PMP Exam Preparation Experience Sharing

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If you are concerned about the PMP exam, you would know that the world (except Chinese mainland) officially launched the new PMP exam from January 2021. In January this year, PMI China announced that the new syllabus will be launched for the second exam in 2021 (September).


The importance of the PMP certification is obvious. According to a fall 2014 survey of the US IT industry by US IT training company called Global Knowledge and magazine called Windows IT Pro, the PMI (Project Management Institute) sponsored PMP certification (Project Management Professional) qualification ranked 4th out of the 15 most valuable professional qualifications. The PMP certification  is also the number one among the non-IT security technology certification. The three certifications in front of the PMP certification are all IT security technology certifications.


Once the news came out, many students are very concerned about how to prepare for the new PMP exam and even have anxiety and panic. Will the exam become harder? Can I learn it well? There are more doubts about this new change. These questions will be explained in detail with our research, as well as several post-examination interviews with students from outside the country, and we hope to help every student who is ready to take the new exam.


01 Types of Questions in the New Examination

Question Type

The number of questions in the exam is 180 and the time of the exam is 230 minutes. And all 180 questions are scored. In the question type section, there will be some differences between the overseas and mainland China exams.

(1) Mainland China

A combination of single-choice and directed multiple-choice questions with 6% multiple-choice questions will be tested (There are about 10 multiple-choice questions with clear instructions on how many correct options to choose).

(2) Overseas

A combination of single-choice, multiple-choice, matching and fill-in-the-blank questions will be tested.

Single-choice questions accounted for the largest proportion. The multiple-choice questions, matching questions and fill-in-the-blank questions were about 30 questions.

Conclusion: The question type has changed, but there is not too many changes. The core is still focused on the four-choice single-choice part that we are more familiar with. So there is no need to panic.

Test knowledge

(1) Single-choice questions

The test content focuses on the human dimension more, such as what leadership style should be used by the project manager, how to motivate the team, etc. The scene is closer to the actual work scenario. We are all familiar with this. In fact, it is in the assessment of the soft skills of project managers.


(2) Multiple choice questions

More problem-solving processes or measures, tool selection and team management modules will be tested. For example: how to manage conflicts? How to build a new team? They are all about these questions. In fact, the human dimension of the assessment is the most popular topic. These things we will encounter in the normal work.


(3) Matching questions which will not be involved in the domestic exams

The direction of the test is to match the corresponding scenario to a variety of types of knowledge points in the book. For example, the choice of risk strategy, the responsibility of agile roles, the role of five meetings on the agile, Tuckman theory, risk classification, etc.

(4) Fill-in-the-blank questions which will not be involved in the domestic exams

It examines the stage of the team or the choice of which project to start based on different business values, etc.

Examination dimensions

(1) Question scenarios

Predictive scenarios (50%): The assessment sections focus on integration, quality, resources, communication, risk, and related parties.

Agile and hybrid scenarios (50%): The scope of knowledge is mainly about the agile manifesto and principles, scrum practice meetings, tools. It also focuses on the examination of agile or the hybrid environment team style, conflict management and the leadership style.

Answering principle makes you answer the questions through the keyword identification to determine whether the topic scenario is predictive or agile/hybrid.

The keywords of the predictive scenario are planning, control and process.

The keywords of the agile/hybrid scenarios are user stories, iterative, unpredictable, rapid response, self-organization, sprint and station meeting, etc.

(2) Three major modules

People (42%): Focus on team motivation, leadership dimension for project managers.

Process (50%): Focus on related parties, integration, resources, quality, risk planning and measures dimension

Business Environment (8%): Focus on the business case before the project starts (whether the project starts or not) and the value case during the process (whether the project continues or not).

02 The Preparation Experience of Students who Have Taken the Exam

I started to prepare for the exam from 15th, March, 2021 and then passed the exam on 9th , May, 2021. I took the exam at the local offline examination center.

In the process of preparing for the exam, the main review materials are the distance learning video, model exam questions, sprint question bank and agile knowledge point supplementary materials. In the first month, I choose to watch the video. During the last 3 weeks, I choose to finish the questions sprint and review them.

Here are my advice.

  1. Knowledge learning: The foundation is very important. You can overview the framework of each process or knowledge domain and important knowledge points when you are in the class or read the book to deepen the consolidation of knowledge points.
  2. Experience in solving the problems: You need to learn to locate knowledge domains, process groups, and stages. The most important thing is to locate the problem and apply the knowledge points flexibly when doing the questions. The method of doing the questions is similar to our daily questions in the question bank.
  3. On test-taking: Pay attention to the test time. You need to believe that you can maintain the correct rate personally. Do not obsess about those individual topics. The important thing is to finish the questions according to time so that the overall correct rate is guaranteed.
  4. About Agile: As a practitioner in the traditional industry, in fact, before learning the course, I didn’t understand the agile projects and knowledge points. And there were a lot of agile words in the exam. But don’t worry too much about it. There are very few pure agile knowledge points, and it is more about the examining itself. Other process groups in the context of agile are more tested, which don’t affect the questions.

Liang Xi — Passed the exam in Dubai, UAE on May 9, 2021

I prepared for the exam for 3 months with studying for 1-2 hours a day and a complete day on weekends.

In the first month, I choose to complete the courses learning, do some practice and other basic learning. At this process, laying the foundation is very important. In the second month, I choose to focus on the model test questions and topics involving knowledge points review. In the third month, I choose to complete the sprint of the overseas materials, including additional live courses, overseas question bank and agile knowledge points supplement.

The overseas question bank is relatively close to the real exam. Therefore, in the last month, it is recommended to complete all the overseas sprint materials and overseas question bank provided by Aura.

Huang — Passed the exam in Eastern North America on May 9, 2021

I think the live courses of the Agile are very important. Because this one tells a lot of details of the exam. Basically, I passed the Agile development by a live. Then the most important thing is the overseas exam simulation and homework questions. If you have time, please finish them. After doing that, I suggest that you watch the live broadcast again. Because many details in the live broadcast need to be detailed to understand, and then you can really master them in order to finish the questions.

Liu — Passed the exam in Hong Kong on February 11, 2021

The content of the exam will be more on the practical problem solving. The exam content will rarely appear on the standard professional terms, such as: scope of instructions and so on. Most of them are example analysis to let you choose the actual measures and actions to take. I basically did not encounter the calculation questions when I take the exam. You can reduce the worry of complex calculation problems.

Sally — Passed the exam on May 1, 2021 in Canada

I don’t think I need any special practice. It is good to understand each question. The difficulty level of the two sets of questions outside the country is quite appropriate. The explanation of each question is read once and you can know the general meaning of the person who asked the question. It is better to understand than to finish on the questions.

Liao –Passed the exam in Japan on April 10, 2021

There are a lot of questions that are short. Not every question is long.

Jenny — Passed the exam in Hong Kong on 2021.3.25

The questions were not very difficult. I did the sprint questions and the correct answer rate was 80%. But I felt that the difficulty was the same and it would be a little bit easier


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