CAPM Introduction

A brief introduction to the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification including eligibility criteria, application process, administration, exam format, exam fee, and list of important documents.


Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) is an entry-level certification for project management. It is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), USA. CAPM certification is designed for project team members, entry-level project managers and qualified undergraduate or graduate students. CAPM is also suitable for anyone switching into Project Management profession. CAPM demonstrates a good knowledge of Project Management terminology, concepts and methodology.

The eligibility criteria and other aspects of the CAPM certification are clearly explained in the CAPM Handbook (link is in the section below).


Here’s a brief summary of the CAPM Handbook:

  1. CAPM certification is accredited by PMI.
  2. CAPM certification tests an individual’s knowledge of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).
  3. To qualify for CAPM certification, you need:
    • Secondary diploma (high school diploma or global equivalent), AND
    • 23 contact hours of formal project management education
  4. CAPM exam is usually a computer based test, though paper based test option is available under special cases.
  5. CAPM exam is administered in English but language aids are available for 13 languages upon request.
  6. CAPM exam is administered by Pearson VUE at their testing centers. You need to book your exam date and go to a test center to take the exam.
  7. CAPM can now be taking online from the comfort of your home or office. Refer to CAPM Online Proctored exams for details.
  8. CAPM application needs to be submitted online through PMI’s Certification Portal.
  9. CAPM application may get audited on random basis.
  10. The exam fee is $300 for non-members, and $225 for PMI members (membership fee is $139).
  11. CAPM exam is 3 hours in duration and consists of 150 questions, of which 15 are pretest (not scored) questions.
  12. Some questions may require the use of a calculator. Calculator is built into the exam software, but you can also request a physical calcuator during the exam.
  13. There is no official break during the exam, but you are allowed to take breaks at the expense of your own exam time.
  14. The PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed is the main reference guide for the CAPM exam.
  15. PMI does not disclose the CAPM exam passing score.
  16. After you take the computer based exam, you’ll get your result immediately on your computer screen. You’ll also get a printed copy of your exam score report immediately at the test center. Candidates who take an online proctored exam can print out their score report from the PMI online certification system.
  17. If you pass the exam, the CAPM certificate would be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks.
  18. CAPM certification is valid for 3 years. You need to earn 15 PDUs every 3 years to renew your certification.
CAPM Exam is based directly on the PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed.

Important Documents

Here’s a list of all the important documents that you should download and read before you proceed.

CAPM Handbook

CAPM Handbook details various aspects of CAPM® certification including the eligibility criteria, application process, fees, exam structure, exam administration, scheduling, etc. It would take about 2 hours to read this handbook, but it’s a worthwhile investment of time if you are serious about the certification. Take the time to download and read this document before you proceed further. You would need to refer back to this document along your certification journey.

Download CAPM Handbook

PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed

PMBOK Guide is the main reference guide for CAPM. In PMI’s own words, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is PMI’s flagship publication and is a fundamental resource for effective project management in any industry.”

The Guide comes in both PDF and hard-copy format. If you become a PMI member, then you can get the PDF version of the Guide for free and save on the exam fee too. Read 10 Benefits of PMI Membership for details.

Download PMBOK Guide 6th Ed

PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

In order to apply for any PMI certification, you need to agree to abide by the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Your certification exam may have direct or indirect questions on this topic. Please take the time to go through the document at the link below.

Download PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct


Refer to PMP vs CAPM Certification - Which certification is right for me? to understand the difference between the two certification programs and assess which certification is right for you.

Last updated: October 24, 2021