PMP is changing in 2021 – Get ready and fasten your seat belts

PMP Exam is changing January 1st, 2021. In this article, we explore what this means to You.

To learn more about this change directly from PMI®, please visit the following page

First things first, why PMP Exam is changing in 2021?

Every 3-5 years, PMI® conducts research to understand how the profession has progressed, the impact of emerging trends, and how the responsibilities of project managers have changed.  The last round of this research was conducted in 2015 and resulted in the current PMP exam content outline.

Subject matter experts from leading organizations around the world have worked with PMI to define the PMP of the future. The result of this research was the publication of a new PMP Examination Content Outline in June of 2019, and on 2 January 2021, this new outline will lead to an updated PMP exam.

In a nutshell: the current PMP exam is based on 5 performance domains, but starting 2 January 2021 the exam will be based on 3 domains. These domains are defined in the PMP Exam Content Outline.

The current version of the exam is based on five project management domains. Refer to the following table for the names of these domains and proportion of the exam questions that come from each.

DomainExam Questions
Monitoring and Controlling25%

The new version of the exam will be entirely different. It will focus on just three domains.

DomainExam Questions
Business Environment8%

New PMP Exam is BIGGER

Our analysis of the changes shows that about 70% of the current exam is now contained within Domain II: Process, and that the other two domains – People and Business Environment – contain largely new content.

Agile is a MUST

Half of the questions on the new exam will be about agile and hybrid approaches. Therefore you must have both knowledge and experience of what it’s like to work in these environments.

The new PMP Exam will be HARDER

With so many new topics and methods that have been added to the exam and that you have to know about, it’s no surprise that passing the exam will be harder.

Is The PMBOK® Guide Changing?


The PMP exam uses the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition as one of the references for the PMP Exam. The PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition is not expected until Q2 of 2021 at the earliest. This means that the PMBOK® Guide is not changing and that PMI will continue to use the Sixth Edition as an exam reference throughout 2021.

Therefore, use the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition no matter if you are taking the exam before or after 31 December 2020. But check again for 2022.

If you plan on taking the PMP exam on or after 2 January 2021

Download the new PMP Exam Content Outline and read it cover to cover so you understand the topics you will be asked about on the new exam.

Continue your studies using the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition. It is still valid.

Study The Agile Practice Guide and learn about agile approaches.

Schedule your exam on or after 2 January 2021

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