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PMP Exam Changes: Why you should consider taking the exam now

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The PMP® exam is changing on 2 January 2021, so here’s your Public Service Announcement:

If you want to certify as a PMP before the exam changes, you’ve just about got time.

I believe it takes 8-12 weeks to comfortably prep for the exam so if you are committed and prepared to put the effort in, you can squeeze in your exam.

Why bother?

Because the changes to the exam content outline are more radical than we’ve ever seen before. I mean, it’s like a totally different set of standards. You’ll be examined against 3 domains instead of the current 10 knowledge areas, and that’s just the start of it.

I think it’s better; a more rounded approach to managing projects, but it’s very, very different. And there aren’t that many training companies offering exam prep materials for the new course yet.

Also, and this is a big one…

I think learning under the new scheme will cost more.

Official PMP training providers will no longer be able to provide on-demand PMP prep courses i.e. video learning. It’s all going to be instructor-led online classes.

(If you are wondering how I know this, I spend a lot of time investigating stuff for you. Dig around the R.E.P. pages of the PMI website and read the 9-page FAQ for training firms and you’ll see the same.)

It’s not hard to guess that live classes cost more to put on than a video course where you can sell the same materials over and over again once they are made. I know this because I teach live classes and also have video courses for sale (not PMP prep stuff, but other classes, and the economic principles are the same).

So my assumptions are:

  • PMP exam prep courses from now on will be harder to fit in around your life because you’ll have to show up live to classes


  • They’ll be more expensive because they will be run in real time with ‘real’ instructors.

They’ll also probably be much more relevant to running a project in the real world, so it’s not all bad news.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether to do the PMP exam, now is the time to make up your mind.

I’m asked a lot about my recommended PMP training courses so I’ll tell you I’m a fan (and affiliate) for The PM PrepCast, a fully-rounded PMP exam prep video on-demand self-study option. It’s a very reasonable price and the exam simulator has some of the best reviews in the industry.

The PM PrepCast

The self-directed PMP Exam course is not currently available. They are still offering many PMP study prep options though and we continue to recommend them.

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We're pleased to be affiliates for The Project Management PrepCast #ad

The bottom line is this: if you want a tried-and-tested study path to PMP, get on with it as soon as you can. If you want to see how the training industry is going to respond to the changes and be a guinea pig for whatever new courses they create for a totally new exam experience, then sit tight and cross your fingers that the first 6 months of 2021 isn’t a total shambles.

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PMP Exam Changes

About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management in the UK and the award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She helps managers juggle their projects and ditch the overwhelm, making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including Engaging Stakeholders on Projects: How to harness people power.


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