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What You Need to Know About the CAPM Course

What You Need to Know About the CAPM Course: Meaning, Costs and Exam Tips in 2024

The CAPM course and associated exam offered by the Project Management Institute is one of the most recognizable project management certifications. In this guide, we’ll cover both and explain how becoming CAPM certified can boost your career.

Brett DaySamuel ChapmanGoran Nikolić

Written by Brett Day (Writer, Editor)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Writer, Editor)

Facts checked by Goran Nikolić (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-05-25T10:48:08+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: CAPM Certification Course
  • The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) course and certification are ideal for those looking to increase their project management skills and land project coordinator roles or junior project manager positions.
  • PMI’s CAPM meets the 35 hours of project management education and training required to progress to the more advanced Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
  • The course for the CAPM covers project management fundamentals, Agile and traditional project management methodologies and frameworks, business analysis and core project management concepts.

Facts & Expert Analysis About the CAPM Course:

  • Popularity: The CAPM certification is highly respected and is one of the most popular project management certifications for those seeking work in project management.
  • Growing demand: Now is the time to become a certified associate in project management. Twenty-five million new project management employees will be needed to meet 2030’s projected industry demand.1
  • Average salary: Certified associates in project management can earn a nice living. The average salary for those holding the CAPM certification in the U.S. is $73,000 annually.2

If a career as a project manager is calling your name but you aren’t sure if the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) course and exam is for you, our guide will help. CAPM, which made our best project management certification roundup, will show everyone you have what it takes to lead teams and projects at a junior level.

Below, we’ll cover the CAPM certification, the courses available to help you prepare, how much the training and certification costs, the complexity of the exam, the Project Management Institute’s requirements, tips to help you pass the project management exam and more. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started. 

What Is the CAPM Certification Course?

The Certified Associates in Project Management course is designed to prepare aspiring project managers to sit for the CAPM certification. The course covers project management fundamentals, predictive plan-based project management methodologies, Agile frameworks, business analysis frameworks and the critical significance of executing projects.

capm course
You can self-study for the CAPM exam or take an instructor-led training course.

The course also covers project life cycles, stakeholder engagement, collaboration, how to use the best project management software for planning, risk identification and more. The 10 modules will ensure you learn everything you need to know before sitting for the CAPM exam.

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Instructors can lead CAPM training online or in person, or you can self-study with on-demand courses that last 23 hours. Either method ensures you meet the required 23 contact hours of project management education to sit for the CAPM exam. 

How Long Does the CAPM Course Take?

The duration of the CAPM course depends on the learning method. The on-demand self-study course allows you to cover the 23 hours of training at your own pace. The instructor-led training courses, which authorized trainers impart, vary in length but can last from three days to as long as six weeks. Be sure to shop around to find a course that meets your needs. 

What Is CAPM Certification?

You can obtain the CAPM certification by sitting for the CAPM exam. The certification will boost your earning potential and help you land junior project manager roles, making it ideal for those just starting their project management careers. There are four sections to the exam, which we break down in the CAPM exam content outline below: 

  • Project management fundamentals and core concepts — 36%
  • Predictive plan-based methodologies — 17%
  • Agile frameworks and methodologies — 20%
  • Business analysis framework — 27%

capm exam
The CAPM exam lasts three hours and features 150 questions.

The CAPM certification exam features 150 questions in various formats, including multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, animation and comic strip questions. The first 15 questions are pretest questions that do not count towards your final grade. Participants have three hours to complete the test.

Interestingly, there is no set passing score for the exam. The exams feature rotating questions, which means you will not see the same questions again if you fail the first time and have to retake the exam. As a result, the project management body (the PMI) determines whether you’ve passed based on the difficulty of the questions and your answers.

CAPM Exam Requirements

Aspiring project managers will be pleased to learn that the CAPM certification requirements are not extensive. The requirements are:

  • Secondary education: Applicants must possess a high school diploma, a general educational development (GED) certificate or a global equivalent.
  • Project management education: Applicants must complete 23 hours of project management education, which can be obtained by attending the CAPM course or self-studying.

capm requirements
There are only a few requirements to meet to be eligible to sit for the CAPM exam.

Unlike other PMI certifications like the PMP, the CAPM does not require applicants to prove they have project management experience. As long as you meet the 23 hours of project management education and secondary degree requirements, you can attempt to obtain this globally recognized credential.

How Hard Is the CAPM Exam?

Though the CAPM exam is designed for project managers starting their careers, don’t expect it to be easy. The PMI’s CAPM is one of the most globally recognized certifications for a reason.

As mentioned above, not only do you have to sit through hours of training to be eligible to take the exam, but you also need to demonstrate a minimum level of knowledge determined by the PMI to pass. A quick look at threads on Reddit and the community forum Quora reveals how difficult participants found the exam. Many required multiple attempts to pass.

