PMP Exam 2021 Changes That You Must Know

PMP Certification Exam 2021 Changes
PMP Certification Exam 2021 Changes

The new PMP Exam 2021 has come into effect from 02 January 2021. Thus, the PMP certification exam is now based on the new exam content outline. As a matter of fact, PMI published its new exam content outline way back in June 2019. Although, the new PMP exam had to be effective from 01 Jul 2020, it was postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. Now that the changes have come into effect it is good to understand these changes. Hence this post describes what’s new in the PMP certification exam 2021.

PMP Exam 2021, What’s New?

The following paragraphs describe the six important changes introduced in PMP certification exam format.

#1 PMP Exam 2021 Change In Number of Questions

Firstly, the most important change is that PMP exam has now only 180 questions as against 200 questions. Another key point, is that all 180 questions will now be scored. Earlier only 175 questions were scored out of 200.

#2 PMP Exam 2021 Change In Domains

So far, PMP exam was based on exam content outline 2015. This outline had five domains identical to project management process groups.

PMI in its new exam content outline describes three new domains such as people, process and business environment. Further, each domain has list of identified tasks and few enablers. The following is the definition of these terms.

  1. Domain: It is the high level knowledge area essential for the practice of project management
  2. Tasks: Important responsibilities of project manager in each domain area.
  3. Enablers: Examples of work associated with the task.

The following paragraphs provides brief description of each domain.


  • 42% weight consisting of 14 tasks.
  • The people domain deals with team building and team management activities.


  • 50% weight comprising of 17 tasks.
  • Process domain stress on integration, schedule and change control management.

Business Environment

  • 08%weight with four tasks.
  • Business environment deals with compliance, project benefits & value and change management.

Thew new format includes content from predictive, agile and hybrid approaches across all three domains.

#3 Change In Distribution of Questions

The following two tables enumerates distribution of questions from each domain in 2015 as well as 2021.

Break-up of questions 2015

Domain% of QuestionsNumber of Questions
Monitoring and Controlling25%50

Break-up of questions 2021

Domain% of QuestionsNumber of Questions
Business Environment08%14

#4 PMP Exam 2021 Duration Change

In the light of this change, the PMP exam duration is now 230 minutes as against 240 minutes.

#5 Scheduled Breaks Introduced

Now that, candidates who take the computer based test can avail two ten minutes breaks. However, no scheduled breaks for those opting for paper based test.

#6 PMP Exam 2021 Question Format Changes

Prior to the PMP certification exam changes, we have seen only multiple choice questions in test. But this not the case anymore. Along with multiple choice questions, PMI has now introduced multiple response, matching question types, hotspots, and fill in the blanks.

Also read: PMP Certification Application Process


Summing up, PMI has introduced significant changes to PMP Certification Examination.  However, this year, PMI is also likely to introduce Seventh Edition of Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK). It is very likely that the PMP exam may see few more changes in the near future.

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