PMP Exam Changes 2021: Learn About The New PMP Exam Format

The recent changes in the PMP exam format were a result of revision that usually takes place every once in a while. Usually with the revision in the PMBOK®Guide - Sixth Edition results in the revision on exam format and changes. This time, the exam changes are a little drastic but promise an agile transformation with the existing skills and knowledge of project management. The initial announcement was for the month of June 2019, which was later postponed to July 2020. After several setbacks in the form of a global pandemic, PMI decided to enforce the newer and improved version of the PMP exam changes effective from 2nd January 2021.

What Are The PMP Exam Changes?

The major changes that were introduced happened in specifically two places:

  1. PMP Exam Content
  2. PMP Exam Format

Let’s discuss the PMP Exam content that was introduced in the new format.

PMP Exam Content

The 5 domains in the earlier exam content i.e initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & planning, closing has been reduced to 3 domains in the new exam content. Along with the three domains, the tasks have also been reduced from 42 to 35 in the new format. And, one new concept of enablers has been added in the outline. Let’s discuss Each of them in detail.

Domains

A Domain is nothing but a high-level knowledge area in the field of project management. Now, with the new exam changes, 3 new domains have been added.

  1. People - The people domain involves the skills and activities that involve the people in the organization. Some of the tasks like managing conflict, mentoring stakeholders, creating teams, etc, are part of the people domain. The percentage of questions involved in the people domain is 42% that will be asked in the PMP certification exam.
  2. Process - The process domain holds 50% weightage in the PMP certification exam, and involves all the activities and best practices involved in all the process groups of the project life cycle. The various tasks in this domain include communication management, stakeholders engagement, etc.
  3. Business Environment - The business environment domain holds 8% weightage in the PMP certification exam and is associated with the organization structure and environment. The tasks in this domain include organizational change management, compliance evaluation, and impact assessment, etc.

Tasks

A task outlines the roles and responsibilities of the project manager in each of the domains. To understand this, let’s consider a small example. Let’s say we have the people domain, so the task in that particular domain will be associated with how the project manager will take care of the responsibilities associated with the people in the organization. Tasks like resolving conflicts, resource allocation, etc.

Enablers

Enablers being a new concept added to the format, is nothing but a scenario that will explain the task better. In short, whatever task at hand can be easily summarized using the enablers. Example - Task in the People domain is Managing Conflict. Therefore, the enablers would be as follows:

  1. Understand the conflict and who is involved.
  2. Analyze the situation according to the facts at hand.
  3. Take necessary actions or hold the responsible person accountable according to the situation.

Note: You can check out the detailed PMP Eligibility prerequisites before applying for the PMP certification exam.

PMP Exam Format

The PMP exam will contain 50% of the questions based on the agile or hybrid approach of project management and the other 50% from the predictive approach of project management. The new PMP exam format has the following characteristics:

Number of Questions 180 out of which 175 are scored
Exam Type Closed Book
Questions Type Multiple choice, multiple responses, hotspot, matching, fill in the blanks, etc.
Time Duration 230 Minutes

The changes in the domains also saw the percentage of questions change that will be asked in the examination. The updated percentage with respect to each domain stands as following:

Domain Percentage
People 42%
Process 50%
Business Environment 8%

Note: Take a look at a few prototype questions to get an idea of how the questions will be like in the PMP certification exam.

Retaking the PMP Certification Exam

In a year, a candidate is eligible to take the PMP exam three times and if they are not able to clear it within the three attempts, they will have to wait for a year from the date of the last examination to reapply for the PMP certification exam. Although, they can go for other PMI certifications during this period. This is mainly to reduce the exposure of the candidates towards the PMP exam questions.

How to prepare for the PMP exam in 2021?

The preparation for the new exam format is slightly different than the previous one because of the inclusion of Agile or Hybrid approaches in the exam. Now, the candidates have to get familiar with the agile methodology of project management in order to clear the PMP certification exam. Here are some of the ways you can ensure a successful exam preparation for your PMP exam:

  1. PMP Certification training - The very first and most important aspect of the PMP exam preparation is the PMP Certification training. This is where you will get the mandatory 35 hours of project management training from a PMI ATP like Invensis learning. Other advantages include an updated content according to the new exam changes and experienced and vetted instructors with tremendous experience and domain knowledge.
  2. Mock Tests - The new exam can be triumphed with practice and mock tests can simulate the entire experience for a better understanding and preparation.
  3. Case Studies - Considering the new domains and an agile approach in the exam, you must get familiar with the concepts of agile methodology along with case studies so that you can also familiarize yourself with the enablers connected to each task in the three domains.
  4. PMI Local Chapters - The PMI chapters can help you navigate through the community and learn about the various developments in the exam patterns and other help you can get from the community.
  5. Structured Timeline - Since PMP is the most difficult project management credential. Therefore, as a candidate, you must create a structured timeline that will include the time from the application process, to getting the PMP certification training, exam prep, mock tests and abide by it until the result is achieved.
  6. Project Management Boot Camps - Online Project management boot camps will help you learn about the various processes, skills, and best practices in the project management domain. This will eventually prove helpful in your exam. Considering the changes in the exam, you can definitely opt for some Agile, PMP fundamentals boot camps to be on the same page.

Conclusion

The new PMP exam format is a transition towards the agile aspect of project management. With more than 50% of questions in the PMP certification exam, with the release of PMBOK®Guide - Seventh Edition the preparation is backed by an authentic learning resource. And this time, more emphasis would be on how agile project management works with the 3 new domains introduced in the new PMP exam format. So, enroll today with a PMI authorized training partner like Invensis Learning’s PMP certification training for a glorious project management career.

