Do you want to start CAPM exam prep? Or, have you already started preparation for the CAPM certification test?
If answer to one of the questions is yes, then this post will help you to design an exam prep strategy and help you in your studies.
CAPM is an entry level project management certification. It is useful for people who want to make career in project management. The credential exam is not very difficult. You can easily pass the exam if you study hard.
Let me elaborate steps that will enable you to successfully crack the test.
7 Steps For CAPM Exam Prep
I. Ensure That You Meet The Eligibility Criteria
You need to meet the basic eligibility requirements of the CAPM exam. Generally, most professionals have the requisite qualification. As it is an entry level test, the eligibility criteria is not very stringent. You can easily satisfy the eligibility requirements CAPM certification.
II. Understand The Format Of The Exam
Generally exam is conducted as an online test. Online proctored test and Center Based Test (CBT) are the standard methods of administration for the CAPM examination. PMI provides facility of Paper Based Test (PBT) under limited circumstances
The CAPM exam has 150 multiple-choice questions. Out of these, 15 are pre-test questions. Pre-test questions are not considered for scoring. These are used to test the validity of questions for future exam questions. All questions are placed throughout the exam randomly.
You are given 3 hours to complete the exam.
The exam question come as multiple choice questions with four options. Out of these only one option is correct.
The questions come from PMBOK Guide topics, which include fundamental topics and all the Knowledge Areas. Following chart depicts the percentage split of questions across different topics.
III. Enroll Into A Training Course
Refer to the #1 above. You either need 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team or 23 contacts hours of formal project management education in order to qualify for the exam.
If you have 1500 hours of experience, you can take the exam without undergoing a formal training course. But, I would suggest you to take a formal CAPM certification training course. You will get necessary study material from a formal course. It will also boost you confidence to pass the exam in first try. A training course will cost you some money but cost of not attending a training course may prove to be very high.
You can get contact hours by attending a classroom training or instructor led online training or an elearning course. I would recommend you to take an online course as it is much cheaper.
IV. Study From The PMBOK Guide
Aw. No. I don’t want to. Not the PMBOK Guide!
It is true that the PMBOK Guide is a big tome and not an easy to read. But it is also true that CAPM exam is based on the Guide.
You should not skip studying from the Guide. It is one of the most important source of study. The language of exam questions is similar to the Guide’s language.
Refer to the #5 below. To ease the process, you can read the PMBOK Guide along with a reference book.
While studying, you should give extra stress to Inputs, Tools &Techniques, and Outputs.
V. Buy A Reference Book
There are a few good reference books out there but I would recommend you to buy Rita Mulcahy’s study guide. It is the oldest and most popular book for the exam prep. Over the years it has become a de facto standard for passing the exam.
The book is written in an easy to understand language. It contains good practice questions at the end of each chapter.
VI. Buy Other Study Material As Necessary
You can invest in some other study material that will help you to solve difficult questions. A formula guide, ITTO guide, and flashcards can be really handy.
VII. Invest In A Good Test Simulator
The proof of pudding is in eating. You will get to know your preparation level only if you do enough practice questions. You should solve many practice exams from different sources.
Free tests are good and you should use them. But a proper simulator will give boost to your confidence. You should buy a good CAPM simulator to complete your preparation.
Prepare a study schedule, maintain study discipline and you will pass the exam.
The CAPM exam is a difficult exam. But you can succeed in it by following proper discipline. To start with, you should prepare a proper strategy and exam prep schedule. You should not skip any of the above steps.
Over To You
What strategy are you following for CAPM exam prep? Is it different from the one suggested in this post? Which step do you think is least import for the preparation?
Please leave a comment.
Thanks for the info! I’m in the midst of studying now. Still a bit nervous when I think about my upcoming exam but I think its really just excitement. I just hope I experience a good ROI after becoming CAPM certified!
Hi Sheeba, Good luck.
Would like to know your opinion on ROI after thus exam?
Hi Aboli, You can also look at project management salary survey to understand the financial benefits – https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/secure/learning/publications/pmi_salary_survey_12th_edition_members_final.pdf?v=5185445f-790d-489a-b21e-49ef7b4f137e
Let’s wait for Shebba’s response. Good luck.