Share this post: The Project Management Professional (PMP), certification is widely recognized by organizations as the best certification to demonstrate your project management skills and understanding. I have been a project manager for over 20 years and a project management instructor for nearly 20 years. The PMP certification is a tremendous boost to your career, and opens doors to many new opportunities.

Over the past 37 years, the PMP certification has undergone continuous evolution. Changes are usually caused by PMI’s release of a new version of Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK), as it’s one of the main reference guides for the certification exam.
Many people are wondering if the PMP exam will be updated due to the new PMBOK 7th Edition.
What will the PMP exam look like in 2021?
PMP aspirants wondered if the 7th edition of The PMBOK Guide 7th Edition would have an impact on the certification exam. Let me clarify one thing to help you forget your worries: The PMP exam does not depend on the PMBOK. The PMBOK is not the only source of project management knowledge. It is only a “guide”. The PMP exam follows the Examination Content Outline. The PMBOK guide is just one input for preparing for the PMP certification. There are 10 other recommended reference books that PMI recommends.
So will it be changed? The short answer is that the PMP exam won’t be changed immediately after the PMBOK 7th Edition is released. PMI has repeatedly stated that the PMBOK 7th edition will not change the PMP exam. The PMP exam was also updated in January 2021. The exam’s current edition will not be available in a second edition. *insert dramatic music*
What should I do to earn my PMP certificate?
I recommend that potential PMP exam test-takers refer to the PMP exam ECO as well as the recommended reference titles for their preparation. As you can see, the PMBOK 6th Edition is one of the recommended reference titles.
So, you’re saying there won’t be any changes?
It’s not exactly. The ECO saw some changes in May 2020. In January 2021, a revised edition of the PMP exam was released. However, the PMBOK 6th edition was left untouched. I stated that there won’t be any immediate changes in the PMP, and added dramatic music to it. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some changes to the Certified Associate in Project Management.
PMI is ‘advertising’ that the CAPM will change in 2022 and that there will six months notice before the exam changes are announced. They have not done the same for PMP (yet), according to what I know. There is nothing on the PMP page. With this in mind and knowing that there will likely be a 6-month delay before exam changes are announced, I recommend that you finish your studies and take the test before they change. You could be sitting around waiting for a while and there may not be any benefit to you taking the new version.
Is there a chance for an update?
This chart shows past and current PMBOK and ECO updates. This chart shows a pattern of almost a decade’s worth of PMI updates for these artifacts.
Notice the pattern in the Exam Content Outline releases before? PMI tends update the ECO every 5 to 3 years, or after a period 2 to 3 years after a new edition of the PMBOK Guide. We can predict that the next ECO will launch around 2024-2025 if they follow their process and standard pattern.
There is always the possibility that the PMP exam may be updated sooner. The certification exam undergoes changes every two years, or after six months of presenting an updated version of the ECO and/or the PMBOK. We can assume that PMI will update this exam in 2022 or 2023 to reflect the new terminologies, concepts, and formats introduced in the PMBOK 7th Edition.
No, the PMBOK 7th Edition update will not affect the PMP Exam which was updated in January 2021.
Even though the PMBOK has been updated, it is not the only source of material for the exam. Students should refer to the PMI’s handbook to obtain PMP certification to see all the cool materials they can borrow or purchase.
It is always a good idea for you to take a course about preparing for the PMP. ITPro.TV offers Zach and I’s course for PMP Exam preparation.
The PMP course is a great place to start training to earn your PMP certificate.