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The Perennial Question: The New PMBOK is soon out – Should I write the Exam now or later?

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Question: I  am new (beginner) to PMP and was looking to start my preparation for PMP with PMBOK 3rd Edition.

However, I’ve found on this forum that the 5th Edition is due by the end of 2012. Hence, would require the forum member’s suggestions on the following:

1. If I do study with:
– PMBOK 4th edition
– XXXX based on PMBOK 4th edition
Can I still cope up with the 5th edition of PMBOK, as I might look to take the test in Nov?Dec 2012?

2. Will the below study guides be still relevant with PMBOK 5th edition, or most of the study would get scrapped with 5th edition of PMBOK?

Please advice.
Thanks in advance


Answer 1: from PMHUBadmin

every time a new PMBOK is released and used as base, you have to re-study everything. PMBOK is the base for 60% of the exam.

Only those topics NOT in PMBOK – you do not need to restudy eg general management: delegation, Theory X, Y and Z, Professional Responsibilities etc.

All the rest like ITTO etc are dependent on PMBOK

Nobody can tell you what to do, but if I were you I need only less than 2 months to study. Might as well finish everything and write the exam in October. Everytime a new thing is introduced – there will be temporary chaos and I do not want to be in chaotic beginning.

What you really have to ask yrself: how do you get all those PMP Exam Questions based on the new PMBOK. In the first 3 months they are not even there yet. So you cannot even practice before the exam. think about it! No LL  also to tell you about the new Exam, so what are you ging to do?

Answer 2 from Umesh

Historically, The PMP examination changes around a year after the new edition of PMBOK is released. The PMBOK 3rd edition was released on Oct-31, 2004. The exam changed on Sep-30-2005. So in all probability, you are on the safer side, but then, start preparing as fast as you can…Who knows? The Learning Curve Theory might apply here and the exam can be changed sooner !

I completely agree with PMHUBadmin about the initial chaos after the new edition of PMBOK / New version of the examination. When the new version of exam started after the 3rd edition of PMBOK, the passing score was 141/175 (80.5%). They later change the passing score in Nov 2005 to 106/175 (60.5%). Imagine someone giving the exam in Oct 2005 and scoring 130/175, getting the “Sorry you have failed…” screen and after a month of facing the cruel world, getting a letter over the mail from PMI that he is now a PMP – No fun in it. Nothing can beat the pleasure of seeing the “Congratulations you have passed !” screen, and walking into home victorious !

The second problem is that you will never be sure of the material (especially mock tests) that you get online online when you are preparing for the exam. I encountered the problem of facing some questions from the old edition of PMBOK questions during my mock tests and screamed foul whenever I evaluated my answers and found that my answers were wrong just because they were based from the the old edition of PMBOK. Now, with yet another edition of PMBOK out there, it may get crazy.

My advice to you is, Start studying ASAP – You don’t have to slog. Read the material like you are reading a novel. Don’t prepare as if you are forced to prepare. Just keep the focus on your goal, keep paddling and soon you will get to your destination !

Latest NEWS (Nov 23, 2012) : The new PMBOK 5 – When and What?

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1 comment to The Perennial Question: The New PMBOK is soon out – Should I write the Exam now or later?

  • PMI has announced that the test based on PMBOK5 will not be available until July 2013. And we know from seeing an exposure draft that instead of there being 9 knowledge areas there will be 10. So, more to study. And further, we know that they’ll mix up the Inputs, Outputs, Tools and Techniques enough that PMBOK4 will effectively no longer be a useful study tool.

    So my advice would be if you have the time and bandwidth to study now, study and take the test ASAP. No reason at all to wait. If you feel like you’re missing something by not studying PMBOK5, well the new knowledge area is Stakeholder Management, something currently covered under Communications. So all they’ve really done is pulled an already existing piece of knowledge out and elevated it to its own knowledge area.