PMI (Project Management Institute) released PMBOK Guide (A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge) 7th edition in August 2021. The 7th edition is the latest version of the PMBOK Guide but PMP (Project Management Professional) exam still continues to follow PMBOK Guide 6th edition and Agile Practice Guide.
There is a strong likelihood that PMI might change the PMP certification exam early 2023 and align it to the seventh edition; especially after the release of Process Groups Practice Guide in October 2022.
PMI follows PMBOK Guide and Agile Practice Guide terminology to design PMP exam questions, These books are considered as main reference books for the exam. However, PMP credential exam is not completely based on the PMBOK Guide.
The PMP exam is based on Exam Content Outline (ECO), which illustrates the curriculum of the PMP exam. The current PMP exam is based on the ECO that was published in January 2021. The exam was last updated on January 2, 2021 and has not changed since then.
I have written this post to talk about the relationship between PMP exam, PMBOK Guide, and ECO. It also contains information about the impending PMP exam changes that can happen in 2023.
Table of Contents
PMBOK Guide 7th is the Latest Edition
The latest version of the PMBOK Guide is the 7th edition. It was released on August 01, 2021. Prior to this, PMBOK Guide 6th edition was released on September 07, 2017.
Back in September 07, 2017, PMI had also published Agile Practice Guide along with the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide.
PMBOK Guide along with Agile Practice Guide are considered to be the primary reference books for the PMP exam. PMI has not released a newer version of the Agile Practice Guide when it released 7th edition of PMBOK Guide. 2017 version of the Agile Practice Guide remains remains the current version.
As we will find out in later in the article, the seventh edition of the PMBOK Guide is very different from the sixth edition. One of the major differences is that seventh edition gives a cursory overview of the Process Groups (PG), whereas the bulk of sixth edition is written around PG and processes. In order to fill the PG gap, PMI published a brand new Process Group Practice Guide in October 2022.
You can download free pdf copy of all the PMI publications if you have taken the membership of PMI. You can also buy a paper copy of the Guide from Amazon if you are not comfortable reading from a pdf file. You can click on the following links to check prices on Amazon.
The fact that PMI continues to allow PMBOK Guide 6th edition downloads validates that the PMP exam is still aligned to the older edition. However, the release of Process Groups Practice Guide points to PMP exam changes in the near future.
PMP Exam Changes in 2023
PMP exam is likely to chage in the early part of 2023. PMI has still not made any formal announcement about the exam update but it has started the process of retiring the PMBOK Guide 6th edition. The 7th edition will likely to become the primary reference material for the exam in the beginning of 2023.
Many people are under the (wrong) impression that the PMP exam is based on the PMBOK Guide. The credential test is not based on any particular book but follows PMBOK Guide as a major reference study material.
The PMP exam is based on the Exam Content Outline, which is like a syllabus for the PMP exam. The current version of ECO was published in January 2021. PMI revises ECO after every 4-5 years.
ECO lists down domains and tasks that are tested in the exam. The current ECO lists three domains viz. People, Process, and Business Environment. Each domain has multiple tasks.
PMP exam questions are based on ECO tasks. The following table shows the percentage of PMP questions coming from each domain.
Percentage of Items on Test
II. Business Environment
You can can look at my post on structure of PMP exam to understand the format of these questions.
Reference Books for the PMP Exam
The PMI has published an article containing list of reference books to prepare for the exam.The reference list contains PMBOK Guide as well as many other books.
Here is a quote from that article.
The exam is based on the PMP certification exam content outline (ECO), not the (PMBOK® Guide) or other reference books. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – 7th Edition will now be a reference to inform the development of the exam items. However, before any validated exam item is added to the exam, there is a very rigorous and thorough review and field test cycle. This process takes multiple months.
We can clearly deduce that the questions aligned to PMBOK Guide 7th edition are still a few months away. PMI is likely to make a formal announcement before they change the exam to 7th edition.
How to do PMP Exam Prep?
As per the PMI’s reference list, there are numerous reference books to study for the PMP exam. Out of these PMBOK Guide is the major reference. So, one should study at least PMBOK Guide to prepare for the exam as it is kind of impossible to study all of them.
The best thing to do is to enroll into a PMP exam oriented project management training from a reputable provider like us. The training will give you all the necessary tools and knowledge to pass the exam.
You can consider our PMP certification training course as it is competitively priced and comes with a host of features that will enable you to pass the exam in your first try. Here are a few benefits of our course.
- 100% pass guarantee.
- Unlimited trainer’s support.
- Training is currently aligned to PMBOK Guide 6th and 7th and Agile Practice Guide.
- Training is always kept updated for latest exam.
- Tips to clear the exam in your first attempt.
- Personalized PMP exam preparation schedule.
- Support for filling the PMP exam application.
PMP is an expensive and difficult exam. Its difficulty level increases because of uncertainties around the study material and passing criteria. A number of aspirants do not study for the exam or attempt it because of these uncertainties.
In our opinion, you should not get perturbed by the things that are not in your control. Rather you should focus only on what is in your control which includes choosing a good training program and studying hard for the exam.
Delaying the exam because of uncertainties is not really worth it. The benefits of the PMP certification far outweigh the uncertainties, hard work, and perspiration. People with PMP certification tend to get high returns on their investment.
The cost of delaying the PMP exam is very high. With each passing day you are potentially losing a 16% increase in your salary.
Our PMP 35 online training course includes every study aid possible. It is designed to prepare you for the real PMP exam.
The cost of our PMP program starts at USD 99 in the USA. Our training is unparalleled in the industry. It will allow you to pass the PMP exam on your first attempt. If you fail, we will refund 100% of your training fee.
When do you think PMI will revise the exam for PMBOK Guide 7th edition? Would they revise it in ealry 2023 or will they wait for a few more months? Do you think PMI will give enough notice to the PMP aspirants before they change the exam?
We would love to hear your thoughts.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive a small commission but at no extra cost to you. Other than this, we have not taken any payments or gifts for putting any affiliate link. We belive our recommendations can genuinely help you in prepraing for the certification exam.