the PMP validation survey, representing every major industry 
● The changes are primarily focused on business requirements, benefits, and stakeholder relationships and communication in line with the split of the Communications Knowledge Area into Communications and Stakeholders in PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition


● As a project manager you need to be aware of WHY the project is important to the performing organization, so you can manage stakeholders accordingly, and deliver project success
● The current exam (aligned with Aug 2011 Exam Content Outline) will remain active until January 11, 2016
● From January 12 only the new version of the PMP exam (aligned with June 2015 Exam Content Outline) will be administered
● Changes include:
  • No change to the 5 domains 
  • Minor adjustment in proportion of questions per domain
  • Modifications to tasks, a few tasks were removed, and 8 new tasks (Initiating +3, Planning +1, Executing +2, Monitoring & Controlling +2)
  • Addition of 17 new domain specific Knowledge and Skills
  • Addition of 26 new Cross-Cutting Knowledge and Skills
  • Candidates will continue to receive exam score immediately after testing


● These changes will result in 25% new exam content 


Here's the link to the Exam change information on PMI's website.


I prepared a presentation that contains the above information as well as specifics about which tasks, knowledge and skills were added.  Feel free to download for your personal use


The changes do not affect the CAPM exam, because the CAPM exam is based on the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition, while the PMP exam is based on the Exam Content Outline.


Most changes affect the role of the project manager.  Therefore we updated companion document #4 - PMRoles Definedon 12/29/2015, with specific tasks for each process group (domain), in line with the June 2015 Exam Content Outline.



PMBOK® Guide  4th - 5th Edition Comparison
This overview is for those that have studied the fourth edition, but didn't take the exam in time before the update on July 31.

Important update about the new
PMProcess Flow™ poster
based on PMBOK® Guide  Fifth Edition
Available now.  Click here to order.
We received the new posters from our printer on May 10, and are shipping these now.
The companion documents are updated and available as well.
Available now.  Click here to order.


PMBOK® GuideFifth Edition free download available to PMI members



Upcoming PMBOK® GuideFifth Edition - what will change?


A 10th Knowledge Area has been added; Project Stakeholder Management expands upon the importance of appropriately engaging project stakeholders in key decisions and activities.

• Project data information and information flow have been redefined to bring greater consistency and be more aligned with the Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom (DIKW) model used in the field of Knowledge Management.

• Four new planning processes have been added: Plan Scope Management, Plan Schedule Management, Plan Cost Management and Plan Stakeholder Management: These were created to reinforce the concept that each of the subsidiary plans are integrated through the overall project management plan.

Changes to processes:


• Direct and Manage Project Execution—changed to Direct and Manage Project Work

• Plan Scope Management process—added

• Verify Scope—changed to Validate Scope

• Plan Schedule Management—added

• Plan Cost Management—added

• Plan Quality—changed to Plan Quality Management

• Perform Quality Control—changed to Control Quality

• Develop Human Resource Plan—changed to Plan Human Resource Management

• Monitor and Control Risks—changed to Control Risks

• Plan Procurements—changed to Plan Procurement Management

• Administer Procurements—changed to Control Procurements

• Plan Stakeholder Management—added

• Manage Stakeholder Expectations—changed to Manage Stakeholders Engagement

• Control Stakeholders Engagement—added

• Work performance information changed to work performance data

• Work performance measurement changed to work performance information

• Positive Risks—changed to “opportunity”


PMP Exam change effective on July 31, 2013

CAPM Exam change effective on July 1, 2013


PMI has informed the R.E.P. community that the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition will be published on December 31, 2012.


PMI will update the PMP exam on July 31, 2013.  This means you can take the exam for PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition until July 30, 2013. If you take the exam on or after July 31, 2013, it will be based on PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition.

The CAPM exam will be updated on July 1, 2013.


Here's the link to a FAQ page about the new standards and exam changes on PMI's website:


PMBOK 5 update from PMI's Kristin Vitello
We are currently scheduled to publish the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition in January of 2013.

It is PMI's operational process to deliver credential examinations based on a new standard six months after the new standard becomes available.  Therefore, the approximate timeframe for PMP exams to begin to be delivered based on the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition would be July 2013.   

