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The New PMP Exam: What Changed, And What Stayed The Same

By July 20, 2022No Comments

Things in the project management industry continue to evolve, just like all other industries that project management pertains to. For project managers, this means it is important to keep up with changes as well as any new techniques or tools used to manage these modifications. If you want to stay at the top of the game and make sure you’re up to date and following the new rules and regulations.

In accordance with the changes in the project management industry, the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam is updated every three to five years. Changes are made, based on the findings of the Project Management Institute (PMI.) PMI leadership takes into consideration tips and recommendations by experts from all over the world.

An important thing to note: when changes are made to the PMP exam, this doesn’t mean that the Project Management Body of Knowledge will change as well.

The most recent edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge was released 5 years ago, and the changes made to the Project Management Professional exam came a year later. It’s best to think of the Project Management Body of Knowledge as its own changing piece of information that is connected to the PMP exam, but doesn’t entirely match, or correlate exactly to the exam.  

Now, let’s dive in and learn more about the most recent changes to the PMP exam. What changes were made? When did they start to apply? What do you need to know to be ready for the PMP exam? To learn all of this and more – keep reading!

What New Content Will You Find in the Newest PMP Exam?

The Project Management Institute reported on its official website that starting in January of 2021 every Project Management Professional exam candidate will be required to sit for a brand-new content plan.

So now that the changes have been completed, what is next and what is the best way to prepare?

These Are The PMP Exam Changes

As we know, the Project Management Professional exam from the PMI consists of one hundred and eighty questions, which are made out of a random mixture of multiple options, open replies, connecting ideas, and a set number of questions where you need to add in the best matching word or number. You get 4 hours to finish it, with no official breaks, although you can take them if needed, as long as you know that time will be deducted from the 4 hours.

The questions revolve around three categories, with 50% of the questions going to be regarding processes, 42% being People and 8% Business Environment. Nearly ½ of the PMP Exam will be regarding predictive project management methods while the remainder will be agile and hybrid methods.

What was Included in the previous PMP Exam?

2015 was the year of the biggest PMP Exam change. After this point the exam was based on five main areas with PMP exam questions weighted towards different ones. The five domains are listed below:

  • Initiating – 13% of Questions on the PMP Exam
  • Planning – 24% of Questions on the PMP Exam
  • Executing – 31% of Questions on the PMP Exam
  • Monitoring / Controlling – 25% of Questions on the PMP Exam
  • Closing – 7% of Questions on the PMP Exam

The 2015 PMP Exam aimed its questions at a project’s lifecycle and the various stages it goes through, where there would be several tasks and questions within the previously mentioned 5 domains regarding it.

As you can see, the PMP Exam Content is designed to test the knowledge skills and experience of a Project Manager in order to certify that they can manage high level projects to industry standards.

2021 PMP Exam Changes and Content Structures

As we mentioned, the PMP used to be based on 5 areas and based a project’s life cycle on them, but with the PMP exam changes it now focuses on just three domains (again in a weighted fashion). These being People, Process and Business environments.

The Project Management Institute continually develops it’s exam based on current research of the Project Management landscape and ensures that being PMP certified means a project manager can take advantage of various approaches to most effectively support their project.

While we know that the exam changes have now placed weighted questions on three domains (people, process and business environment), we also know that 1/2 of the questions across these areas will discuss predictive project management styles, while the other 1/2 will discuss agile and hybrid styles, so be aware of these 2022 new exam contents.

The 2022 PMP Exam changes include content, questions and tasks below each of the three domain areas listed above, to be prepared here is a short glossary of terms regarding the PMP Exam Content:

  • Domains: This is the highest view of the exam and is separated into three areas, (people, process, business environment). Before the PMP Exam changes there were 5 domains listed (initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, close).
  • The Tasks: The tasks beneath these domains discuss the specific responsibilities that applicants will need to understand and show competence in.
  • Enablers: Enablers is a new term that shows how the work connects to the task. These are not a complete list, rather some examples to support your understanding of the task.

The Content Crossover Map and How This Involves the 2021 New PMP Exam

The Project Management Institute released a content crossover map to support candidates in discovering and understanding how the PMP Exam content areas have changed.

This helps both candidates and training providers understand what exactly is new, what can still be used as well as what no longer applies in the newest PMP Exam. It is important that candidates take advantage of this document to see what areas they may need to practice, study or review before taking on the newest PMP exam.

PMP Exam Content: How do the new domains reflect the 2015 Exam Content?

As mentioned, the five domains have been refined into three, which has resulted in a complete reorganization of the exam. However, there are certain areas that connect and can be reused. For example:

The process domain should be fairly familiar to anybody that has taken a previous test or worked with the 2015 version. Half of the exam is based around processes, therefore it is important for a candidate to stay ahead of modern systems, but a lot of content already exists for this domain.

The people domain however is completely new, and with it filtering across 42% of the exam it is a very important domain to study. Note: The questions based around this domain are not in a cluster, they exist throughout the exam.

