Understanding & Cracking the CAPM Exam

Even though I have many other things to post, but this is the need of the hour. Many of my friends asked me about the Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) Exam. This post will clear major queries related to it. It will be helpful to any person pursuing CAPM certification.

Understand what it is: CAPM exam is conducted by the Project Management Institue(PMI). It tests one’s awareness and understanding of project management methodologies and terminology. “Understanding” in bold as many people mistake it for just a memory test. Its not only about remembering the methods, tools and techiniques but also understanding them.

Scheduling your exam: The first main thing about cracking the CAPM is scheduling it. Schedule it wisely. Try taking a date and centre which is comfortable in all sense. There should be no other appointments and commitments on that day.
According to me, it should be the first thing to do. If we think we will prepare and schedule, it will never happen , as we will feel our preparation is incomplete. The right approach is to schedule it and then plan. (Think from PM viewpoint, you need a target and then plan, the target here is your exam date and goal is to finish your preparation within the timeframe). Schedule atleast 2 weeks before you plan to give it.

How much time it takes to prepare: Well, this is a very relative question. It will depend from person to person. If you read online, many blogs say that one needs atleast 1 year or 6 months. Trust me, its no hard and fast rule that you need that much time. I prepared genuinely for 4 Days. (Plus I used to read notes while my daily travelling). For people having basic PM knowledge and who attended the 23 Contact hours training by PMI seriously, it is not a difficult task at all. By basic PM knowledge I mean, having Project Management as a subject in a semester( And you took it seriously)
Remember its the quality of preparation that will matter, and not only the number of hours).

How to prepare: Before starting you need to have one thing needed for any exam, Confidence . Be confident that you will rock it. Stay calm and realistic. Go through all the knowledge areas. Refer your notes made during the contact hours training. If you haven’t then you can make your end moment notes. If you are comfortable reading from someone else’s notes, take someone’s phone.

Don’t focus on memorizing the processes in the knowledge areas and the ITTO Tables (Input-Tools and Techniques-Output Tables) . Focus on understanding them. They are all logical and sequential. Try grasping the logic. For example, all control processes have many common things, only few primary input -output. Once you are familiar with all knowledge areas, their importance, their function, all the processes would be clear.

It’s not necessary to follow any book. CAPM notes and PMBOK is good enough.

Get acquainted with the exam pattern. Following would be useful :

  • Download PM Fastrack. Its a exam simulation software.
  • Register on http://www.pmstudy.com/ and PracticeQuiz.com
  • Give free tests and simulated tests there. It will be good revision and will acquaint you to the exam format and all

Analyse your result report carefully. Detailed knowledge area wise results are provided. Identify your weakness and strengths and work accordingly. Improve on the weaker knowledge areas. Make flowcharts and tables while giving exams and during revision.


Start taking everything in your life as a project, and you will realize how things will turn different. Follow the PM methodology, and you will be a separate, systematic person and with brilliant time management skills.

Happy to help, Contact for further details

Passionate towards PM

– Straight from your heart,

Prakriti Singh CAPM

CAPM NO 1686610


Author: praks_the_explorer

Explorer, wanderer, foodie, nature lover and a blogger by passion. Engineer and MBA grad by qualifications, and technology manager by profession. In a single sentence - I am a traveler working as a technology manager to fund my travels.

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