Background to New PMP Exam

The Sixth Edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK® Guide was published in September 2017, and a revised new PMP exam that adopts the Sixth Edition standards will start on March 26, 2018. Thus, any PMP exam after that date will address the latest “Project Management Professional (PMP)® Examination Content Outline,” published by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMBOK® 6th Edition Changes

The new standards of the PMBOK® Sixth Edition have many changes from the Fifth Edition, which can be summarized as follows:

  • The total number of processes increased to 49. Three new processes were added, one process was removed, and one was repositioned.
  • New groupings for the process tools and techniques
  • New handling of the two major inputs and outputs: the project management plan and the project documents
  • Renaming of two knowledge areas
  • Changes in responsibilities related to the project charter, and more focus on lessons learned, benefits realization and stakeholder relationships

Click Here to View 10 Free Sample Questions for the New PMP Exam

PMP Exam objectives

All the PMP exam questions are mapped against the PMP Examination Content Outline (ECO) to ensure that an appropriate number of questions are in place and that the exam measures all elements of the project management profession. The ECO includes the question percentage per domain and the Role Delineation Study.

Number of Questions per Domain

For each domain or process group, the following question percentages are expected in the exam:

  • Initiating 13%
  • Planning 24%
  • Executing 31%
  • Monitoring and Controlling 25%
  • Closing 7%

The PMP exam has 200 questions and should be completed in four hours, so it is expected to have the following number of questions for each domain or process group:

  • Initiating: 26 questions
  • Planning: 48 questions
  • Executing: 62 questions
  • Monitoring and Controlling: 50 questions
  • Closing: 14 questions

Defining the Exam –  Role Delineation Study

The Role Delineation Study (RDS) defines the tasks, knowledge and skill statements required to meet industry-wide standards in the role of a project manager. The Role Delineation Study guarantees that each examination appropriately measures all elements of the project management profession.

The RDS is described for each domain or process group of the project management in the ECO.

Although much of the knowledge outlined in the ECO is also covered in the PMBOK® Guide, there is some information that is unique to the ECO.  Therefore, PMP candidates should consider the RDS when preparing for the exam.

Preparing for the New PMP Exam

Exam preparation is different from attending training, reading or studying a book. Exam preparation requires focussing on the knowledge on which the exam will be built. You will need to understand many details and remember many terms and definitions. Preparation for the new PMP exam requires laser focus on the PMBOK® Sixth Edition and the ECO. It mandates having a lot of practice on the expected questions covering the new standards in the Sixth Edition. The following topics will address the exam in more detail.

PMP Examination Content Outline

  • Get the latest PMP Examination Content Outline from the PMI website. You can access it through this link.
  • Review the percentage of questions for each domain.
  • Make sure that you are familiar with the RDS for each domain and that you understand the given details for each domain.


  • If you have previous training on the PMBOK® Fifth Edition, you will need to attend a new training session based on the Sixth Edition to be oriented on the new standards.
  • If you are planning for the training required to get the 35 contact hours, get explicit information from the education facility that the training is created based on the PMBOK® Sixth Edition.
  • Do not be misled by questions on the Fifth Edition or earlier editions, as many of them will not be correct for the Sixth Edition. Refer to questions or simulators that are built specifically on the Sixth Edition to practice in an environment closer to the real exam.

Study materials

  • The first element in your study material list is the PMBOK® Sixth Edition; you need to be familiar with 49 processes, ten knowledge areas, and five process groups. The process inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTO) are important for the exam. They may be difficult to remember, but if you understand their usage in the processes and the relationships between the different processes, you will be able to select the right answer for the ITTO questions.
  • The ECO, as mentioned earlier.
  • The CertBlaster PMP 6 – this is the exam simulator with 600 practice questions and answers. It addresses the new exam coming out in March and each question references PMBOK® Sixth Edition. Our exam simulator will be released in March too. In the meantime, you can consult these 10 free PMP practice questions.

General considerations

  • ITTO has major changes in the Sixth Edition, so do not practice with ITTO questions created for previous editions.
  • Follow the project management processes and the project manager role as described in the PMBOK® Sixth Edition. Your way of thinking should be adapted to these standards to be able to answer the questions correctly.
  • Create a study plan to help you focus on what to do until the exam. This plan should include:
    • Review of the PMBOK® Sixth Edition with highlighting of important points.
    • Review of other books that you might buy or material from any training that you might attend, provided that the books and training are based on the Sixth Edition.
    • Complete two to three full PMP exams that are based on the Sixth Edition with a four-hour time limit for each. This will give you a feeling of the real exam. This is a very important step that should help you identify weak areas.

You can create your own materials, tables, notes, etc. to have quick reminders for important points within a short period.

Click Here to View 10 Free Sample Questions for the New PMP Exam

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