Prominder Nayar PMP®, CSM®, PMI-ACP®, SA® Jul 29, 2020 5 min read

The New Face of PMP – 2021 Exam Changes

Thinking of becoming a PMP? 

Please be aware that the PMI has announced a change in the format for the PMP exam once again. For the last two decades, the format for the examination has changed several times. This time, Agile is the driving factor behind the impending change.

What do I mean by that? Let's review the exam structure.  If you decide to appear for the exam before December 31st, 2020 your exam will be based on the following:
PMP Exam pre 2021-1

Starting from January 2nd, 2021, the new exam will be based on:
PMP Exam 2021

This brings us to the following questions:
Why did PMI make this change?
Should you wait till the new exam?
Let's see if I can give you a suitable answer that might help you take the right decision.

Q1. Why did PMI change the PMP Exam?
A1. According to the findings of PMI's Role Delineation Study (RDS) or Job Task Analysis (JTA), PMI wrote:
"Important note: The research conducted through the Job Task Analysis validated that today’s project management practitioners work in a variety of project environments and utilize different project approaches. Accordingly, the PMP certification will be reflective of this and will incorporate approaches across the value delivery spectrum. About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches. Predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches will be found throughout the three domain areas listed above and are not isolated to any particular domain or task."
Reference According to PMI PMP Examination Content Outline – July 2020

Q2. Should you take the existing exam being offered till December 31st, or should you prepare for the exam that will be starting from January 2nd, 2021?
A2. The best way to answer this question is to see where you are in your journey. If you have not started preparing for the exam, I would recommend that you wait and take the exam that will be offered in 2021. On the other hand, if you have already applied for the PMP exam and have the permission from PMI, I would recommend you go ahead and get done with the exam before it changes.

In conclusion I would like to quote from the PMI website "The PMP is the gold standard of project management certification. Recognized and demanded by organizations worldwide, the PMP validates your competence to perform in the role of a project manager, leading and directing projects and teams."

As you get ready for the exam, I would like to wish you the very best, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

To help you in your journey and decision here are some key documents

pmp-examination-content-outline Current Exam
pmp-examination-content-outline for January 2021 Exam Update

“PMI” and “Project Management Institute, Inc.” are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc.


Prominder Nayar PMP®, CSM®, PMI-ACP®, SA®

Prominder is a seasoned Technical Program/Project Manager & PPM Solutions Architect. He has over fifteen years of experience deploying Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions and process improvements at global Pharmaceutical, Financial, and Retail companies. An acknowledged leader in the CA Clarity Project and Portfolio Domain, Prominder has been consulting in this field since 2004. His expertise in implementing PPM solutions runs the full gamut from initiation to delivery, including assessments, process design/redesign, PPM maturity analysis, capability roadmap development, and acting as an evangelist & advisor to Portfolio Managers and the PMO.