how to get capm certification

Obtaining a CAPM certification is a wise choice if you have completed your education and are interested in advancing your project management career or if you are an experienced professional in another industry who wants to switch to project management.

The CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification was granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI, USA). This one has more easy eligibility requirements than higher-level project management certificates like the PMP.

To get the CAPM certification, you must first determine whether you meet the prerequisites for the exam.

CAPM Certification Requirements

CAPM certification has two requirements:

  1. Education
  2. Training
capm certification requirement for aspirants
Source: The CAPM Handbook

Education: You must hold a secondary diploma (often a high school diploma) or any global equivalent to be eligible for the CAPM exam.

Training: You must attend a 23 contact hours program in project management.

You might wonder if you should attend PMP Training Instead of CAPM Training?

Before April 2019, I used to recommend that CAPM aspirants attend PMP training instead of CAPM training because if they apply for the PMP exam in the future, they won’t have to attend another training for the PMP exam.

However, after April 2019, the PMI changed the rule. An active CAPM certification holder is not required to attend any training to apply for the PMP exam. The PMI has waived this condition for active CAPM certification holders.

If you are searching for a CAPM training program, you can join Cornelius Fichtner’s CAPM PrepCast online training program. This is an affordable CAPM training program.

You can satisfy the training requirements by attending courses, workshops, and training sessions offered by the following types of education providers: 

A. PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) 
B. PMI Approved Training Partners (ATPs) 
C. PMI chapters*
D. Employer-/company-sponsored programs
E. Training companies or consultants (e.g., training schools)
F. Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
G. University/college academic and continuing education programs 

Note that the following education does not satisfy the 23 contact hours requirements: 

  • PMI chapter meetings* 
  • Self-directed learning (e.g., reading books, watching instructional videos or sessions with coaches or mentors) 

The educational activity is conducted for at least one hour during each chapter meeting, and the hour(s) spent on that activity can be used to fulfill the educational eligibility criteria.

One contact hour is equal to one hour of classroom participation. You will list 45 contact hours on the application if you have finished a 15-week, three-hour-per-week project management course at a university or college. Only the hours spent on project management, if it made up only a fraction of the course, can be counted toward the total.

The degree program as a whole cannot be recorded since not all of the program’s classes are applicable to the requirement, even if you can record applicable classes that count toward a degree.

Cost of the CAPM Certification

The first cost is the CAPM training cost.

Attending a 23 contact hours program in project management is required to apply for the CAPM exam.

There are a few training providers providing CAPM training.

On this page, you can find some reputed CAPM training programs.

The cost of this program is the lowest, and the training provider is renowned.

If you are in a hurry, you can directly visit the following program to complete your CAPM training.

Cornelius Fichtner’s CAPM Program

The cost of the CAPM training can vary from 0-199 USD. 

The second optional investment is the PMI Membership.

I recommend you join the PMI before applying for the exam because membership offers you immense benefits, and your CAPM exam fee will be lower.

The third cost is the CAPM Exam Fee.

For a PMI member, the CAPM exam cost is 225 USD, otherwise 300 USD for non-members.

Although I hope you succeed on your first try, there is a retake fee for the CAPM exam if you don’t.

You have two more chances if you don’t pass the exam on your first try. For PMI members and non-members, the CAPM re-examination price is 150 USD and 200 USD, respectively.

The next cost is the cost of the CAPM study material, which includes reference books, mock tests, and simulators.

The PMBOK Guide, on which the CAPM exam is based, must be read in order for you to comprehend the project management process flow.

The PMBOK Guide on Amazon costs 58.99 USD for non-members and is free for PMI members.

Since they find it tedious, many candidates read reference books and training materials instead of studying the PMBOK Guide.

Keep the PMBOK Guide in mind. This book served as the basis for the CAPM exam, and the PMBOK Guide will be directly referenced frequently in exam questions.

You may not like it on first reading, but once you understand it, you will enjoy reading the Guide.

You will find many CAPM exam reference books; Rita Mulcahy’s CAPM exam preparation book is the most popular and costs around 89.00 USD.

I suggest reading two good CAPM exam reference books. You will pay about 150 USD for this.

Now we come to the cost of CAPM practice questions.

Very few training providers offer the CAPM exam simulators. The most popular is Cornelius Fichtner’s CAPM exam simulator.

You can buy this simulator for 69 USD and practice the sample questions:

CAPM Exam Simulator

There might be some other costs involved in the CAPM exam preparation. These expenses may include the price of using formula books, apps, flashcards, etc.

I won’t give you an estimate because the price may change in this area. You may or may not spend money on these resources.

Now that I’ve covered every expense associated with taking the CAPM exam, I hope you have a clearer understanding of the overall cost of obtaining your CAPM certification.

The CAPM Exam Preparation

I’ll now provide you with a thorough CAPM exam preparation.

You should not start your CAPM exam preparation with the PMBOK Guide. It is a dry book, and reading it directly will demotivate you.

Start with Rita. Repeat it after giving it a full reading.

As soon as you feel at ease, you can begin reading the PMBOK Guide. Read it from beginning to end.

Repeat the process until you are comfortable with it. The second CAPM exam reference book can then be started.

You can now enroll in the CAPM training.

Many CAPM hopefuls enroll in the training without consulting the PMBOK Guide or any other reference material. Avoid doing that. By doing this, you will not benefit from the training and will have trouble comprehending the concepts in the PMBOK Guide.

Start answering practice questions after you finish the training. Subscribe to any reputed CAPM exam simulator (such as this one) to practice sample questions.

Attempting around 1,000 questions is enough. 

The CAPM Exam

Once you have finished your course, you should schedule a date for your CAPM certification exam. Give yourself three months.

You can take the CAPM exam at a Pearson VUE center or at home.

If the exam center is available in your city, I recommend you only attempt the exam from the center. You will be relaxed and free from the environment. 

But if you are attempting the exam from home, your exam is canceled if the system is hung. 

There are 150 multiple-choice questions on the CAPM exam. Of the 150 questions, 15 questions are pretest questions. Marks of these pretest questions are not added to the exam score but used as an effective and legitimate way to test the validity of future exam questions. All questions are placed randomly throughout the exam.

Although the exam has a three-hour time limit, you can finish it sooner.

There are no scheduled breaks for the CAPM certification. If you take the test in a testing facility, you are allowed to take a break, but the exam clock will still keep running.

You are not permitted to leave your desk while taking the proctored exam. The exam will be over if you get up from your desk for any reason. During the exam, it’s also forbidden to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum.

Do not leave any questions unattempted on the CAPM certification exam because there is no negative marking. Leaving a question unanswered will result in a score of zero, while trying a question increases your chance of getting it right by 25%.

After you submit your result, you have to fill out a survey, and then you can see your result. If you pass the test, you can immediately use the CAPM title.

CAPM Certification Renewal

Your CAPM certification is valid for three years. To renew your CAPM certification, you must earn 15 PDUs every three years to complete the CCR cycle and report PDUs to the PMI.

The PMI will renew your credential for a further three years.


Project management career changers who are entry-level professionals or professionals from other fields should pursue the CAPM certification. Attending CAPM training and passing a computer-based exam are requirements for earning the CAPM certification. After passing the exam, you receive the CAPM certification.