PMI Bangalore Chapter

PM Guest Article April 2021

The PMP® Certification Exam Has Changed: Are You Ready?

Chankit Jain, PMI Volunteer

Chankit has over 6 years of corporate experience.  Accustomed to working in demanding R&D/Aftermarket /Research & Validation project team environments continually meeting the strict deadlines. Excellent at driving technically complex engineering projects, defining main goals, and allocating project tasks. 

The new PMP exam requires you to have experience in, and answer questions from, three domains:

  • People (42%)
  • Process (50%)
  • Business Environment (8%)


Within each of these three domains, there are:

  • Tasks (what project managers need to do) and
  • Enablers (the actions we take to complete the tasks)


The new PMP examination gives even (50:50) representation to:

  • Predictive project management approaches and
  • Agile or hybrid approaches.


The new exam is comprised of:

  • 180 questions (the previous exam was 200) but the same number of questions will be scored.
  • 230 minutes to complete the exam.
  • One additional break for a total of two 10-minute breaks for computer-based tests. No scheduled breaks for paper-based exams.


Questions will be a combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot and limited fill-in-the-blank.

My experience on the new pattern?

Sharing some of the exam preparation materials along with key components of PMP about which one should be familiar.

PMP Exam Preparation

  1. PMBOK
  2. Rita Mulcahy – It has great explanations, and everything is provided in a very easy to read context.
  3. Agile Guide at the end of PMBOK – Read it twice to understand agile methodology and hybrid scenarios.
  4. PMI QUEST Material


Tips for PMP exam

During the exam, focus on what the question is asking and what you will do immediately post it? Also think about it from the PMI code of ethics standpoint. More than 50% of the exam questions are structured in a way to identify what the project manager will do next.

Understand the team behaviour and what is the action one needs to take. As an example, if a team is having a discussion, it might be appropriate to let them resolve it on their own. If the team is having discussion and pressed for time, it makes sense for the manager to help them in solving the issue. If a team is having an argument, the manager needs to step in to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand. If team members are unruly and their behaviour is impacting others, managers might need to escalate to HR.

Focus on what the environment is (agile/hybrid/ predictive) to answer the questions. Agile/Hybrid will make up more than 80% of the questions. Understand different agile practices, especially Scrum. What happens in stand-up meetings, reviews (demo), retrospectives, planning meetings. Learn to differentiate what each individual/team does like product owner, scrum master/project manager, sponsor, and development team.

No need to memorize ITTOs. Try to understand how things flow from one process to another and what the manager is doing at that moment in the question. However, have a firm understanding of all ITTOs including Burnout/burnup charts, GANTT chart, Ishikawa diagram, sensitivity analysis, cost benefit analysis, Kanban board.

There are hardly 1-2 questions requiring calculation. Just understand the terms CPI, SPI, float, compression, fast tracking, resource levelling/smoothing.

All the best for your PMP Preparation.