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TOPIC: Which PMBOK For PMP Exam?

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 1 year 8 months ago #29824

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Every since PMI published the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, my students are (understandably) asking me the same questions again and again. In this post, I am going to answer these questions as best as I can. Let's start with the number one question they ask:

Which PMBOK Guide For PMP Exam?

You have to read both PMBOK Guide 6th and PMBOK Guide 7th Edition. This may be surprising. So let me explain:

There really is no fully satisfying answer to the question: Which PMBOK Guide is the correct one for the current PMP Exam? PMI will tell you "use the 7th", but they are ignoring the fact that they themselves are still in a transition from 6 to 7. Additionally, a new "process guide" is also in the making. The background here is the fact that the PMBOK Guide 7th edition is very "fluffy" (high level) and primarily talks about principles and performance domains ("WHAT is good project management"), while the questions on the actual PMP exam are all about processes ("HOW do you actually manage a project?). This information - unfortunately - is not part of the 7th edition. This can only be found in the 6th. Please see the full reading list/recommendation further below.

PMP Exam is based on which edition of the PMBOK Guide?

The PMP Exam is based on the PMP Exam Content Outline (ECO), and PMI is using both PMBOK Guide 6th and PMBOK Guide 7th Edition for question development. That much said, please remember that the PMP exam is not a test of the PMBOK Guide. The PMBOK is only one of about 10 reference books.

Which PMBOK should I read for PMP?

You should read BOTH the PMBOK Guide 6th edition and also the PMBOK Guide 7th edition.

PMI realized early on that the PMBOK Guide 7th edition is not an ideal input for the PMP Exam. This is why they are still using the 6th edition, but they also embarked on developing a "Process Guide" for project management. Very little is officially known about it yet. Our best guess is that this guide is intended to replace the process focus that we have from the 6th edition and we expect that this process guide (once released at the end of 2022) will immediately be added to the PMP exam list of reference books.

UPDATE 2022-Dec-05: The process guide has been published. It is officially called The Process Groups: A Practice Guide. Apart from some format and structure changes, the new Practice Guide closely mirrors the content of the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition, thus maintaining its relevance for exam preparation. In our PM PrepCast course and PMP Exam Simulator questions, we reference PMBOK Guide 6th Edition, PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, PMI Standards+, The Agile Practice Guide, and several other books listed on the PMI website. As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we have been and will continue updating the question content and their references as we gather additional feedback from our students. Note that The Process Groups: A Practice Guide is not yet on the official PMP reference list.

That much said, based on our student lessons learned, we can see that the current PMP exam is actually a mix of the 6th and 7th editions (though PMI won't admit it). And so we have updated our simulator as much as it makes sense right now to correctly represent what you can reasonably expect to see on the actual exam.

When will PMP Exam change to 7th edition?

Never.

At the risk of repeating myself: The PMP exam is not a test of the PMBOK Guide. Instead, it is based on the PMP Exam Content Outline and the PMBOK Guide is only one of many reference books.

That much said, based on our student lessons learned, we can see that the current PMP exam is actually a mix of the 6th and 7th editions. And so we have updated our PMP Exam Simulator as much as it makes sense right now to correctly represent what you can reasonably expect to see on the actual exam. (We reference PMBOK 6, PMBOK 7, PMI Standards+, The Agile Practice Guide, and several other of the official reference books).

Should I read PMBOK 6 or PMBOK 7?

Both. My colleague Oliver Lehmann has created a reading list. Here it is:

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

In addition to this recommendation from Oliver, I also strongly recommend that you include "The Scrum Guide" and "The Agile Manifesto" to your reading list.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 8 months ago #29828

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Cornelius,

Can we pin this to the top of the boards? Maybe that will help?

H
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Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH, PMP
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 7 months ago #29851

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This is extremely helpful!

Thank you

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 6 months ago #29930

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Thank you Cornelius.

I was wondering have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? Link

For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in capital construction projects and digital transformation projects for the power & utility sector.

I welcome all types of collaboration opportunities, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 5 months ago #30052

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Joe Pang wrote:
Thank you Cornelius.

I was wondering have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? Link

For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?


This is the question that springs to my mind, too. I'll be taking the PMP exam in January 2023 and am currently following a preparation course that is using PMBOK 7 and other Agile/Hybrid-centred resources, but *not* PMBOK 6.
Process Groups: A Practice Guide does seem to fill in the process-shaped hole in PMBOK 7. It looks like the printed version of the new Practice Guide won't be available via the usual retailers for a month or more, in my location at least, but the electronic version is. I'm leaning on investing in that, rather than PMBOK 6. Any thoughts?

UPDATE 6-DEC-2022: I purchased the electronic version of Process Groups: A Practice Guide, which I'm using to complement PMBOK7 and the other items on the above reading list *except* PMBOK6, along with intensive use of the PrepCast Exam Simulator. So far so good.
Dominic Hickey, PMP
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 5 months ago #30080

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Thank you Cornelius Fichtner.
I have the same doubt as Joe Pang and Dominic Hickey.

"Have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? "

"For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?"

