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Is The PMP Certification Exam Changing In 2021?

Do you intend to undertake a Project Management Institute (PMI®) exam? If your answer is yes, it’s essential to know that the premier body is changing its exam structure from 2021. PMI® announced these changes back in 2019, and they were to be effective from July 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exam changes were postponed to January 2021.  Are you an aspiring project Management Professional (PMP) and wondering what these changes entail? Please keep reading for an in-depth exploration concerning the shifts.

Main changes that you should be aware of as a PMP aspirant

The new PMP test has various components that are distinguishable from past exams. Some of the categories that have seen significant shifts include:

Scope of the Exam: the new PMP training exam system, starting from January 2021, is based on three areas-persons, procedure, and Business Environment. These are significant shifts from the previous exams that were based on five spheres, including 

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Exam quizzes from Agile and Hybrid Methodologies: Half of the quizzes in the updated PMP test will come from Agile and Hybrid approaches.

Courseware for the PMP exam: PMP came into being in 1984, and PMI has never affirmed any document as the leading preparatory resource for the PMP tests. Because of this, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) material has been the central resource for PMP candidates. Many quizzes in the PMP exam are beyond what the PMBOK guide covers, which has given room for different writers to introduce their materials to bridge the gap. 

To prepare for the new exam, PMP aspirants can now benefit from PMI approved courseware. The material is a one-stop guide for PMP aspirants, which reflects the exam content framework. And this brings to an end the question about the official PMP exam prep resources.

Authorized Training Provider (ATP) program: PMI has declared that it’s the only entity offering a self-paced program and tutor-led training from an ATP. Through this move, PMI intends to introduce an affordable program that many PMP aspirants can access.

Another change regarding training touches on the Train The Trainer (TTT). All instructors for the TTT program must pass the TTT program to qualify for teaching PMP preparatory courses.

Logistics:  The new PMP exam application process is now simple and doesn’t take much time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, candidates can take their exams from the comfort of their homes.

The impact of PMP exam changes on candidates

The new PMP exam changes are likely to have multiple effects on the candidates. Key among them include:

Delay in exam schedule is a thing of the past: if you intend to have a PMP exam, you must have a specific date and have a backward plan to take it. And if your plan to take the old PMP tests, you must decide by December 2020. Because many candidates are likely to take the PMP exams before the new changes take effect, it’s critical to avoid dilly-dallying in commencing the application process.

The new exam may be challenging: the new PMP exam comes with a focus on different domains. Therefore, many prospective PMP exam aspirants think that the new exam content is hard to pass. The addition of agile and hybrid components makes it even more difficult.

Increase of course charges: the typical training material created by PMI comes at a fee. Remember, ATP will meet the costs to access PMI resources each time a student enrolls for the test. Therefore, you must anticipate an increase in charges.

Perceived Value addition: with the focus on Agile and Hybrid approaches, many PMP aspirants attach a higher value to the new certification. Away from that perception, the PMP credentials are valuable anyway.

Selecting the correct training Choice: From January 2021, the REP program will be phased out. Candidates for PMP exams will only have two training options: ATP and PMI course.

Final Thoughts 

The PMP exam changes touch on various aspects that candidates should be aware of. The new PMP exam from PMI is a complete shift from the previous one from the change of domain focus and course training materials. Most of the changes are captured and explained above.

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