In this post, I will explain the CAPM passing score and how hard the CAPM exam is.
CAPM stands for a Certified Associate in Project Management. This certification is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA.
This is the most popular certification in project management for professionals with little or no experience in project management.
You have to go through a straightforward learning process to earn this certification that culminates with an online computer-based test.
Once you pass this test, you are a CAPM, and you can use this title with your name and signature.
Now, you might be wondering, how hard is the CAPM exam, and what is the passing score?
This is a common question that every CAPM aspirant has, and I will be discussing it in today’s blog post.
CAPM Exam Passing Score
It’s natural to want to know what the passing score is before taking a test, and every CAPM aspirant wants to know the CAPM exam passing score.
Unfortunately, only the PMI knows the answer to this question.
The PMI does not publicize the passing score for the CAPM certification exam, keeping it a closely guarded secret. The CAPM Handbook does not provide a direct answer to this mystery.
What the PMI does tell us about scoring is as follows:
“The passing score for all PMI exams is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts—project professionals from around the world and many different disciplines—to determine how many questions you must answer correctly to pass the exam. Each scored question on the exam is worth one point and your final score is calculated by totaling the points you have earned on the exam. The number of questions you answer correctly places you within one of the performance rating categories you see on this report.”
(Updated as of September 2020)
It is a common perception that you may pass the CAPM exam if you score above 61%.
However, no one can guarantee the accuracy of this.
Therefore, I suggest you aim for over 70% on your CAPM certification exam.
This is a safe target, and many experts suggest aiming for this score.
Please note that the exam comprises 15 pretest questions. The marks for these questions will not be added to your score. These are placed randomly among the other questions, and you cannot identify them in the exam. Therefore, assume that all questions are scorable and you must get them all right. Consider all 150 questions to be real, do your best, and you’ll surpass the 70% threshold.
CAPM Vs PMP: Difficulty Level
You might be wondering how hard the CAPM exam is compared to the PMP exam.
Note that the PMP exam is harder than the CAPM exam. The CAPM tests your understanding of the PMBOK Guide, and the exam will be based exclusively on this book.
On the other hand, the PMP exam tests your understanding of dealing with real projects under different circumstances. Most questions will be situation-based and test how well you respond under pressure.
A Few FAQs About the CAPM Exam Passing Score
Let’s clear up a few more doubts regarding the passing score
The CAPM Passing Score is the Same for All Aspirants.
However, for the PMP exam, a passing score is different for each aspirant and depends on the difficulty level of the questions they receive.
Every CAPM Question Carries the Same Weight.
The CAPM handbook says, “Each scored question on the exam is worth one point.”
For the PMP exam, every question carries a different weight as per its level of difficulty. However, for the CAPM exam, every question is weighted the same.
What is the overall CAPM Passing Rate?
If you are asking what percentage of professionals pass the CAPM exam, please note that PMI doesn’t disclose this number. However, one thing is clear: the CAPM passing rate is much better than the PMP passing rate.
PMI closely guards the CAPM passing score secret. It is also not clear if the final score is the same for all aspirants. Therefore, I suggest that you not overthink it; instead, focus on your preparation. As there is no clarity on passing score, aim for over 70% on your exam. You should answer more than 105 questions correctly on the exam.
Have you passed your CAPM exam? How many questions did you answer correctly, and what did you think your CAPM passing score was? Please share your experiences in the comments section.