CAPM exam change explained: What you should know about the changes to the CAPM Exam

In this article, I will be explaining the CAPM exam change and also outlining the differences between the current CAPM Exam Content Outline (ECO) and the new one which will be in place this October.

Sit back! Get your notepad as I explain the changes and walk you through both ECOs.

So why is there a change anyway?

First, as we know, PMI exams are based on their ECO, and therefore to effectively prepare for the exams, you should follow the ECO.

In order to ensure that CAPM remains relevant and valid, PMI conducted an analysis and this analysis identified a number of trends previously unaddressed in the old CAPM certification exam. Consequently, this led them to change the CAPM ECO. This implies that the new CAPM certification exam will be reflective of the analysis carried out.

Therefore, unlike the current CAPM which tests only the project management fundamentals, the new CAPM examination will test the skills that entry and associate level individuals need in order to understand project management fundamentals as well as predictive, adaptive, and business analysis principles.

Now let us compare the current outline and the new outline:

SNCURRENT  OUTLINE NEW CAPM OUTLINE (will be in use from October)
1.Introduction to Project Management (6%)Project Management Fundamentals and Core Concepts (36%)
2.Project Environment (6%)Predictive, Plan-Based Methodologies (17%)
3.Role of the Project Manager (7%)Adaptive Frameworks/Methodologies (20%)
4.Project Integration Management (9%)Business Analysis Frameworks (27%)
5.Project Scope Management (9%) 
6.Project Schedule Management (9%) 
7.Project Cost Management (8%) 
8.Project Quality Management (7%) 
9.Project Resource Management (8%) 
10.Project Communication Management (10%) 
11.Project Risk Management (8%) 
12.Project Procurement Management (4%) 
13.Project Stakeholder Management (9%) 

Domain, Tasks & Enablers

It is worthy to note that the new CAPM ECO is divided into Domain, Tasks and Enablers which anyone who is preparing for the CAPM examination must cover and understand to successfully take the exams. That is to say that studying the PMBOK 6th edition alone (which was what was required before the change) or the PMBOK 7th edition won’t be sufficient to pass the CAPM exam.

According to PMI, they provide the following definitions for Domain, Tasks & Enablers

·  Domain: Defined as the high-level knowledge area that is essential to the practice of project management.

·  Tasks: The underlying responsibilities of the project team member within each domain area.

·  Enablers: Illustrative examples of the work associated with the task. Please note that enablers are not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather offer a few examples to help demonstrate what the task encompasses.

Here is an example:

SNDOMAINTasksEnabler
1.Project Management Fundamentals and Core ConceptsDemonstrate an understanding of the various project life cycles and processes.   Distinguish between a project, program, and portfolio.  
2.Predictive, Plan-Based Methodologies Task: Explain when it is appropriate to use a predictive, plan-based approach.    Identify the suitability of a predictive, plan-based approach for the organizational structure (e.g., virtual, colocation, matrix structure, hierarchical, etc.).
3.Adaptive Frameworks/Methodologies Explain the components of an adaptive plan Distinguish between the components of different adaptive methodologies (e.g., Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Scaled Adaptive Framework (SAFe®), Kanban, etc.). 
4.Business Analysis Frameworks Demonstrate an understanding of business analysis (BA) roles and responsibilities.  Enabler: Distinguish between stakeholder roles (e.g., process owner, process manager, product manager, product owner, etc.). 

Finally, based on the new ECO, it’s best to prepare for the exam by studying and ensuring you have the knowledge and understanding that covers each domain, task, and enabler.

For more details on the new CAPM ECO, click here.


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