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Is the PMP exam change good or bad?

Published on Tue 3, 2020
Is the PMP exam change good or bad?

PMI announced the exam changes in August 2019. The new exam format will be effective from 1st July 2020. 

Wondering if it’s a good or bad change? Let’s dive a little deeper to understand.

PMP Certification is a globally renowned and prestigious certification. This certification prepares project managers on how to implement project management practices, make informed decisions, and successfully manage projects. The PMP certification makes you a global professional.

Why is PMI making alterations to the PMP exam?

Change is inevitable in a business environment. The volatile market condition and ever-changing business environment make everything we learned and know, redundant. We have to keep updating ourselves. And so does PMI!

A decade ago, most industries were following the waterfall methodology. However, recently, most industries have moved to agile methodologies. PMI closely observes the trends in the industry. Every 3 to 5 years, PMI conducts surveys to find if there are new developments in the field of project management and the project manager’s responsibilities. They make relevant modifications based on the changing dynamics of the industry. Therefore, PMI updates the PMBOK from time to time. Also, the exam structure is changed to keep the standards high and to keep up with the changing industry trends.

What’s the change?

The current PMP structure is based on the five life cycles or principles of PMP. Released in June 2015, it will end on 30th June 2020. Below is the PMP exam structure with the weight-age classification:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring & Controlling
  • Closing


The new structure that will be in effect from 1st July 2020 is as below:

  • People  
  • Process
  • Business Environment

The three segments:

  • People will focus on Leadership Skills
  • Process on Technical Skills
  • Business Environment focus will be mainly on Strategic and Business Management.

How will it impact the aspirants?

The PMBOK guide 6th edition was released on 6th September 2017. The PMBOK guide has not changed; hence, the reference material remains the same. Phew, doesn’t that take away all the build-up tensions? Since the reference guide remains the same, you can take your exam before or after the exam structure change. It should not affect you negatively as long as you’re well prepared and are quite good with the concepts from the PMBOK guide.


Change is difficult to accept. However, it is required to keep up the standards. With the changing dynamics of the industry, it is important to be relevant and up to date. PMI understands the importance of being up to date according to the changing industry. They have modified and updated the exam structure to meet the current industry requirements based on the PMI's Pulse of the Profession research. Therefore, I would say the PMP exam change is good.      

Certification Planner is a leading training platform that has trained thousands of Project Managers who are part of fortune 500 companies. If you would like to know more about the PMP certification program, do visit our website or email us at, or you can call us at +1 8553221201.

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