PMP Exam Changes 2021 FAQs

What is changing in the PMP exam 2021?

The changes in the PMP exam format for 2021 mainly saw changes in the domains, the tasks were reduced and a new concept of enablers was introduced with them as well. When it came to the questions, the number of questions was reduced to 180, time pretty much remained the same with 230 minutes, but the emphasis relied more on an agile or hybrid approach in the examination.

Is the new exam harder?

With the new domains, the new format, and the agile approach in the majority of the questions in the PMP exam, it can certainly be very challenging for candidates appearing for the first time. But, PMP certification training/bootcamps authorized by PMI as a recognized ATP can be helpful to overcome these hurdles.

Is the PMP syllabus changing?

The changes in the syllabus have mainly to do with the domains and the new agile or hybrid approach that will be tested in the examination. Therefore, the best plan of action is to get familiar with the exam content and prepare with experienced instructors and a structured timeline. Join Invensis Learning’s PMI authorized PMP certification training to get your PMP certification.

What is the passing score on the PMP exam?

There hasn’t been any clear indication by PMI on how many questions must be answered correctly. But a candidate must target at least 80% of the questions to answer correctly out of the 180 questions.

Is the PMP exam multiple choice?

The questions in the PMP exam are a combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, hotspot, fill in the blanks, matching, etc.

Can you take the PMP exam online?

Yes, candidates can take the PMP exam online. The PMI is offering the candidates to take the exam from the comfort of their homes, all they need is a computer with a good internet connection and a web camera. Learn more about the online proctored exam

Syllabus of PMP Certification Training

Areas of Study

  • Proven leadership skills & techniques
  • How to communicate effectively?
  • How to create an effective project Schedule?
  • Project Risk Management
  • Ability to create an atmosphere of trust
  • Decision making skills
  • Managing conflicts
  • Agile way of project management

  • Educational Requirements:
    A four year degree along with 35 Hours of project management training or CAPM certification.

    Or

    A high school diploma/associate degree. With this an additional 35 hours of project management training or CAPMⓇ certification.
  • Professional Requirements:
    If you have a 4 year degree, you would also need experience of 36 months leading projects.

    Or

    If you have an associate degree/high school diploma, you will need experience of 60 months leading projects.

  • Exam Type: Closed book, Multiple choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, etc.
  • No Of Questions: 180 questions per paper, 175 scored
  • Exam duration: 230 Minutes
  • Result: The passing score is determined through psychometric analysis

  • The PMP Certification fees for PMI Members is USD 405 and for non-members is USD 555.

  • Job roles that can benefit from PMP Exam Prep Course include, but are not limited to:
  • Associate Project Managers
  • Project Managers
  • IT Project Managers
  • Project Coordinators
  • Project Analysts
  • Project Leaders
  • Product Managers
  • Program Managers
  • Project Sponsors
  • Project Team Members

  • Invensis Learning has been reviewed and approved by the PMI Authorized Training Partner Program to provide 4-day instructed led PMP Certification Training.

FAQs on PMP Certification

For how long does the PMP certification stay valid?

The PMP Certification is valid for three years, starting from the day the candidate clears the exam. In this period, the candidate must earn 60 PDUs to maintain the PMP credential after the completion of 3 years.

The PMP Certification Exam cost is USD 405 for members and USD 555 for non-members.

The project management experience is any work that is spent planning and executing projects. This may include any work related to initial planning, time management, execution, budget allocation, risk management, etc.

Job roles that can benefit from the PMP Exam Prep Course include, but are not limited to:

  • Associate Project Managers
  • IT Project Managers
  • Project Coordinators
  • Project Analysts
  • Project Leaders
  • Product Managers
  • Program Managers
  • Project Sponsors
  • Project Team Members

After completing your PMP Exam Prep training, you will gain an in-depth understanding of:

  • Initiating a project
  • Planning project work
  • Developing Project schedules, cost estimates, and budgets
  • Planning project staffing and communication
  • Analyze projects risks
  • Plan and manage project procurement
  • Monitoring and controlling of project work, and more

There are a set of minimum requirements to be met for PMP certification. The prerequisites to take the PMP certification exam are:

Scenario 1

  • Educational Background: Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)
  • Project Management Experience: 60 months leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

Scenario 2

  • Educational Background: Four-year degree
  • Project Management Education: 36 months hours leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

  • Exam Type: Multiple choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, etc.
  • No Of Questions: 180 questions per paper, 175 scored
  • Exam duration: 230 Minutes
  • Type: Closed book exam

Result: The passing score is determined through psychometric analysis

The most challenging part is clearing the eligibility criteria for the PMP Certification. Once you have done that, half the job is done. The other half is the examination and maintaining the credential. A structured learning path and dedicated preparation are needed to get PMP certified.

After clearing the necessary eligibility requirements for the PMP Certification, including the 35 hours of training/learning, the application process can be started. Where the audit will take place, and a candidate has to pay the exam fee. This could take anywhere between 5 days to 3 months. In short, getting a PMP certification can take up to 8-10 weeks, including the preparation and PMP Certification training.

The eligibility criteria clearly state that a candidate must have project management experience. So, unfortunately, a candidate cannot get a PMP Certification without experience. But a little relaxation in qualifications is overwhelming. A high school diploma holder can also appear for the certification after completing the other eligibility requirements.

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