Why You Should Get PMP® Certified Before the Exam Changes

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Strategy Execution Blog

The following blog is written by Strategy Execution, VP of Product Development and Sales Support, Joe Czarnecki

In late August, Project Management Institute (PMI)® announced that the last date to take the current Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Exam configuration is June 30, 2020. Therefore, starting on July 1, 2020, everyone will be tested with a new and updated exam.

A question we’ve recently gotten asked since this announcement is, “Should I get certified before the exam changes or should I wait until after?” The answer: depends. To help, we laid out below two questions to ask yourself to guide you.

Have you started studying for the existing exam?

The exam changes reflect the updates to the Exam Content Outline – which has both structure and content changes. So, the upcoming changes to the exam are significant.

The existing exam structure, as it has been for decades, is built to measure your knowledge on the overall process of project management through five domains, which are related to the process groups — Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.

The most notable changes on the new (July 1, 2020) PMP® exam include:

  • The new exam structure will be based on three new domains — People, Processes, and Business Environment.
  • All the tasks and enablers the test measures will be realigned. There are three new tasks and 26 new enablers.
  • 50 percent of the new exam will focus on adaptive project management (scrum, agile, Kanban, lean, and hybrid – otherwise known as Agile Practice Standard).
  • The other 50 percent comes from prescriptive project management – content from the PMBOK® Guide, Sixth Edition.

Because there are some serious changes happening to the exam, if you’ve started studying for the existing exam, you will want to take it before June 2020. And make sure to take Strategy Execution’s PMP Exam Power Prep Courses to help you pass. If you take one of our courses and don’t pass the exam within 30 days, you can take the course again for free.

Do you have time to study for the PMP® Certification Exam?

To pass the PMP® Exam, you need to know the PMBOK® Guide knowledge areas and process groups very well – it’s not real-world or common-sense logic.

For example, the exam asks you about a scenario where there are five steps. The scenario sets up where you have just completed step two of the multi-step process and asks you what the next best step is: analyze, prioritize, or compare. Using common sense, this can get confusing because they all roughly sound equivalent but according to the 700+ pages of the PMBOK® Guide, only one of these is the correct answer. Questions can get tricky.

It is also important to plan ahead, because if you take the exam before July 1, 2020 and fail, if your retest happens on July 1, 2020 or later, it will be on the new exam. There are no grandfather clauses or exceptions that PMI® has made on this issue.

So, we highly advise you to prepare and take the current PMP® Certification Exam if you have:

  • Started studying and are invested in learning the existing PMBOK® Guide,
  • Can make the time to study and take the exam before the rollover date.

As the old adage states, better the devil you know then the one you don’t, or in other words, it may be better to deal with a difficult situation that you know something about than with a new situation filled with uncertainty.

Once you pass the PMP® exam, what are the next steps?

As project managers know, follow through is important. Once you get your PMP®, be sure to keep it current by getting your 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three-year CCRS cycle!

Strategy Execution has a multitude of PDU awarding courses and content to help you change your certification into action, to put all your knowledge into practice and keep you on top of the ever-changing world of project management.

Good luck on your exam and come back and see us soon!

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Strategy Execution

TwentyEighty Strategy Execution, the global authority in project leadership training, equips your people with the complete package of technical and leadership skills — the mindset, adaptability,
and expertise to lead and execute projects in any context. With curricula in adaptive strategic execution, project management, business analysis, contract management, and more, Strategy Execution partners with your organization to build skill sets and change mindsets. It’s time to declare a new standard of performance. For more information, visit strategyex.com.
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