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CAPM® Certification FAQs

What is CAPM?

CAPM stands for the Certified Associate in Project Management. It's an entry-level credential from the Project Management Institute® (PMI). Like PMP®, CAPM is based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This guide establishes global standards for project management. CAPM and PMP both teach the same principles, but CAPM is for those with less project experience.

You can find out more on our What is CAPM® page.

What are the benefits of a CAPM certification?

For individuals, a CAPM certification proves your ability to work as a valued member of a project team. It proves your understanding of project management fundamentals and a commitment to both project management and skill development. For companies that value PMP, a CAPM certificate makes you a much more valuable candidate.

For organizations, CAPM training is an effective way to support your employees' development. After passing the exam, your project team will understand the project manager's principles and terminology.

You can find out more on our Benefits of a CAPM® certification page.

What is the eligibility criteria?

There are two ways you can prove your eligibility to PMI® and sit your CAPM exam:

  • Hold a secondary degree (a high school diploma, associate's degree or the global equivalent) and
  • Record 1,500 hours of project experience

Or

  • Record 23 hours of project management education

Do I need to become a PMI member before taking the CAPM exam?

Technically, no, however as a PMI member you will have access to a wealth of information designed to help you prepare for your exam. In addition, members are entitled to exclusive examination discounts. In some cases becoming a PMI member and then purchasing your exam is actually the most affordable method available for example:

The exam as a non-PMI member costs $300 USD. The combined cost of PMI membership, plus the exam at the membership rate, is $354 USD. However, for those eligible for a PMI student membership, the combined membership and exam cost is $287 USD.

Also consider that, while you're almost certain to pass the exam first time with us, if you fail the exam, the re-examination fee is $150 USD for PMI members and $200 USD for non-members.

What are the benefits of becoming a PMI member?

The Project Management Institute is a leader in the project management industry and its certification schemes are well-known and prestigious worldwide.

As a full PMI member, you will have access to:

Knowledge resources: digital editions of standard PMI publications including A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide-Fifth Edition), plus hundreds of downloads, from templates to articles and papers.

Career development: career guidance and job board can help you find employment, plus methods for earning your Professional Development Units (PDUs).

A worldwide community: join local PMI chapters in more than eighty countries at ProjectManagement.com. Connect with others to create, debate and rate content, and earn badges for your participation.

Rewards & discounts: receive discounts of up to 20% across the PMI Store, from books and media to training courses and exams. Be first in line for special PMI events and programs.

How do I apply to PMI for the CAPM examination?

First it is important to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements. Applying for the exam without the requisite eligibility is a waste of both time and resources.

You must complete the CAPM exam application form. It is readily available online, or in a printable format.

The application is divided into three sections, and it requires a lot of information. For this reason, PMI allows you to fill it out in multiple sittings (although you still need to finish the application within 90 days of starting). You will be asked to provide:

  1. A) General information about yourself
  2. B) Project management experience
  3. C) Details of your 23 contact hours

Take your time to provide all the correct information – it will be difficult to alter any details at later stages.

Once you have submitted your application, it should take a maximum of 5-7 working days for PMI to review it.

Providing that nothing in your application requires clarification, you will be sent an email instructing you on how to make payment for the examination. Once payment has been received you may be selected for audit, which means you must submit further evidence and information before final approval will be granted.

Once your application has been approved you will receive an email with your PMI Eligibility ID, and information regarding how to book your exam at a Prometric testing centre.

We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the CAPM handbook, which provides comprehensive information relating to the CAPM certification. The latest version can be downloaded from the PMI website here.

How can I earn 23 education hours for the CAPM certification with ILX?

The ILX CAPM e-learning course will take over 23 hours to complete. You must complete the course in full across all modules, along with the exam simulator.

What is the cost of a CAPM certification?

For only $500 USD you can gain 12 months' access to our award-winning, multimedia e-learning exam preparation materials.

Purchasing the exam through PMI, with membership fees and discounts, amounts to $354 USD.

This brings the total to $854 USD, all for a project management qualification that will kick-start a project management career and put you on track for a CAPM certification.

What is the CAPM exam format?

The CAPM certification exam consists of 150 questions. Out of the 150 questions, 15 are considered pre-test questions, which will not affect your final score in any way. The total allotted time for the examination is three hours.

What is the required passing score to complete the exam?

PMI does not publish the precise amount of correct answers required to complete the CAPM certification.

Information used to be more freely available, but since the passing requirement has changed multiple times over the years, it's best to take any definitive claims found around the internet with a pinch of salt.

What is the PMBOK® Guide?

PMBOK®Guide stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. Since its first publication in 1996, the guidance has been updated and is now in its fifth edition. The fifth edition was first published in January 2013.

It is generally seen as the standard-setter for project management guidelines, processes, techniques and terminology. It provides a complete framework for project management, drawing on the best practices of worldwide professionals in various industries.

The standard guidelines in PMBOK are considered industry agnostic – they can be applied and implemented in practically any domain.

It is important to note that the PMBOK® Guide is a framework. It is not a strict, step-by-step project management methodology.

Is the PMBOK® Guide everything I need to pass the CAPM certification exam?

To achieve a CAPM certification you have to understand this book. Do not make the mistake of avoiding it. However, understanding this book is no guarantee of a successful examination.

In order to pass the exam, you should also refer to other study materials.

Combining the guide with our innovative online training materials should help to prepare you for the formal examination.

If you need extra help, there are many CAPM reference books and exam prep guides available through stores across the internet.

What if I don't succeed in my first attempt?

Don't worry, you have three total attempts available within your one-year eligibility period.

However, you must use all your attempts within that year. Failure to meet this deadline will mean you have to re-apply for the CAPM exam after another year's suspension.

It's worth noting that the exam fee for second and third attempts will cost less. PMI members will pay only $150 USD, while it's $200 USD for non-members.

To prepare yourself for exam resits, you should utilise our online training materials to test and benchmark your CAPM knowledge. It has been specially designed to allow you to track and monitor your own progress with an exam simulator included in the e-learning package. Also, ensure that you study the PMBOK® Guide in great depth.

When will I receive my CAPM certification exam results?

You will receive your CAPM exam results shortly after completing your exam at your designated test desk.

What is a PMI audit and what happens if I fail?

If you are selected for audit, it will be after you have completed your application and paid your fee. If you are not selected for an audit, you will be made aware. When selected for an audit, PMI will ask for further evidence and information including copies of your diploma/global equivalent, proof of your project experience and training institute certificates. Once received by PMI, it will take approximately one week to review and respond. After successful completion of the audit, you will be able to finish your CAPM exam application. If PMI is not satisfied, they will contact you and provide detail regarding next steps.

Please Note: If PMI discovers you have intentionally falsified information, you will be banned from applying for the CAPM exam for life. If you provide false information by mistake, you must notify your PMI contact as soon as possible to correct the error.

How do I keep my CAPM certification current?

Unlike PMP, CAPM does not require you to collect Professional Development Units.

However, the CAPM certification expires after five years. During the fifth year, you must re-take and pass the exam. This is to prove that you have remained up to date with PMBOK® Guide updates and have stayed current in project management knowledge.

If your CAPM certification expires, you will have to restart the application process as if you were a new candidate.