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PMP Exam Format 2021 Update

Published on Thu 24, 2020
PMP Exam Format 2021 Update


As 2020 comes to an end, we can witness an immense adoption of dynamic and agile work environments worldwide. The role of project management practitioners is evolving. They come across different project approaches. Project Management Professional (PMP®?) certification is a globally recognized certification for project managers accredited by the renowned Project Management Institute (PMI®?). To keep the present project management practices and PMP exam aligned, PMI regularly updates the exam content outline.

PMI recently updated PMP exam content in March 2018 to make it more relevant to the PMBOK 6th edition, which was released in September 2017. The changes were very few and evidently simpler to adopt the changes.

The new PMP exam content outline is not an indication that the PMBOK guide will change. However, the PMBOK 7th edition is more likely to release in the second quarter of 2021.

The PMI offers valid and reliable professional certification that aligns with industry best practices, modern trends, knowledge, and skills required. The new PMP exam content outline is based on the research conducted in 2015 and the Role Delineation Study (RDS) in 2019. The research is conducted through the Job Task Analysis to understand the impact of emerging trends and practices in project managers' roles and responsibilities. The new PMP exam content outline was published in June 2019. A new PMP content outline effective from 02 January 2021.


The new PMP Exam Content outline is divided into 3 domains:


Percentage of items in PMP Exam





Business Environment




The new PMP Exam content includes a 50% Predictive Approach and a 50% Agile / Hybrid Approach across all the domains. If we keenly observe, the domain introduced this time is similar to the PMI's Talent Triangle®.


PMI Talent Triangle®

New PMP Exam Domain

Technical Project Management




Strategic and Business Management

Business Environment

Along with the new PMP exam content outline, the exam format of PMP will also be changed from January 02, 2021.


The new PMP exam format is comprised of:

  • 180 questions (175= scored questions, 5= Unscored (pretest) questions)
  • The PMP exam to be completed in 230 minutes.
  • Two 10- minutes break
  • Questions types:
    • Multiple choice
    • Multiple responses
    • Matching
    • Fill-in-the-blank questions
    • Drag and drop
    • Hot-Spot (Graphic) questions

Before this update, the total number of questions was 200, where 175 scored questions and 25 unscored questions to be completed in 240 minutes. In those 4 hours, only one 10 minute break was scheduled.

The major change in the new PMP exam format is the question types. This time along with standard multiple type questions, there will be other types of questions as mentioned above.

Click here to see the prototype questions.

PMI has introduced Online Proctored Testing (OPT) for PMI Certifications at the same cost. The OPT system has made attending exams much easier. Over 50,000 participants have successfully taken their PMP certification exam online. For more details, read a comprehensive blog PMP Exam Update 2021: Everything you need to know.


Enroll in PMP certification course with a reputed training organization Certification Planner and get trained by certified trainers with high-end coaching facilities. To facilitate your PMP exam success, we at Certification Planner have collaborated with industry experts to develop front-of-the-line PMP certification courses. The course is available in various training formats, and you still have the chance to choose the training type that suits your learning style. Explore our PMP Certification Training catalog or reach out to us at or +1 8553221201 if you want to discover more about your training options. Happy Learning!

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