Additionally, the business environments domain also is a new system and so it is important to ensure candidates have studied adequate content to make sure they are familiar with this part of the exam.

Finally, the enablers are another new variable to consider for candidates when taking the new PMP Exam.

Below is a full list of the new enablers:

  • Value servant leadership (e.g., relate the tenets of servant leadership to the team)
  • Measure training outcomes
  • Maintain team and knowledge transfer
  • Assess behavior through the use of personality indicators
  • Analyze personality indicators and adjust to the emotional needs of key project stakeholders
  • Assess opportunities to deliver value incrementally
  • Support the team to subdivide project tasks as necessary to find the Minimum Viable Product
  • Coordinate with other projects and other operations
  • Recommend a project methodology/approach (i.e, predictive, agile, hybrid)
  • Use iterative, incremental practices throughout the project lifecycle (e.g., lessons learned, stakeholder engagement, risk)
  • Confirm approach for knowledge transfers
  • Classify compliance categories
  • Determine potential threats to compliance
  • Use methods to support compliance
  • Analyze the consequences of noncompliance
  • Determine the necessary approach and action to address compliance needs (e.g., risk, legal)
  • Measure the extent to which the project is in compliance
  • Verify measurement system is in place to track benefits
  • Evaluate delivery options to demonstrate the value
  • Assess and prioritize impact on project scope/backlog based on changes in an external business environment
  • Recommend options for scope/backlog changes (e.g. schedule, cost changes)
  • Continually review the external business environment for impacts on project scope/backlog
  • Support organizational change
  • Assess organizational culture
  • Evaluate the impact of organizational change to project and determine required actions
  • Evaluate the impact of the project on the organization and determine required actions

The PMP Exam Changes: Outline

Looking at it numerically, you could be forgiven for assuming the PMP Exam has grown less intensive, with the number of domains being lowered from 5 to 3 and the tasks lowering from 42 to 35, but don’t be misled! The Exam is still based on the PMBOK which has not changed, the only way the exam has changed is how the Project Management Institute uses it to evaluate the candidates.

The previous PMP exam used its 5 domains to look at a project lifecycle and its stages, however the new pmp exam content does not use this methodology, instead looking at people, processes and business environments.

Are you ready to take the PMP? Our courses include the 35 Contact Hours of PMP Training to ensure you are eligible to take the exam, and with a 99.6% first time pass rate you’ll be glad you took the initiative to enroll in our story based exam prep courses.

We offer self-paced PMP Course learning along with Live courses with an expert virtual instructor. so you can choose the way you learn.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.7 out of 5.0 stars based on 99 review(s).

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It was actually really great. Made some very dry materials much easier to absorb. Passed the PMP exam with flying colors on my first attempt.

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This course had good reviews online from previous clients so I decided to try this one. Relevant course materials and great timed practice tests allowed me to ace the actual certification exam on my first attempt. I highly recommend this course.

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This is a great tool to support the PMBOK Guide. Quizzes, presentations, and videos help break down the massive amount of information that comes with the PMBOK, truly helping you prepare for the actual exam. Great way to get your 35 hours classroom credit!

- Penney

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I think the course is good. I wouldn't mind a few more videos and audible in the trainings. I do a lot do reading. I bought the PMBOK book on the side and sometimes have trouble connect the class to the PMBOK book. I do enjoy your format. I am learning. Personally I need buckle down and spend more time on it.

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Easy to navigate the platform

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I really enjoyed the Brain Sensei self learning course as well as the virtual course with the instructor. I was able to pass the PMP with above target ratings for every section. I am so pleased with how easy and efficient the courses were to navigate, and how simply the PMI approach was placed into every day situations. I would highly recommend this course to everyone wanting to either freshen up on their Project skills or to master the PMP.

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Very prepared for the PMP!

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Hi Folks, good course there. More info/exercises on EV and formulas would be really helpful. Thank you very much.

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I'm very satisfied with the Brain Sensei PMP Exam Preparation Course. All 8 Modules are very well structured and detailed. This course is best for those who would like to learn at their own pace. Of course, lots of studying is needed (PMBOOK and other agile-related books and material). The customer service team is exceptional, very supportive. I had an immediate response to whatever I needed.

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Engaging, self-pacing course that contains accurate content. Prepared me well for the PMP exam which I passed on my first attempt. This course is best for those who would like to learn at their own pace. For example, I completed it over the span of 2 and a half months.

- Matthew

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The course was thorough and the practice exams enhanced my learning. However, I am having a hard time receiving my PDU credit for taking the course.

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The story approach was good but I feel like I wasn't ready for some of the questions on the site.

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Excellent test prep for the exam, though some more practice tests on agile would be beneficial

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It is often hard to figure out what the right answer was on a quiz or practice exam. Frequently, the correct answer is buried in a lot of text about what options are wrong.

- James

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The content was spot on and I am much more confident in understanding the processes and how everything works together now. (The) course is great; however, the customer service team is Exceptional! Very responsive and thorough, and at all times; and when I had some technical difficulties (or questions) they stuck with me through resolution. Highly recommended program and company.

