PMI-PBA Exam Changes

I’ve been getting questions about the upcoming changes to the PMI-PBA exam. This is understandable, since PMI has announced an exam change for June 25, 2018 to harmonize the exam with The PMI Guide to Business Analysis released in 2017.

Exam Changes

For 2018, the only change to the PMI-PBA exam is a minor lexicon update to harmonize the terminology between the terms used in the exam questions with The PMI Guide to Business Analysis. This simply means that some questions might be reworded to better to reflect the terms used in the guide.

The good news is if you are studying for the exam, the change is not significant, and you now have one more resource to use as a study tool. If you have taken the exam and did not pass on your first try, this new resource may explain business analysis is a style which is clearer for you to understand.

What Hasn’t Changed

There have been no changes to the PMI-PBA Exam Content Outline, and the questions on the exam will cover the same material as before. Your study plan for the exam should still be based on the topics listed in the outline, which will not change in 2018 Note: You may notice the domain areas in the exam content outline do not match the knowledge areas in The Guide for Business Analysis.  Be sure to base your studies on the exam content outline. 

What Does This Mean to Me, Studying for The Exam?

Very little. Carry on with your study plan. The current edition of my prep book is still the best guide to the exam. You may want to read The PMI Guide to Business Analysis to familiarize yourself with the terms used, but don’t get distracted with the new material, it has not yet been added to the exam.

Why an Exam Change?

PMI periodically refreshes its exams, and I predict this minor change is a first step in a more significant exam change in the coming years. As business analysis continues to be valued and the sophistication of tools and techniques increases, certification exams continue to evolve towards more situational questions requiring knowledge and judgment rather than just knowledge-based questions.

A Note about PMI’s Guide to Business Analysis

The PMI Guide to Business Analysis is a significant step forward in PMI’s support of business analysis acknowledging that projects can’t be successful without strong analysis. The guide is aligned with PMI’s Business Analysis Practitioners Practice Guide which was released in 2015 and provides more direction for people performing business analysis work. The guide includes sections on The Standard for Business Analysis and Business Analysis Process Groups, Knowledge Areas, and Tailoring Considerations.

This new guide contains some great information about the environmental factors which affect business analysis and things which drive the tailoring of business analysis deliverables on projects. It accurately portrays business analysis as a broad skill set which is applied differently on almost every assignment.  It incorporates some agile analysis techniques like the product road-map and Kano analysis. I look forward to the next PMI-PBA exam change with these new tools and techniques included.

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PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.