change in pmp exam

The PMP certification exam will change in the later half of 2022. The change will happen due to the transition from PMBOK Guide 6th edition to 7th edition.

PMI has not given any firm date but they have have made following announcements.

  1. PMBOK Guide is the primary reference study material for the PMP exam. The exam content is currently in process of being changed from the 6th edition of the Guide to the 7th edition.
  2. As of 31 March 2022, PMI has started the phased process of retiring or sunsetting the PMBOK Guide 6th edition.

Prior to the impending update in the PMP exam, the last change happened on January 01, 2021. It happened due to the update in the Exam Content Outline.

I have written this post to describe why the PMP exam is altered and how often does it happen. It also talks about the reason and history of such changes and the differences between old & new patterns.

Let us start this post by understanding what can you to deal with the latest updates.

How to Deal with Change in the PMP Exam?

PMI introduces a new variation to the PMP exam 2 years. It makes the exam even more difficult than it already is. After the change, the things stabilize for a while.

The best time to take the exam is when the things are stable. There is a lot of uncertainty a few weeks before and about 2 months after the change. It is best to avoid the exam during this time.

There are a few reasons for doing so:

  1. You may not be able to schedule the test at the last moment. The testing centers are usually full just before the exam change and it becomes difficult to book a date.
  2. If you have an emergency just before or on the scheduled date, you may not be able to reschedule the exam.
  3. In an unfortunate circumstance, if you fail in the exam, you may not be able to take a repeat test before the change happens.
  4. At the last moment, if you application comes under audit, you may not be able to book a date before the exam change.
  5. It is better to avoid taking the exam just after the change because training companies take time to update their study material.

Every change introduces a bit of uncertainty. So, you should not leave anything to chance and take the exam as soon as possible. I would suggest you to schedule the exam at least two months before the change.

If you are disciplined, you can the pass the PMP exam in 4-8 weeks. My PMP exam prep guide can help you to meet your goal. You can start your preparation by downloading it. It will help you pass the exam in first try.

Let us look at what types of changes have occurred in the previous years.

How has PMP Exam Changed Over the Years?

I. Syllabus Changes

The PMP exam is based on the Exam Content Outline (ECO).

The outline determines the PMP exam structure and course syllabus. It provides information about the percentage of questions coming from each domain, the tasks of a project manager by each domain, and the knowledge & skills required by a project manager.

The current exam is based on the course outline that was first published in the year 2001. The exam was updated on January 01, 2021.

Before 2021, the ECO was updated in 2015 and prior to that in 2011. The exam changed in February 2016 for 2015 ECO update..

PMI has released a new course outline in June 2019 and the exam will be updated on July 01, 2020.

II. PMBOK Guide Changes

PMBOK Guide is revised every four years. The latest version of the PMBOK Guide is 7th edtion. It was released in the year 2021 but the exam follows the PMBOK Guide 6th edition

The 6th edition of the Guide was first published in December 2017. At first, it was introduced as a digital book and was only available on PMI’s website. In January 2018, PMI started the printing of the Guide.

PMI made changes to the exam in March, 2018 and started following PMBOK Guide sixth edition for the exam.

Previous updates to the exam due to changes in the PMBOK Guide happened in 2000, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2018.

III. PMP Evaluation Changes

PMI changes the evaluation process once in a while. The scoring process, passing rate, passing criteria and pass percentage are completely shrouded in secrecy. We do not have much information about it. You can read my article on history of passing score to understand more about the evaluation process.

IV. Testing Center Changes

As far as I know, the testing centers for conducting the exam have changed only once. PMI moved the PMP exam from Prometric to Pearson VUE testing centers from July 1, 2019.

Previos Updates to the PMP Exam

The last update to the PMP exam happened on January 01, 2021 due to changes in ECO. Before that the exam was updated in the year 2018 due to change in the version of the PMBOK Guide.

In between these changes there was another update in-between – testing centers are changing from July 1, 2019.

You would say, “That is three change in less than two years.”

Yeah! I know. But, what can we do?

We can’t do anything about what PMI does. We can just accept that there will be a change in near future. And, you should be ready for it.

Or, you can do one better. You can pre-empt the event and take the exam before the new variation comes in.

Important Dates for Changes in 2019/20

March 01, 2019PMI-ACP scheduling available at Pearson VUE.
April 01, 2019PMI-ACP testing begins at Pearson VUE centers and online proctoring.
April 01, 2019Scheduling available at Pearson VUE for PMP®, PgMP®, PfMP®, PMI-PBA®, PMI-SP® and PMI-RMP® exams.
June 30, 2019Last date for testing at Prometric centers.
July 01, 2019Testing begins at Pearson VUE centers for PMP, PgMP, PfMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-SP and PMI-RMP exams.
June 30, 2020Last date to take current version of the exam.
July 01, 2020First day of new exam.

Final Thoughts

PMP certification exam is a difficult exam. The frequent changes create uncertainty and make the exam much more difficult.

It is better to not worry about what has already changed or how is it going to change in near future. The best approach to crack the PMP certification is to take the exam much before the impending change.

Moreover, the sooner you take the exam, the better it is for your career. You can potentially get 20% raise in salary with PMP certification.

My free exam prep guide can help you prepare and pass the exam in first try.

Over To You

What is your opinion about the PMP exam changes? Did you start your exam prep after hearing about the change?

When are you planning to take the exam?

I would love to hear from you.

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