All you need to know about the new PMP exam 2021

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Last updated on
27th Apr, 2021
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03rd Jul, 2020
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All you need to know about the new PMP exam 2021

Project Management Professional® or PMP® is a professional certification for project managers offered by the Project Management Institute or PMI. This certification’s examination development processes are different from regular certification exam development practices. PMI has ensured that its certification process is aligned with the best practices of the industry. Also, the PMP certification is accredited with the internationally-recognized ISO 17024 standard. 

As a part of the examination process, all organizations that are offering reliable and valid professional credentialing examinations have to use a Job Task Analysis (JTA) or Role Delineation Study (RDS) to create the exam. During this process, they will be utilizing knowledge and task-driven guidelines for assessing the competence of the practitioner. Also, it helps in determining the levels of criticality, frequency, and salience of each knowledge, skill, and task that are needed for performing the role of a project manager.  

The PMP New Exam 2021 

For this year’s PMP exam new version, a market research study on the Global Practice Analysis was conducted by the PMI. It produced several professional trends that were not addressed in the previous PMP exam. PMI has used these trends as inputs into the Job Task Analysis for ensuring the relevance and validity of the PMP examination. The validation will assure that through the exam, the specific knowledge and skills of a project management practitioner are measured and evaluated appropriately. The Job Task Analysis will ensure that PMP examination measures every element of Project Management Professionals in terms of real cases. 

So, all PMP certification holders can remain confident that the PMP exam new pattern has been created as per the best standards of test development and based on the input from practitioners who have established these practices. 

When it comes to earning professional certification, the PMP examination is an important part. This is why it is vital that the PMP exam accurately reflects the project management practices. All the questions have been written and reviewed by qualified PMP certification holders. Also, the questions are tracked to 2 or more academic references. The questions are mapped against the exam outline of PMP for ensuring that there is an appropriate number of questions for a valid exam. 

PMI has developed the global examination content outline with the help of Alpine Testing solutions. Alpine Testing Solutions provide test development, credential management solutions, and psychometric to educational and credentialing programs. 

There are some differences between the guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) – Sixth Edition and the PMP exam new version Content Outline. For example, the volunteer task force involved in the study mentioned above is not bound by the PMBOK Guide. The members of the task force had to outline critical job tasks of professionals who were leading and directing projects based on experience and related resources. 

Benefits of Project Management Professional (PMP) certification 

 1. Value to the resume

PMP is one of the most valuable professional certification programs that you can pursue in your career. Interviewers who are looking to fill the position of a project manager will prioritize candidates with PMP certification over others. Many companies have made PMP certification mandatory, which means that you won’t be able to apply without these credentials.  

 2. Recognition 

PMP is a universally recognized certification unlike some other certification programs that focus only on special geography or domain. So, regardless of the industry you are working in or your professional background, you can add PMP to your resume.   

 3. Learn important skills

PMP certification will help you stand out from the crowd of project managers in the job market. With the high standards of thePMP exam, one cannot pass the exam easily without any extensive preparation. One also needs to master the practical applications to attain PMP certification. The program is built on the foundation of fundamental tools, technologies, and methodologies of project management processes. During the training, you will be exposed to the current trends and best practices in the field of project management.  

4. Higher-income

This is one of the biggest advantages a PMP-certified professional can enjoy. PMP has been the highest-paid IT certification consistently and the income is only going to increase in the future. Another benefit of PMP certification is job security. Most companies value their core competencies with certifications.   

 5. Networking opportunities

There are about 773,840 PMP certification holders across the globe. By obtaining the PMP certification, you get to become part of the club. PMI is also known to arrange meetings in major cities where members can earn Professional Development Units (PDUs). These are requiredto renewthe certification. 

PMP® Certification Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for the PMI new exam, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has set some initial requirements:  

  • Associate’s degree, high school diploma or global equivalent 

    • At least 5 years of unique and non-overlapping experience of professional project management. 
    • 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects. 
    • 35 contact hours of project management education. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or global equivalent

    • At least 3 years of unique and non-overlapping experience of professional project management. 
    • 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects. 
    • 35 contact hours of project management education. 

You must satisfy each of the above-mentioned eligibility requirements to sit for the PMP certification exam. You can meet the 35 contact hours of project management education requirement by PMA’s 4-day PMP training course.  

  • Experience 

For the experience, it should include all the five processes mentioned in the PMBOK Guide. However, it does not have to be in a single project. Here is a list of acceptable knowledge, tasks, and skills for the PMP exam: 

  • Defining the high-level scope of the project on the basis of business requirements and compliance for meeting the project expectations of the customer. 
  • Presenting the plan of the project to the key stakeholders for getting approval to execute the project. 
  • Achieving the project deliverable within the specified budget and schedule by executing tasks as defined in the plan. 
  • Communicating the status of the project to the stakeholders for getting their feedback and ensuring that the needs of the business are aligned with the project. 
  • Working with the sponsors and customers for obtaining the final project deliverable and confirming that the scope and deliverables were met. 

Examination Content Outline 

Here is the proportion of questions for the PMI new exam content outline

  1. Process - 50% 
  2. People - 42% 
  3. Business Environment - 8% 

As a project management practitioner, you will be working in different project environments and utilizing different project approaches. So, the PMP certification exam will be reflective of this and will include approaches from various value delivery systems. Half of the exam will represent predictive project management approaches, while the other half will represent hybrid or agile approaches. Predictive, hybrid, and agile approaches are used in all the three-domain areas mentioned above. 

Reference Materials 

Every candidate planning to give the PMP exam new version must know that it is not based on a single textbook or supported by any reference. PMI does not endorse any course, resource, or reference to prepare for the exam. The references mentioned below are not inclusive of all the resources that you can use. Also, you should not interpret them as a guaranteed way to pass the exam. PMP is a competency-based certification that tests the integrated set of knowledge, abilities, and skills gained from learned and practical experience. So, the references mentioned below are just an element of a broader set of resources: 

  1. Agile Practice Guide 
  2. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling 
  3. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 6th Edition 
  4. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid 
  5. Project Managers Portable Handbook, 3rd Edition 
  6. Fundamentals of Technology Project Management, 2nd Edition 
  7. Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process 
  8. Information Technology Project Management, 7th Edition 
  9. The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right 
  10. Project Management: The Managerial Process  

Important dates 

PMI has a designated Crisis Task Force for continuously monitoring the current situation arising from COVID-19 (Coronavirus). They are taking steps to make this hard time easier for their community. For this reason, they have extended access to the existing PMP exam until the 21st December 2020.  

The launch of the PMI new exam has also been postponed until the 2nd January 2021. Candidates now have more time to access the training resources and prepare for the exam. If you have scheduled your exam or are planning to do so in the near future, consult the PMI’s COVID-19 page for guidance and update.  

Important dates

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