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Great customer support. Wish more Agile modules were available.

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helpful focus, detailed testing.

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Very thorough training. By taking this course and reviewing some free online study materials, I was able to hit above target in every category.

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Good Value.

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Need to do project planning

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Passed on the first try!

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Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

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It was great!

- Heide

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The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

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I'm very satisfied with the Brain Sensei PMP Exam Preparation Course. All 8 Modules are very well structured and detailed. I believe that practice exams included in the course helped me a lot with the preparation for my PMP Exam. I appreciate Brain Sensei for their amazing course and for the awesome service. They responded to all my requests immediately. Thanks. Highly recommended.

- Helen Borimsky

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The format of the prep-course is great overall and a great alternative to reading the PMBOK. Barring a few minor glitches here and there, the flow of information ensures that concepts are well understood not only from the point of examination but to the point of application in day to day professional activities. Explanations provided in the answers of prep exams (apart from the 1st one) are also a key to understanding the thought process to be applied. With the focus being on Agile approaches from 2021, the information in the course seemed adequate to cover the concepts. All the Best to all aspirants.

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- محسن گلستانی

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Studied BrainSensei for 11 days and passed. Succinct and highly informational chapters. The 4 practice exams are marginally more difficult then the PMP. Borderline impossible to fail the PMP if you pass this course.

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Great course! They break down all concepts in a very clear and interactive way, that doesn't put you to sleep. Would recommend to anyone who is looking to pass the PMP exam with flying colors.

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Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

- Scott Conn

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Liked it. Need access for longer though.

- Jerome

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What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

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Great

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The Brain Sensei PMP program is a wonderful program that condenses the PMBOK into digestible and retainable bites leveraging the power of story telling. If you're looking for a program that will get you your credit hours but also help establish a foundation of PMI knowledge this is the program for you!

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Passed first attempt

- Lee

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Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

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The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

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The BrainSensei PMP preparation course provided me with all the material required to be ready for the exam. It is well structured, explains the concepts clearly, and most importantly, provides ample training questions through the four mock exams and assessment questions at the end of each module. I passed the exam with Above Target in all sections on the first attempt.

- Gael Riethmuller

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Overall I really liked this learning course. It was very helpful and allowed me to be well prepared for the exam. The 2nd and 3rd practice exam are great to give you real example questions and help prepare you for what to expect. BrainSensei's customer service was the best. I had to delay taking my test due to COVID and they extended my membership for free. They went above and beyond my expectation which was great. Only changes I would recommend is to add 1 or 2 more practice exams like the 2nd and 3rd exam and get rid of the agile practice exam. This is not a real focus of the test and therefore is not really applicable in my opinion.

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BrainSensei developed a great learning method to prepare for the PMP certification exam. Their customer service is always very professional, fast, spot on and dedicated to your success. I recommend them.

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I've sent several emails to BrainSensei (one of them not so nice, but the rest were okay) and the team has always been so polite in answering the questions. I'm a very straight-forward person and don't like the PMI-ism type questions because they seem like 'gotchas' or traps, and this is not how I manage my team. I took the Master of Project course (which was garbage) then failed the PMP exam. Throughout the PMP exam I felt so out of touch. Even with the first practice exam on BrainSensei I felt out of place, but I am not getting the hang of things. I hope to pass the exam on the second attempt! The brain sensei experience has been *miles* ahead of the Master of Project garbage. Brain Sensei should be proud of both their product and of their team! I love getting replies to my concerns so quickly. Nice work :) !!!

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This course was great. it laid a great foundation for the PMP exam.

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very useful

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I was very pleased with the preparation provided for the PMP certification. I went through the materials twice and passed the exam on the first try. A couple of the questions need to be polished up, but very good training overall.

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Very easy to work with and quality product.

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The storyline provides excellent examples that provide context for understanding the core concepts and processes

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Good self paced learning tool

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Outstanding job

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This is by far the best way to prepare yourself for the PMP exam. The material is presented in a unique and engaging way that makes learning it easy and also fun! The company behind this course is also very professional and responsive. Keep up the great work!

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I have studied with other programs and I didn’t feel prepared. After a short time with Brain Sensei, I had the confidence to succeed on exam day, which I did on the first try after studying with Brain Sensei. It was worth every penny.

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Great program

- Ashley

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Course is made for people who are already grounded in the material, not for someone that needs all the basics. Was budget friendly and OK content.

- Andrew

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Brain Sensei is great tool to have in the study arsenal while preparing for the PMP exam.

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I really enjoyed the modules and content offered by Brain Sensei! I passed the PMP Exam on the first try and would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a great PMP Exam Prep.

- Delfin Gallegos

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Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

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Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

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Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

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Absolutely Fantastic learning software. Highly recommend it! Very well thought out and creative. Really enjoyed my study time. Excellent mock tests and mock exams. So so helpful. Thank you Brain Sensei Team for being part of my PMP journey!

- Tracy

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

- Amir

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

- Cameron

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia

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It was good!

- Sergei

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris