Why should you take the PMP certification exam before 2021?

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Why should you take the PMP certification exam before 2021?

Why should you take the PMP certification exam before 2021?
  06 September, 2020   Dr. Preeti Adhav

The Project Management Institute (PMI), USA conducts a survey every 3-5 years to understand the emerging trends, progress in the project management, and changes in roles and responsibilities of a project manager.

In the survey, it was established that most of the leading organizations were using the Agile methodology at some point in the project life cycle. This led to the announcement that the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam will see some changes. The new pattern of the exam will be adapted from January 2021.

PMP exam changes 2021 On 30th of June 2019, PMI, USA published the exam content outline which will match the new exam syllabus that will be enforced from 2nd January 2021.

Earlier the exam pattern contained 200 questions on project management. Now the main PMP exam change is 100 questions from traditional project management based on the predictive life cycle and 100 questions from Agile methodology based on the adaptive lifecycle.

Before the new changes, the focus was only on traditional project management. With almost every organization in every industry adopting Agile or hybrid methodology the new curriculum will focus equally on both traditional project management and Agile methodology.

The current Exam Content Outline (ECO 2015) is based on 5 major domains namely:

  •  Domain I- Initiating
  •  Domain II- Planning
  •  Domain III- Executing
  •  Domain IV- Monitoring and Controlling
  •  Domain V- Closing

From Jan 2021 there will be only 3 major domains (ECO 2019). The new PMP certification exam outline is radical, and the candidates are expected to answer questions only from these 3 domains. The percentage of questions for each domain is allocated as follows

  •  Domain I- People with 42% questions
  •  Domain II- Process with 50% questions
  •  Domain III- Business environment with 8% questions

Reasons to take the PMP certification exam by December 2020


PMI has always been dedicated to the global well-being of society. Because of the pandemic crisis, to make it easier for the community, PMI decided to extend the access of the current PMP exam till December 2020.

It takes roughly about 8-12 weeks to prepare for the PMP exam. If you want to take up the exam by December 2020 you should make up your mind at the earliest and start the preparation. It is a smarter idea to complete the examination by December 2020 as:

  •  The new content is largely based on Process and Business environment which has not been explored much yet.
  •  The agile or hybrid methodology will gain more importance and there is the risk of the unknown.
  •  Clearing the examination will be more difficult at numerous new topics and methodologies will be added and the method of testing is also changing.
  •  With the new pattern emerging up the time required to get an in-depth understanding of all the new things will require much more than just the prescribed 35 hours.

Things to know for December 2020 exam

What are the changes in pmp exam 2021

If you are determinant and want to finish off the exam before the syllabus changes, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  •  Aim to schedule the exam by 31st October 2020.
  •  To be on the safer side, scheduling the exam before November will give you an additional two months to re-appear for the exam in case you do not clear it the first time.
  • Prepare a study plan and stick to it with dedication and commitment.
  •  To gain guidance for the exam use Exam Outline Content (EOC) 2015.
  • Prepare from PMBOK guide 6th Edition.


The PMBOK guide is not changing as the PMBOK 7th Edition is not due for any release. PMBOK 6th Edition will only be used as the reference even after the PMP exam changes 2021. But the ideal way would be to commit yourself and get over with the examination with the current syllabus still in place.

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