PMP Exam Change in January 2021 - New

Guidelines for Every PMP Aspirant

The recent changes in the PMP exam format was 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 promises 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.

Dates and Deadlines

  • 30th June 2019 - The new PMP Exam Content Outline is published
  • 31st December 2020 - Last day to attempt the current PMP Exam.
  • 2nd January 2021 - The first day to attempt the new PMP Exam.

What’s there in the PMP Certification Exam PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition?

The previous PMP exam consists of 5 domains which are basically different project lifecycle stages. The table below shows the domains and percentage of each domain that will cover in the PMP exam:

Domain Percentage
I. Initiating 13%
II. Planning 4%
III. Executing 31%
IV. Monitoring and Controlling 25%
V. Closing 7%

What are the PMP Exam Changes in 2021?

A new PMP exam content outline was published by PMI, in June 2019, and certainly the new document defines the new syllabus of PMP exam. The new PMP exam is based on 3 domains and its percentage share is shown in the table below:

Domain Percentage
I. People 42%
II. Process 50%
III. Business Environment 8%

Both the domains of the previous and the new PMP exam will have some predefined tasks, whereas a new term ‘enablers’ is added to the new PMP exam. Let’s see what does the domains, tasks, and enablers mean:

  • Domain - High-level knowledge area that is essential for Project Management practice
  • Tasks - Project manager responsibilities in all the domain areas
  • Enablers - Clear examples of the work that is relevant to the task.

The exam has changed from five domains to three domains, forty-two tasks to thirty-five tasks and the biggest change is that the new PMP exam has 50% of the questions based on the predictive Project Management approaches and the other 50% on agile or hybrid approaches.

New PMP Exam Format

The new exam format also has seen a few significant changes mentioned below:

  1. Exam Type - Closed book with multiple choice questions
  2. Exam Duration - 230 minutes
  3. Number of Questions - 180 questions
  4. Passing Marks : The score is decided based on psychometric analysis

What’s New?

  • Since the content is fairly new, the exam could be tougher than the current exam format.
  • The format contains a majority of questions from an agile approach, it could be new for a lot of aspirants.
  • Currently, there has not been any addition of the study materials which makes it even more difficult since most of the exam is based on 2 domains entirely.
  • Agile is a must.


The new PMP exam format is a transition towards the agile aspect of project management. With more than 50% questions in the PMP certification exam, the candidates can expect a revised 7th edition of the PMBOK®Guide - Sixth Edition. 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 for a glorious project management career.

Syllabus of PMP Certification Training

  • 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

Download detailed course syllabus

Download Syllabus

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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