Change is inevitable, and the PMP® Exam is changing January 1, 2021. PMI recently announced that the exam change date will be moved back by 6 months due to COVID-19.

The PMP® exam is changing because the project management industry as a whole is changing and the exam has to change to reflect the changes in the workplace.

Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to write the exam. The last date to write the current version of the PMP® Exam is December 31, 2020.

As the nature of project management evolves and continues to develop in new directions, so does the PMP® Exam.  The new Exam will reflect content spanning a wide spectrum, including predictive, agile and hybrid approaches. 

Why is the exam changing? 

Approximately every 3-5 years, the PMI conducts a study to ensure that the PMP® exam is consistent with the roles and responsibilities of project managers.

The last time the PMI made a change to the PMP® exam was in 2015, with approximately 25% of the exam content changing.  In June 2019, the PMI released new PMP® Exam Content outline.  Read on to see what the new content looks like.

PMP® Exam Content Outline

The PMP® Exam content outline provides a basic, but vital, description of the types of questions that are included in the PMP® exam.

These questions will focus on the three new domains, covering People, Processes, and the Business Environment. The three domains focus on:

  1. People:  emphasizing leadership of your project team
  2. Process:  underscoring the technical aspects of project management
  3. Business Environment:  highlighting the link with organizational strategy

Don’t despair, you won’t be needing a new PMBOK® version. The new exam content is evenly split between the traditional PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge), and agile, and hybrid approaches.

Is there a new PMBOK® version?

The latest version of the PMBOK® guide is the Sixth Edition, published in 2017.  The Sixth Edition is  the current version of the PMBOK® guide. 

If you plan on taking the PMP® exam after July 1, 2020, you can find information on agile practices included alongside traditional approaches in the Sixth edition.  More detailed Agile approaches are covered in Agile Practice Guide.

Don’t worry about waiting for the new version of the PMBOK® guide. The PMI updates the PMBOK® guide approximately every 4 years, meaning the 7th Edition will likely be released in 2021. 

Mike Griffiths, co-lead for the 7th Edition of the PMBOK® guide, explains that the 7th edition will be “a radical departure from all previous editions aligned with the PMI’s new digital transformation strategy”.

Will the new exam be a big change from the current exam?

Yes. The PMP® exam is changing July 2020, and the majority of the traditional PMBOK® material will be found within the Process domain of the exam.

After July 1, 2020, the Exam will include these three Domains:

Domain                                     Questions in Exam           No. of Tasks

  1. People                              42%                                     14 (40%)
  2. Process                             50%                                     17 (49%)
  3. Business Environment   8%                                       4 (11%)

Total                                          100%                                  35

The PMP® Exam is changing July 2020, but why? 

The project management profession has progressed, and the responsibilities of project managers have changed.  The new exam reflects the impact of emerging trends, combining traditional predictive PMBOK® approaches with agile, and hybrid approaches. 

Today’s project managers work in a variety of project environments and employ a variety of project approaches.  The 3 domains in the new exam version will test your knowledge and ensure you are ready for the ever-evolving field of project management.

PMP® Examination Content Outline

As with the traditional PMBOK® Guide, each Domain has related set of tasks.  You can read the details of the new PMP® Examination Content Outline, a 10 page document, by clicking here.  Or, read the domain and tasks summary below.

People Domain

The People domain makes up 42% of the new exam and has 14 associated tasks.  These tasks are: 

  1. Manage conflict
  2. Lead a team
  3. Support team performance
  4. Empower team members and stakeholders
  5. Ensure team members/stakeholders are adequately trained
  6. Build a team
  7. Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
  8. Negotiate project agreements
  9. Collaborate with stakeholders
  10. Build shared understanding
  11. Engage and support virtual teams
  12. Define team ground rules
  13. Mentor relative stakeholders
  14. Promote team performance through the application of emotional intelligence

Process Domain

The Process domain makes up 50% of the new exam and has 17 associated tasks.  These tasks are:

  1. Execute project with the urgency required to deliver business value
  2. Manage communications
  3. Assess and manage risks
  4. Engage stakeholders
  5. Plan and manage budget and resources
  6. Plan and manage schedule
  7. Plan and manage quality of products/deliverables
  8. Plan and manage scope
  9. Integrate project planning activities
  10. Manage project changes
  11. Plan and manage procurement
  12. Manage project artifacts
  13. Determine appropriate project methodology/methods and practices
  14. Establish project governance structure
  15. Manage project issues
  16. Ensure knowledge transfer for project continuity
  17. Plan and manage project/phase closure or transitions

Business Environment

The Business Environment domain makes up 8% of the new exam and has 4 associated tasks.  These tasks are:

  1. Plan and manage project compliance
  2. Evaluate and deliver project benefits and value
  3. Evaluate and address external business environment changes for impact on scope
  4. Support organizational change

What should I do if I want to take the PMP® exam before it changes?

There is still plenty of time to study for the exam before the new changes take effect.  Follow these steps to put yourself in the best position possible to pass the current version of the exam:

Keep in mind that once your application is approved, you have one year to pass the exam.  Leave yourself plenty of time to prepare, study and write the exam before July 2020.


The PMP® exam is changing July 2020, with the last opportunity to take the current version of the exam on July 1, 2020. 

The new exam will combine predictive PMBOK® approaches with agile, and hybrid approaches. 

There are three domains in the new exam, covering People, Processes, and Business Environment.

The new exam will be offered beginning July 1, 2020.  Anyone wishing to take the current exam should fill out the application, pay for the exam, and schedule a date. 

Remember, there is loads of help on how to fill out the application, create study plans, and practise questions here.

Good luck!

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