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COVID-19 and the PMP exam- What you need to know!

It seems like for better or worse, COVID-19 is impacting us all. I wanted to take a few moments to share what the short to medium term impacts will be, as well as a summary of what the exam changes will look like this year. 

Here  is a quick snapshot of the Coronavirus changes that will impact us now:

  • The PMI is moving the date of the PMP exam changes from July 1st to December 31st 2020. That means students will be able to access the current PMP exam until the 31st of December 2020! The launch of the new PMP format will be on the  2nd of January 2021.
  • Pearson Vue, the company that administers the exams will not be delivering tests effective March 17th until April 16th (30 days). That means if you were scheduled to write in that timeframe you will get a notification from them. Here is more info from their website Pearson Vue updates
  • If you are already scheduled to write the exam, and cannot due to health restrictions, the PMI  has announced that it will extend the 1 year limit to write the exam by 6 months. 

More PMI info here: PMI announcements

PMI Exam Changes 2020 Explained

The changes impact you if you plan to write on or after January 2nd, in that case you will have to refocus and enhance your learning in order to adjust to the new format (see changes below). If you plan it right, you can still write the old format up until December 31st, but time is flying!

If you are someone who is studying now, it is our recommendation that you schedule your exam before the changes. Here is a quick overview of what is changing and why.

Why the change?

The PMI is regularly researching and adapting the exam to reflect the relevance of today’s project management environment, that is to say, they want the exam to accurately reflect the practice of project management in the real world.  The result of their latest ‘global practice analysis’ was that there were industry trends that were not being addressed in the current exam. The conclusion was that the exam must change to ensure the correct skill sets and knowledge of today’s project managers was being rigorously tested. The results can be found in their new exam content outline: PMI exam content outline 2020

What are the changes?

Change: Domains go from 5 to 3– Domains are the knowledge areas of focus, within which the Exam is scored. The PMI defines a domain as ‘the high-level knowledge area that is essential to the practice of project management’ 

The following diagram illustrates the change in domain focus, and the percent of the exam questions for each one. 

Change: Agile focus increased. About The PMI states that the exam includes much more agile focus, and that approximately half of the examination will represent the predictive project management approaches (eg. waterfall etc.) and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches… spread out amongst the three new Domains.

Change: From Domains, Tasks, and Skills to Domains, Task (Statements) and Enablers

Although this sounds complicated, the change is actually easy to digest. The idea was to make the exam outline easier to understand and interpret. 

PMI Definitions– In addition to the definition of domains given earlier, the PMI defines tasks and enablers in this way:

Tasks (and task statements): The underlying responsibilities of the project manager within each domain area. 

 Enablers: Illustrative examples of the work associated with the task. Please note that enablers are not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather offer a few examples to help demonstrate what the task encompasses. 

Here is a quick view of the old versus the new format:

Current Exam (example)


New Exam (example)


If you are interested in the current exam outline you can download it here:

I hope you find this information helpful. At ExamsPM we are on top of the exam changes and will be updating our course materials to reflect the changes in time for July 2020! Also if there are updates due to the Coronavirus impact we will let you know!

To learn how you can get PMP certified, join our free course where we will teach you how to get certified in 6 weeks or less!