I have already completed my class for the 35 hours of coursework, and am working through my second full read through the PMBOK 5th edition.

I have also been looking online for test prep exams and find that many of them are claiming to be PMBOK 5th edition questions, but many of the questions contain Maslov's hierarchy of needs, etc. However none of this is covered in the 5th edition of the PMBOK from what I can find.

  1. Does the current exam actually contain these items? Hopefully the answer is from someone who tested in the past few months. If so how much time should I focus on them?
  2. Were these questions from previous versions of the PMBOK that are somehow still in these test exams? I would assume the answer to #1 will answer this.
  • I wish the downvotes here would have specified why I am getting a down vote? The question is a legitimate question, about a current item in the PMP exam which IS related to project management (theres a tag for it). I specified I have read the book but want to understand why there is other things not in the book on the exam (there are no sources I could find on this), as well as how to know where "anonymous" questions are coming from. Getting confirmation on this is all within scope, on topic, and a complete question.
    – Shawn
    Dec 2, 2016 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


I passed the exam 6 months back. I didn't use the same approach than you, I read only very few chapters of the PMBOK. The way I did was doing a maximum of tests and studied the reasons why I failed some questions.

Lot of them were about human motivational theories (Herzberg, Maslov, McGregor, etc.), I would definitely recommend you to learn and remember these theories because indeed they may be included in the tests. Actually I found these sections the most interesting one.

So: 1. Yes and you should learn the basics of each 2. May be, I didn't read the previous versions

  • If they aren't in the PMBOK then how do you know what will be on the test? For example, you don't know what you don't know...
    – Shawn
    Nov 22, 2016 at 8:23
  • 1
    The PMBoK is not all inclusive. The PMP is supposed to be for more seasoned practitioners. The CAPM might be solely based on what you read in the PmBoK but the PMP is supposed to be broader. Nov 22, 2016 at 12:06
  • @DavidEspina That makes sense, but where in the practicing world would you learn behavioral science essentially? To me this seems out of scope sort to speak.
    – Shawn
    Dec 2, 2016 at 19:26
  • @Shawn I was exposed to behavioral science in multiple training courses different employers have offered me during the years. It's a fairly common topic for management and PM related training. Dec 22, 2016 at 14:48

I would recommend you to study the motivational theories, as the PMP exam will ask you around 2-3 questions about this.

For example: Theory X and Theory Y represent two suppositions about human nature and behaviour at work from which styles of management are adopted. These theories were put forward by: Mayo Ouchi Maslow McGregor [ANS] Source (http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/ema_uk_cu_glasgow_man_pro_2007/76/19569/5009871.cw/content/index.html)

Also lookout for scenario based questions as well in this regard. Its true that the PMBOK doesnt have all these detailed, that's how the PMP exam is formulated, we need to do our research on certain topics.

Here is a helpful link that explains some of the theories => https://www.dummies.com/careers/project-management/pmp-certification/motivation-theories-you-should-know-for-the-pmp-certification-exam/

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