Over the recent number of months, the volume of inquiries about the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification has increased. It prompted me to think of creating a series of articles to provide guidance on how to obtain these certifications. The Project Management Institute (PMI) have a suite of 8 certifications ranging from project (CAPM® and PMP®), Agile (ACP®), Risk (RMP®), Schedulers (SP®), Program (PgMP®) and Portfolio (PfMP®). This is quite a list and one that takes time and patience, also to obtain these certifications, the correct structure and approach is required. The CAPM® certification draws solely from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).
To obtain the CAPM®, we would suggest five key tips:
- Read the PMBOK® Guide and more importantly know and the learn the 10 Process Tables at the start of each of the knowledge areas: – Any CAPM candidate needs to read the PMBOK® Guide at least once, if not twice. The PMBOK® Guide is the primary source for exam questions, so you need to be familiar with it. Second, reading the PMBOK® Guide all the way through gives you more knowledge about its structure, which will help you look up key topics later on. On the third reading of the Guide, then it is time to get to grips with the flow and knowledge associated with each of the knowledge areas
Tip 1: – Be able to recreate the 10 Knowledge Process Tables / Diagrams that are contained in the PMBOK Guide
- Get some good CAPM Sample Questions: – Only a few books are devoted to CAPM exam prep have been released. Our own book that is for sale on Amazon is available here. This book combines full knowledge area coverage with practice questions and associated answers. We have developed this book based on using the PMBOK Guide as a study reference and then having plenty of practice questions to test your knowledge on.
Tip 2: – Get a practice guide that will help you in two ways. First, a good set of knowledge questions that will boost your confidence. Secondly, a guide that can be an companion to the PMBOK® Guide
- Develop a study plan and dedicate a regular time to study: – If you want to pass the CAPM exam, you will need to have a plan to study in manageable chunks and establish discipline to follow through on the plan. The study plan includes what you are studying, how much time you plan to spend per day, what topics you plan to cover, and what materials you will use. We believe to study for the CAPM exam, you will minimum of three weeks to prepare. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed
Tip 3: – Develop a study plan that suits your needs and establish a routine. We provide a great study plan in our CAPM Preparation book.
- Get somebody to mentor and help you: – Will you may like to attend a CAPM Preparation Course, it is vital that you find a mentor that you can use as a sounding block and establish a number of Q&A workshops. This sounding block is important to exam success, since memorizing all of the PMBOK® Guide is very difficult. Think about it as somebody who will take time to critique your knowledge. Take the time to find an experience project manager who can help you understand these concepts. You might look at the local PMI chapter or check your professional networks for anyone who has the CAPM or PMP certifications. Learning from an experienced project manager will help you pass the CAPM by helping you develop better understanding of the material.
Tip 4: Identify a project management professional who can help in developing your understanding and maybe who will also guide you in your project management career.
- Take practice exams and develop your exam confidence: – Consider managing your time and confidence during the practice exam that gives you the best chance to succeed. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. We recommend spending no more than 30 seconds on a question during the first round, and marking any for review that take longer to complete. When you’ve completed your first round, you can then go back and spend more time on the marked questions. Build your confidence in answering these questions and coming to a place where you are comfortable answering questions.
Tip 5: – Develop strategies you can use to manage your confidence. Remember not to get stressed and remain relaxed throughout the exam.
We hope that by following these tips and tricks, you will be able to obtain your CAPM certification. Passing this exam helps you clear a large hurdle and shows your competence and commitment to project management.