When an update to a standard, such as the PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition, is released, credential exams are updated to reflect changes in the professional reference.
It is estimated only a small percentage of examination items/questions require updates that directly address actual changes in the standards. Of course new questions are being always being produced, tested, and then used to replace older questions on a periodic schedule.

*Please remember that standards are only one reference in the full project management body of knowledge, therefore a sudden change in the examination does not occur.

PMI redefines PMP exam experience criteria on April 17, 2012
Anyone planning to take the PMP exam should download and read the latest version of the PMP Handbook.  The wording of the experience requirements on page 8 has been updated in a way that can only be interpreted as PMI raising the bar. The description used to be "leading and directing project tasks".  This has been changed to "leading and directing the project", clearly stating that you need to have worked as project manager (regardless of your title).  The Project Management Professional Examination Specification has not been updated.
This change will only affect those that haven't submitted their application yet.  According to a recent applicant, the online application has been updated as well to reflect this change.
Download and read for yourself in the PMP Handbook (p.8) which was updated on April 17, 2012. 

PMI charges $70 exam rescheduling fee as of April 1, 2012
If you reschedule or cancel your PMP or CAPM exam within 30 days of the exam date on or after April 1, you will have to pay a $70 fee.
More about this new fee in the PMP Handbook (p.24) and CAPM Handbook (p.24), both of which were updated on Feb 28, 2012. 
PMI also posted FAQs about this change.

--------------------  UPDATED ON APRIL 17  --------------------
Do you have enough qualifying experience for the PMP® Exam?
This question comes up a lot in my classes and in LinkedIn Groups. 
There is one resource that is very helpful, which is referred to on page 8 of the PMP Handbook:


Typical tasks for each domain (process group of the project life cycle) are listed here.  Leading and directing the project, as identified with tasks, knowledge, and skills (including the cross-cutting knowledge and skills) as listed here qualifies as project management experience.



How can you satisfy the education requirements for the PMP® or CAPM® exam?


Education hours can come from formal project management courses, but also related courses and training.  Examples are communications training, quality courses, soft skills development, negotiation skills training, finance for non-financial professionals, to name a few.

Any training that is related to project management or any of the knowledge areas, processes, or tools, can be used.  This can be provided by your company, college courses, training companies, PMI chapters, etc.  Make sure you have documentation in case your application gets audited.


Here's a posting by John Reiling on with a very complete discussion of this topic.



PMI updates the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Exam


Follow this link to PMI's website to be informed about upcoming 

changes to the PMP® exam starting 31 August 2011.

Short version:  

PMBOK® Guide  4th Edition will remain in effect, but 30% of exam content will change due to testing of the Professional and Social Responsibility content area (Domain 6) in every domain rather than as a separate domain on the examination.


What you need to know about the audit process
What PMI wants you to know about the audit process.  You have to scroll down a bit for "PMI Audit Process"
Here's a pretty useful blog I found on LinkedIn about the audit process

Questions about exam questions?
When you apply for any PMI credential exam, you are committing to abide by the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. You also agree to abide by the PMI Certification Application/Renewal Agreement.  Both can be found in the PMP Handbook and CAPM HandbookAmong other things, the Certification...Agreement states: "Furthermore, I agree not to discuss, debrief or disclose, in any manner, the specific content of the PMI examination questions and answers, to any individual." 

Preparation for the PMP® Exam
I commented on a discussion in LinkedIn's The Project Manager Network Group:


Your confidence level should be based on your score on some good quality full length practice exams.  If you are scoring below 75% your lack of confidence is justified.  However, these tests help you highlight the areas you don't have a firm grasp on, so you can study in a more focused way.  If you are consistently above 80%, you should feel good about yourself, keep it up, and pass the exam.  Something most people have difficulties with is memorization, and the "brain dump".  Start building a list of things (formulas, etc) you need to memorize, and write these down a couple of times a day.  You have more than enough time to build a routine.


If everything somehow fails, and you're still not confident a couple of days prior to the exam, you can reschedule without penalty up to 48 hours prior to your exam (at least in the US).  The sky isn't going to fall, and there is life after August 30.  Just wait for the dust to settle, and reschedule sometime in October.  By that time PMI should have repositioned the bell curve, and started giving you the exam score immediately following the exam again.