CAPM Course and Certification Cost

If you’re wondering how much the CAPM course and certification will cost you, we’ve got your back. The handy table below breaks everything down. 

Course/ CertificationSelf-StudyOnline Instructor-Led TrainingIn-Person instructor-Led Training
CAPM course cost$350 for PMI members/$400 for non PMI membersPrices vary by provider, but the range is $999 — $1650Prices vary by provider, but the range is $1,499 — $1,995
CAPM certification costN/A$225 for PMI members, $300 for non PMI membersCan be taken at Pearson Vue test centers; $225 for PMI members, $300 for non-members

How Many Times Can You Take the CAPM Exam?

The PMI has strict rules regarding retaking the exam. If you fail the exam, you can retake it three times within one year. If you fail all three attempts, you must wait one year before you can apply to retake it.

How to Get CAPM Certification

Below, we’ll cover the steps to obtain the CAPM certification. After following the steps, studying and passing the exam, you’ll have gained fundamental knowledge that will serve you well in a rewarding career.

1. Choose Between Self-Studying and Instructor-Led Training

Once you have decided to become CAPM certified, you must choose a training method. If you prefer to self-study at your own pace, pick up the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide and any other learning materials you may need. If you want to attend an instructor-led class, find a provider and schedule a class that matches your requirements.

2. Study or Attend Your Chosen Class

The next step is to hit the books and study. Use the PMBOK and other materials to teach yourself about project management and the topics covered in the CAPM exam, or attend your in-person or online class and soak up all the information your instructor shares. With your project management education completed, you can apply for the exam.

3. Complete the CAPM Exam Application

Once you have studied and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, you’ll need to apply for the exam through the PMI. The PMI will review your application, usually within 10 days. If you’re accepted, you’ll need to remit payment and schedule your exam.

4. Take the Exam

The final step is to take the exam. If you’re taking it online, find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. If you’re taking it in person, travel to your local test center. Remember that you have three hours to complete the exam, so plan accordingly.

Exam Tips: Certified Associate in Project Management CAPM Course

Now that you know what the CAPM course is and what to expect during the exam, it’s time to take a quick look at some tips that can help you successfully obtain the certification.

  • Create a study plan: If you’re self-studying, one of the best things you can do is create a study plan that will help guide you through the PMBOK. You should also use CAPM practice questions. No matter what, do not wait until the night before your exam to cram; this can be counterproductive and increase stress.
  • Sleep well: Ensure you get solid rest the night before your exam. Good sleep can help clear your mind and reduce exam-related anxiety.
  • Test equipment and arrive early: If you’re taking the test online, test your computer, internet connection and webcam before your exam starts. This will give you time to troubleshoot any problems. If you are taking the test in person, arrive early. This will give you time to get organized.
  • Read the questions carefully: During the exam, take a deep breath, focus and read the questions carefully. Answer the questions you know and return to the questions you’re struggling with later. Remember, you have three hours to complete the CAPM test.

Community Feedback: CAPM Exam Preparation Tips and Experiences on Reddit & Social Media

If you’re still unsure about the CAPM course and certification after reading this guide, consider looking at community forums like Reddit and other social media sites. Plenty of people have taken the course and the exam, and they are keen to share their stories.

capm reddit
The general consensus on Reddit is that the CAPM is worth obtaining if you
want to start your career in project management.

A quick look on Reddit shows that most people believe obtaining the CAPM is worthwhile if you’re new to project management and wish to land a junior project management role. Many have used it as a springboard to further their careers and obtain the more valuable PMP certification. 

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that project management makes for an excellent career. If you’re ready to get started in this field, the PMI’s CAPM course and exam are ideal. You’ll gain foundational knowledge of project management, which will help increase your value, boost your earning potential and improve your job outlook.

As long as you follow the study materials or take a CAPM exam prep course, you should have no problem passing the exam and landing a junior project management role. Have you taken the CAPM course and exam? How did you find them? Did they help you land a project management role? Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading. 

FAQ: CAPM Prep Course

  • The length of the CAPM course varies based on whether you self-study at your own pace or attend an online or in-person class. Instructor-led classes can be as short as three days or as long as six weeks.

  • Yes, the PMI lets you self-study at your own pace.

  • The cost of the entry-level certification exam depends on whether you have a PMI membership. It costs $225 for members and $300 for non-members.

  • Yes, the CAPM course is ideal for those just starting their project management careers. You’ll learn about project management fundamentals, different methodologies, risk management, stakeholder communication and more.


  1. Growing Demand – PMI
  2. Average Salary – Payscale
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