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PMP® Exam Changes on January 2, 2021. (Maybe you should certify now!)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam has changed several times in the past twenty-five years, and it is making another – far more dramatic – change soon. Anyone who has been thinking of taking the exam might want to act now, while the target is clear and exam prep resources are abundant.

The new exam, which goes live on January 2, 2021, is the biggest change the exam has ever experienced. Traditionally, candidates for the exam could look to the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide, or PMBOK) as the primary source of topics that would appear on the exam. No longer.

The revised exam, according to PMI, “is evolving, just like the profession.” The biggest change is a bigger emphasis on Agile: approximately 50% of the exam content covers Agile topics. That’s a major reason the current PMBOK is insufficient to study for the exam.

What drives these changes? Before any exam change, PMI sponsors a role delineation study, an analysis of the typical responsibilities of a project manager. This is the method for keeping the PMP a relevant certification. In the most recent study, apparently, a large group of the project managers surveyed were using Agile principles and frameworks.

How should you respond to these changes? For current PMP’s, there are no announced changes. For project leaders with sufficient experience (4500 hours of project management responsibility over three years*) this might be the time to dig in, study, and pass the exam. Why? Every author and training firm that provides PMP® Exam Preparation resources is dialed in on the current exam. While many of these firms are using the new Exam Content Outline to update their resources, they are responding to the biggest change in the exam’s history so it will be more difficult to get it right.

Thinking about it? Try out the PMP® Deep Dive, the better, faster, more fun exam prep program. Use the free trial and find out how easy - and fun - it can be to prepare.

What if you wait? Eventually the exam preparation resources will catch up to the new exam. PMI has already listed some exam study resources that address the new exam.

Find out for yourself about the changes to the exam by referring to the PMI website.

*Read about the requirements to apply to sit for the examination.