Another website with exam prep information and free exam questions.
Get past the fact that some spaces are missing between the words, the questions are good.  As always, when you don't agree with an answer, check it in the PMBOK® Guide  and other study materials.  Chances are that from PMI's perspective you are wrong, which is all that counts for the exam.
I commented on a discussion in LinkedIn's Project Manager Networking Group:
First make sure you understand the prerequisites, and do qualify to take the exam. Then immerse yourself: self-study, study groups, formal training, whatever you can get, but work on it seriously at least a couple of times a week for a couple of hours at a time. Work through one knowledge area at a time and move on after you have a good grasp of it. When you're done with the first go-around, do it again (use different book) and go deeper. Depending on your background you may find useful materials on the PMP resource page on my website There are free downloads, a bunch of good links and also a chart I developed that ties everything together. Above all, take practice tests untill you are able to score 80% or higher. Good luck with the study and the exam!
Here's a list with websites that offer free practice exams (from the above mentioned discussion):
Hi, there are a lot of sites who offers free questions, my recommendation is that be careful because not all of them are good. Try to score 80% using Rita's tests. Also do 4 hours test several times before your exam, it will allow you to get used to answer 200 questions (believe me, when you have answered 100 questions, you'll be very tired). These sites offers free questions...

And the best for me it's
, by Cornelius Fichtner.

Good luck on your test, tell us when you have those 3 letters after your name!!!
2/7/2010: One more posting of free exam questions from above mentioned group.
This is a full 200 question exam complete with timer for the real exam feel!
Another list of sites with free exam questions
from LinkedIn's PM Learning & Certifications Group:

More websites with free PMP® Exam questions

PMBOK 5 questions
CAPM® Exam questions
Exam prep websites:
Another comment on a discussion in LinkedIn's Certified Project, Program & Portfolio Managers :
Spending TIME is more important than spending money.  As far as more training is concerned, it depends on your need (if any) for formal education hours.  If you need more hours you can find qualifying online training as well.  On top of any training (online or class room) you need to get ready to take the exam. The best strategy is to read the PMBOK as well as another book (Rita, Head First, Kim Heldman, whatever suits your preference).  Take one knowledge area at a time and practice with exam questions.  When you're done with all knowledge areas, take some 200 question exams until you're comfortably scoring 80% or better.  Take the exams at different times of the day/evening to see what works best for the real deal.
Good luck!


Exam preparation books


First and foremost get and read PMI's PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition, officially titled A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fourth Edition.  When you become a PMI member, you can download this in pdf format for free.  I do recommend to get it in print and wear it out before the exam.

Following are books that I find helpful and that I have heard many strong recommendations for:


PMP® exam prep books


Project Management Institute, 2013
Rita Mulcahy  RMC Publications, 2013
Andy Crowe  Velociteach, 2013
Aileen Ellis  AME Group, 2013 
Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman  O'Reilly Media, 2013



CAPM® exam prep books

Rita Mulcahy  RMC Publications, 2013
Aileen Ellis  AME Group, 2013  
* contents organized by Knowledge Area

Project Management books (basics/beginners)
Project Management books (for after the exam)
Robert Wysocki  Wiley, 2013
Strategic Project Management Made Simple
Terry Schmidt  Wiley, 2009
Gregory Haugan  Management Concepts, 2002


PMP® Exam Passing Score MYTHS
The 61% passing score is history as of edition 4, and more eye openers about the exam:
Reference & study materials for PMOs,
Project Managers, and PMP® students
Based on PMBOK® Guide  Fifth Edition
Q'vive has developed the following Project Management reference resources:
  • PMPrimary Formulas 
  • more about this free download
  • PMPlan'n' Docs 
  • more about this download 


  • PMTerms Defined 
  • more about this download

  • PMRoles Defined 
  • more about this download
  • PMPrep'n' Plan 
  • more about this download

    PMIITOs Debugged 

    more about this download

  • PMProcess Flow™

    "The ultimate PMP® road map and study guide." 



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