What is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and exam?
The acronym PMP stands for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate of the Project Management Institute (PMI). It has been around for over 35 years and is one of the major, if not the most important project management certificate worldwide. Despites being a fairly challenging exam, the number of certificate holders is over a million.
End 2019, the PMI announced major changes to the PMP contents to be applied as of July 2020. Based on feedback received from various training providers and due to the COVID situation, changes were pushed back to January 2021.
This article presents what the PMP is, what the changes are and how you can prepare for it.
First thing first: do you need a PMP or in other words, is the PMP worth it?
If you are a project manager, plan to work as project manager or if your job has anything to do with projects, then the answer is a strong: YES!
But why is that? Some key reasons:
- The PMP is one of the most recognized professional certificates by human resource professionals worldwide – useful when you are applying for jobs
- The PMP does not only certify that you have theoretical knowledge of project management but also practical experience – useful to validate project experience
- The PMP is a challenging exam and demonstrates to your employers and peers that you are willing to walk the extra mile – useful to assert your professionalism and commitment to life long learning
- The PMP updated content (version 2021 onwards) ensures that you have not only a good understanding of predictive models of project management, but also agile and hybrid project management methods – useful knowledge wise
- Holder of PMP compared to non PMP holders have a significant salary advantage – always useful to have extra money, right?
Feeling convinced or you were already? Yes?
Then let’s see the changes brought in the PMP 2021…
What are the PMP changes for 2021 onwards?
The PMP version 2021 contains 180 scored questions to answer in 240 minutes with:
- About half of the questions based on predictive models a.k.a. waterfall
- About half of the questions on Agile frameworks, methodologies and practices AND on hybrid (combination of predictive and Agile)
In short, 50% more or less of the exam contents is now based on Agile or a combination of it with predictive models. This is a MAJOR shift compared to the previous PMP versions which were only centered around predictive models. This important change was actually done to ensure that the PMP stays relevant as a professional certificate as over 50% of projects worldwide are now conducted in an Agile manner. For more on this, you can consult our still relevant article “Will the PMI eat the Agile world in 2020?”
This also means that the current PMP trainer providers have had to adapt their offerings during the last few months to cater with this change. As mentioned earlier, the changes to the PMP were postponed to January 2021, mostly due to the heavy work requested by the changes.
How to prepare for the PMP exam?
Besides attending a PMP preparation course which we highly recommend, the best way to prepare for the exam is to try as many mock exams as possible. There are various mock exams available from different providers which you can find online for free or a small fee. However, as the first exam is not yet out, there is not much guarantee on how well those mock exams cover the exam contents or mimic the PMP questions.
A great source currently for a proper training and for exam contents is the Project Management Institute (PMI) online course which is available here.
On our website, we recommend as potential help for you:
- Our PMI ACP questionnaire whose questions are certainly relevant for the revised PMP. The PMI ACP is based on the Agile Practice guide which is bundled with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) which is one of the main source of the PMP exam
- Our Scrum questionnaire can also help you to understand the basics of Scrum, the most popular Agile framework in the world
Furthermore, we have published on our webshop a PMP mock exam of 200 questions + answers for a small fee to help you on your PMP journey, see below!
You can download our hand-crafted Project Management Professional practice exam questions and answers package as well. The questions are based on the official material and resemble the actual questions you might get during the official exam. The packages includes 200 carefully written questions, their answers and the relevant explanations.
If you want to make sure that you have done the best possible preparation, do not hesitate to request the PDF file by placing your order with the button below. You can pay with PayPal and Credit / Debit Card, and you will receive the email with the download link directly after the payment.
The file contains the questions, their answers and explanations with reference to the PMBOK, and as a bonus, an Excel file, which you can use to track your answers and to automatically see if they were right or wrong.
If needed, you can also print the mock exam questions in high quality for practicing offline.
We hope that this article will help you in understanding what changes were brought to the PMP and how to prepare for it.
In case you are still not sure if you should go for a PMP or not, you may want to explore the following articles which present two different alternatives:
- Best Project Management certificate: PMP vs PRINCE2
- Is the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) worth it?
Good luck and thank you for following us through!