How the PMP exam is changing in 2021

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There was an update from the PMI, wherein they informed us that there would be a change in the exam in the year 2021. After the release of a fresh PMP Exam Content Outline, change in the exam was prompted. The new content was released in June 2019. The content outline is a description of the number of questions that the candidates will appear in the PMP exam. According to the current pattern, almost half of the exam pattern is being changed. It is being said that this is the most substantial change to the PMP exam for 20 years. So, what really are the content outline and exam based on? The content outline and exam can be said to be function tracing analysis of project managers that is performed by the PMI in a span of every four years. The PMI gathers and analyses data from this study, which contributes to the reinforcements for the certification exam. This includes the percentage-wise distribution of different domains based on which the question pattern is structured. This is done to facilitate the PMP exam with the favorable roles and responsibilities of a project manager bureau. The last time PMI did an exam change was in 2015, after a role delineation study. 

Around 25% of exam content was changed as estimated by PMI. The new exam is scheduled to be brought about in the month of January 2021. December 31st, 2020, will be the last date to take the exam under the current format. The current five domains are changing and are being reduced to 3, and those are people, processes, and business environment. That being said, candidates should expect to see more case studies in questions that reflect real-life environments in which they might work in the future. Prophetic, agile, and hybrid approaches will be encompassed to reflect the value spectrum of this exam. However, the reference material for this exam will still be the same, i.e., the 6th PMKOB Guide. We can expect to see the 7th edition later in 2021. Candidates should also go through the Agile Practice Guide.  

As said, there will be three domains, 35 tasks, and 133 enablers. Enablers are basically pointers under ‘task,’ which vary in number across different tasks. So, the new pattern will comprise People (42%), Process (50%), Business Environmental (8%), with the number of tasks being 14, 17, and 4, respectively. There is a ‘Crossover Map’ that has been published by PMI so that candidates can compare the old and new ECOs. Also, aspirants planning to appear the new exam must use the updated materials, though as of now, there have been no materials available. The use of an exam simulator is one of the most preferred and effective ways to practice for the exam. Note that the PMBOK is just one of the many sources of materials. There are approximately 30 materials which can be used for reference by the aspirants. The exam is being divided equally between agile and traditional, predictive project management approaches. 

The Domain I, i.e., People, evaluates the dimension of the leadership of PMI’s Talent management triangle. The tasks comprise managing conflict( task 1), team management, and leadership(task 2-7, 11,12 and 14), negotiation(task 8), and finally, stakeholder engagement, which comprises the remainder of tasks. The domain II, i.e., Process, covers mainly the technical aspect of project management. By mapping the relationship, one can inspect them and find out which task corresponds to which chapter of the guide. Domain III, i.e., the business environment has identical to the Strategic and Business Management dimension of the Talent triangle. 

Though it comprises a lesser portion of the exam, it is as crucial as the other domains. They are hoping that the aspirants would not face any difficulties in the change of the exam pattern and would be welcoming towards the change. However, there is nothing to worry about and stress regarding the changes in the exam. There is sufficient time for a candidate to appear for the PMP exam in the current pattern as the last date stands on December 31, 2020. A panel is already involved in developing the seventh edition of the PMBOK, which would aid in preparing the candidates according to the new pattern. We hope the best for the candidates aiming to crack this exam, hoping that this structure would help the industry. 

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