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 year 5 months ago #30082

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I can't be alone in feeling the recommendation to read both PMBOKs 6 and 7 in order to be properly prepared for the PMP exam unsatisfying, given that these are not cheap publications. (Obtaining PMBOK 6 from a lending library or other temporary source is not an option for me.)
As much as I understand the pragmatic nature of the advice, I wonder if the recent publication of the Process Groups Practice Guide (PGPG) doesn't go a long way to removing the need for having access to the older edition of the PMBOK. At some point the sixth edition will not be as easily available, either. Having absorbed the Agile Practice Guide and the content of The Scrum Guide, I'm working through PMBOK 7 and finding the content in the 346-page PGPG both complementary and very useful. Just comparing the glossaries of these two, for instance, I have found 18 extra acronyms and 225 extra definitions in the latter.
Could anyone who has access to all three of these publications shed any light on what the PMBOK 6 might contain that isn't covered by the other two?
Dominic Hickey, PMP
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 1 year 1 week ago #30500

  • Jason Muscat
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Hello Cornelius and Team,

Given the "The Process Groups: A Practice Guide" (Practice Guide) has been out for more than 6 months now. Can you provide some updated insight if the PMBOK6 can be dropped in favour of PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?

Also, can you provide some insights of when or what OSP International products (PrepCast videos, Exam Simulator, etc.) will be updated to reference the Practice Guide?

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 1 year 1 week ago #30502

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@Jason

The PMP Exam is NOT a test of the PMBOK Guide, nor is it a test of the Process Groups Practice Guide. Instead, the PMP Exam Content Outline defines what you will be tested on, and then PMI offers a reference list of books that "may" be used to inform which answer on any given question is correct. The list can be found here: www.pmi.org/certifications/project-manag...n/pmp-reference-list (Note that the Process Guide is NOT part of the list).

Also, PMI writes:


Exam candidates should be aware that the PMP exam is not written according to any single text or singularly supported by any particular reference. PMI does not endorse specific review courses, resources, references or other materials for certification preparation. The references listed here are not inclusive of all resources that may be utilized and should not be interpreted as a guaranteed means of passing the exam.

As the PMP is a competency-based certification which assesses the integrated set of knowledge, skills and abilities as gained from both practical and learned experiences, it should also be noted that the references identified herewith are but one element of a broader set of educational resources and texts that might possibly be utilized for exam and study preparation. This reference list is provided as a courtesy only and for the non-PMI publications on this list, PMI does not endorse such publication or warrant the accuracy of the information or opinions contained therein.


That much said, our products are updated to the Exam Content Outline and we use the the reference list to develop our training materials. As of today, we are in full compliance with the PMP exam content.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 1 year 1 week ago #30503

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Hello Cornelius,

Let me try to rephrase my question, as I was not suggesting that PMBOK is the exclusive source of exam content (I have reviewed the ECO, etc.). My preference would not be to use PMBOK 6 + 7, as mentioned in some of your PrepCast content, and I wanted to know if it would be safe to substitute this for PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide. From some preliminary research I did, this would align with being a safe alternative, assuming all other recommended resources are kept the same (re: www.pmi.org/certifications/project-manag...n/pmp-reference-list ).
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 1 year 1 week ago #30505

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Jason,

Frankly... the Practice Guide is nothing more than a "pared down" version of PMBOK 6.

After releasing PMBOK 7, PMI realized that it's impossible to lead a project using "all the fluff" that is discussed in this new version. Instead of a list of principles, project managers want a more "prescriptive" approach that tells you what to do first, second, third, and so on. So they took PMBOK 6, which is somewhat prescriptive, and reduced it to its core process descriptions. Then they published it as the process guide.

That much said... reading the process guide will give you a good understanding of the PMI framework and its processes. So it definitely won't hurt in your exam prep.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 5 months 2 weeks ago #31055

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For the PMP exam, study the latest, PMBOK Guide - Seventh Edition. Though questions can come from both 6th and 7th editions, focusing on the latest version is optimal.

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 4 months 1 week ago #31106

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The Project Management Institute (PMI) periodically updates the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide. The PMBOK Guide that you should study for the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam depends on the edition that is current at the time you are preparing for the exam. The most recent edition was the 7th edition, released in 2021. However, PMI may have released a new edition since then. It's important to check the latest information on the PMI website or contact PMI directly to ensure you are studying the correct edition of the PMBOK Guide for your PMP exam.

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 4 months 1 week ago #31107

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Sarfaraz,

Your post is not all-together correct. The PMP exam is based on the Exam Content Outline and the references contained therein. During the transition between PMBOK 6 and 7, both PMBOKs were referenced as resource materials, not just 6 or 7.

When preparing for the PMP exam - use the Exam Content Outline from PMI. You can download it here (as of 1/16/2024): www.pmi.org/certifications/project-manag...pmp-exam-preparation It's about 2/3 of the way down the page.

Harry
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 2 months 4 weeks ago #31184

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one year and half passed to this post! is it still a valid answer?

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 2 months 4 weeks ago #31185

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Anon - the last answer was given a month ago and yes, it's still valid. Look at the Exam Content Outline on PMI to get the latest list of resources for the exam.

Harryu
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