Looking to enhance your career as a Project Management Professional requires you to acquire skills sets on the field and a vigorous study of the core and knowledge areas to gain the coveted certificate. If getting your Project Management Certification in 2018 is on the top of your to-do list, here is a detailed look at some of the things that will change about the exams in the next year.
Let’s just start with the basics which by now nearly everyone should know
A brief on PMP – its first recognition and demand was in the construction industry, where trained professionals to macro- and micro-manage all aspects of an organization’s project was felt. From there the need for PMPs grew and today, all industries, including the IT sector, depend upon these professionals to oversee a project to its successful fruition. PMP Certification is granted by the Project Management Institute.
The Book – The PMI releases a guide PMBOK or the Project Management Book of Knowledge to help students master five core areas – Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing. Within these broad categories fall the knowledge areas which a candidate understand the scope and management of time, costs, project integration, schedule, quality, resources, communication, risk, procurement, and stakeholders.
The Exam – The exam which is held on select days of the year at PMP certified, Prometric testing centers. Candidates have to appear for online exams which test their understanding of 10 knowledge areas. The test is spread over 200 questions which test theoretical, practical and intuitive ability of a candidate to manage real-life like scenarios.
CHANGES TO PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM IN 2018
The PMI with an aim to keep the certification relevant and its practices up-to-date, the PMPBOK and the exam pattern will reflect current practices. There is a buzz about the changes, for the exam to be held on 26th March, 2018 and after. If you are studying as per the old format, it is advisable to appear for the PMP exams before the above date. However, once you miss the deadline, here’s a rundown on the PMP@Exam Updates.
You can checkout more here:- Changes in the PMP Examination Starting 2018
PMP Eligibility – There has been no change in the PMP Certification eligibility for candidates seeking the credential. It is based on education and experience in the field. If you have a Bachelor’s degree (four years or equivalent), then the experience required is 4500 hours of work of leading and directing projects. If you are not a graduate, do not be disappointed, a high school diploma or secondary degree requires you to have 7500 hours of leading and directing projects. Both require project management education of at least 35 hours, certified by a PMI recognized institute.
Application – The process will remain unchanged in 2018. You have to fill in the application form at the PMI website. Verification of education, as well as experience, is done online by the organization.
PMBOK – The PMI has released the sixth edition of the PMBOK. The basic changes to the book and the exam are outlined here:
-Addition of a chapter with a focus on the role a project manager plays. Competencies, skills, and experience will all matter to understand the questions which focus on this area.
-Change in name of two knowledge areas
- Time management will now be referred to Schedule management
- Human Resource Management will now be referred to as Resource Management
- Four new sections have been added to every knowledge area, namely:
- Trends and emerging practices
- Tailoring considerations
- Considerations for Agile and Adaptive Environments
Preparing for the exam – Study notes and patterns remain the same, despite the new additions to the PMBOK. You can choose to do the PMP course yourself, and use the PMI website and online study to complete your 35 contact hours. The other option is to join a training program which will help you with the Professional Development Units or PDUs. Experienced trainers will be there to help you understand the PMBOK, the concepts of the core areas and a deep understanding of the knowledge areas. Things to keep in mind while preparing for the exam –
- Seek help if studying on your own and facing difficulty with conceptual clarity. PMPs within your organizations or online forum helps are a great way to get answers to queries.
- If you have joined an institute, don’t be shy to ask questions, even the obvious ones. PMP certifications cost you time, money and effort for the preparation – any doubt should be cleared.
- Set time out from your busy schedule to study PMBOK
- Practice makes perfect, so give mock tests, as many as you possibly can
- Lastly, remain confident and cheerful while giving the exam. Nervousness will lead to mistakes
- Ensure your mind and body is rested before the exam to give it your best shot.
The PMP Exam – A fifteen minute period is given to assess the paper, and then you will get four hours to complete 200 questions. Most candidates are able to assess the paper in five minutes and use the remaining 10 minutes to write notes on a sheet of paper provided to help with calculation. However, going forward this practice will be disbarred. However, the rule against jotting notes or ‘brain dump’ as it is called is allowed during the remainder of the four hours. Since PMP does not give negative marks for an incorrect answer, you need not worry if you get an answer wrong.
The Result – Those taking the paper-based exam will get their results in four days while the online test result is declared almost instantly. You will get one of the three levels:
Life after the PMP certification – You may get more challenging opportunities once the certificate is received along with job promotions and better pay scales. As a manager leading a project, you will not only add value to your organization with your enhanced knowledge, you will be better able to manage schedules and resources.
PMP Re-Certification – Once you have acquired the PMP certification, every three years you need to earn 60 PDUs, for renewal of the certification.
In the end, whether you opt for the exam now or after 26th March, 2018, there is one thing you should be clear of Project Management Certification is easy to achieve, as long as you put in the effort to study and practice.