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PMI-SP Exam Hot Topics

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Projects and teams today are increasingly global and virtual, and project schedules are key to managing activities, resources, dependencies and ultimately, project outcomes. The Scheduling Professional exam will recognize your knowledge and skill to drive the improved management of project schedules.

I am listing below the PMI-SP exam hot topics where most of the exam questions come from:

  1. Earned Value Management. Earned Value Management, earned value is used in performance reviews to measure project performance against the scope, schedule and cost baselines. Earned value analysis (EVA) is an analysis technique that compares the actual schedule and cost to the performance measurement baseline. Earned value integrates cost, schedule and scope (work done). Can be used to forecast future performance and project completion dates and costs. EVM compares what you’ve received or produced to what you’ve spent. The EVM continuously monitors the planned value, earned value, and actual costs expended to produce the work of the project. To perform the EVM calculations, you need to first gather the three measurements mentioned earlier: the planned value (PV), actual cost (AC), and earned value (EV). Expect 12-15 questions in the exam about To Complete Performance Index (TCPI), and other earned value measurements such as Schedule Variance (SV), Cost Variance (CV), Cost Performance Index (CPI), Schedule Performance Index (SPI).
  2. Schedule model instance reporting formats. The schedule model instance can produce multiple report formats based upon the stage of the development of the project, project-required reports, and the primary user. Expect 4-5 questions in the exam about the proper reporting format various project levels. Study well table 3-2 in the scheduling standard.
  3. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. In the PMI-SP exam, expect 4-5 questions about the WBS and its relation with defining and sequencing project activities.
  4. Resource histogram, calendar, and breakdown structure. Expect 5 questions in the PMI-SP exam about these three concepts. The resource histogram is a tool that is often used by the project management team and or as a means of providing a visual representation to the team and to all of those interested parties. Resource Calendar indicates the days, dates and time a particular resource (human resources/machines/etc.) will work. Resource breakdown structure (RBS) is a graphical representation of the hierarchical structure of resources by category and resource type where each level is broken down until it is small enough to be used in conjunction with the work breakdown structure (WBS).
  5. Critical Path Method. A critical path in project management is the longest sequence of activities that must be finished on time in order for the entire project to be complete. In the PMI-SP exam, you should expect around 7 questions about this technique. In this technique questions, you will have a network diagram or dependencies table, and you need to determine the critical path, near critical path, or assess the impact in case any change of activities durations.
  6. ITTOs. In the PMI-SP exam, you should expect 2-3 questions about few processes’ inputs and outputs. In my exam, I faced three questions, about monitor stakeholder engagement process outputs, develop schedule inputs, and create WBS inputs. I also had one question about the description of develop project charter and identify stakeholders processes.
  7. Scheduling core concepts. As this is the scheduling professional exam, you should expect a lot of questions about different scheduling concepts and practices. The ones I can remember I faced in my exam are: Level of efforts activities, Out of sequence concept, finish not later than concept, Parkinson’s law, lag and lead, crashing, Hammock, managing changes, and schedule instance model.
  8. What if analysis technique. The what-if scenario analysis is a project management process that evaluates different scenarios to predict their effects – both positive and negative – on the project objectives. This is one of the modeling techniques used in the Develop Schedule process. In the PMI-SP exam, you should expect 4-5 questions about this technique.
  9. Schedule closure activities. Activities related to finalizing all schedule activities, evaluating schedule performance against the original baseline, documenting lessons learned, and distributing final schedule information. In the PMI-SP exam, you should expect 5-7 questions about the schedule closure domain, and the majority of them will be from the exam content outline tasks related to this domain.
  10. Schedule management plan. The Schedule Management Plan defines how the project schedule is managed throughout the project lifecycle. The plan provides guidance and sets expectations for project schedule policies and procedures for planning, developing, managing, executing, and controlling the project schedule. Expect 2-3 questions about this document in the exam.
  11. Schedule risk assessment. Managing schedule risks is an important aspect for any professional scheduler. In the exam, expect 4-5 questions about this topic, and how schedule risks information should be communicated with stakeholders.
  12. PERT estimation. PERT is an estimating technique that uses a weighted average of three numbers to come up with a final estimate. The resulting PERT estimate is calculated as (O + 4M + P)/6. This is called a “weighted average” since the most likely estimate is weighted four times as much as the other two values. Expect 2 math questions about this technique in the exam.
  13. Resources productivity and availability. Even this topic is not covered in the scheduling standard, expect 2 math questions about these concepts in the PMI-SP exam. In our PMI-SP exam simulators, you can practice such questions.
  14. Tools and Techniques: Gap analysis, tornado diagram, communication channels, decomposition, Monte Carlo analysis, Power interest grid quadrants, parametric estimation technique. Expect at least one question in the PMI-SP exam about each of these techniques.

Practicing high quality mock exams is an important factor for passing the PMI-SP exam from the first trial. We have prepared a high-quality questions bank of 680 questions that are very close to the ones you will see in the real exam, you can have a look at the course description from the link here.

Good Luck in your Journey!