Now is a great time to consider getting your CAPM certification. The Project Management Institute (PMI) has announced the Certified Associate in Project Management certification exam will change in early 2023.

Learn why the exam is changing, what exactly is changing, and how these changes will affect your preparation for taking the CAPM exam—whether you plan to take the exam before or after the exam changes.

CAPM Exam Change for 2023

  1. Why Is the CAPM Exam Changing?
  2. CAPM 2023 Exam Content Outline – What’s New?
  3. What Is the CAPM Exam?
  4. Who Should Consider a CAPM Certification?
  5. Qualifying to Take the CAPM Exam
  6. Applying to Take the Certified Associate Certification Exam
  7. Options to Get Your Certified Associate Certification

Why Is the CAPM Exam Changing?

The CAPM exam is undergoing changes based on the market needs of project professionals and to better reflect how project team members work on projects.  The data from research reveals that the current CAPM exam does not address some of the most critical and frequent real-world tasks performed by entry- and associate-level project managers and project team members.  Today’s projects require leaders to understand a variety of project management approaches and know when and how to apply them on projects.

Please visit our Exam Updates page so you can stay up-to-date on the CAPM exam change. You can also register for our free webinar on Taking the CAPM Exam: What You Need to Know.

CAPM 2023 Exam Content Outline – What’s New?

The CAPM Examination Content Outline (ECO) describes the topics that will be covered on the 2023 exam.  It includes the number of domains and the percentages of items on the test within each domain.  Here are some of the notable changes:

Exam Domains Divided and Defined Differently

Exam domains reflect how project management work is evolving. Each domain identifies the essential project management practices and responsibilities of the project manager.

The 2023 exam will continue to test the common practices and fundamentals of project management, but now includes agile and other adaptive methodologies and business analysis frameworks.  The breakdown of the domains is as follows:

  • Project Management Fundamentals and Core Concepts: 36% of questions
  • Predictive, Plan-Based Methodologies: 17% of questions
  • Agile Frameworks and Methodologies: 20% of questions
  • Business Analysis Frameworks: 27% of questions

PMI has indicated the predictive and adaptive approaches will be interwoven across the four domains and not limited to any domain or task.

The first domain covers project management fundamentals in both predictive and adaptive methodologies. These provide the foundation of managing a project. You will be tested on project life cycles and processes, project planning, and your understanding of project roles and responsibilities.

The next two domains are a deeper dive into the predictive and adaptive approaches to project management. You’ll need to understand how each approach is used and when. The second domain explores setting up controls to monitor the project as well as working with project schedules.

The third domain introduces agile and other adaptive development approaches (e.g., Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP) and others).  You’ll need to know how to plan project iterations, document project controls, and prioritize tasks.

Business Analysis (BA) is the fourth domain, representing 27% of test questions. You’ll need to understand what a business analyst does and how they recommend appropriate communication channels and gather and validate requirements.

 Multiple Exam Resources

The new exam will draw upon six resources, including:

  • PMBOK® 7th edition
  • Agile Practice Guide by PMI
  • Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide by PMI
  • The PMI Guide to Business Analysis
  • Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid by Robert K. Wysocki
  • Project Management Answer Book, 2nd Edition by Jeff Furman

While this demonstrates the breadth of the exam changes, it also makes it more difficult to study on your own using 6 different books to prepare for the CAPM.  The current CAPM exam relies exclusively on the PMBOK 6th edition. Professional training materials significantly simplifies the prep process – even if you choose to self-study.

What Is the CAPM Exam?

The three-hour long exam has two exam administration methods: an online proctored test and a center-based test. Test takers have the option of taking the CAPM exam on a computer at a designated testing site, or they may take their exam online, either at work or at home.

The exam includes 150 questions. Fifteen of the 150 exam questions are experimental questions, meaning they are not included in your score for the exam. Experimental questions are included by PMI to validate questions for future inclusion in the master database. These questions will be randomly placed throughout the exam. You will not know which questions are experimental. Your score will be calculated based on your response to the remaining 135 questions. The questions are randomly generated from a database containing hundreds of questions. The questions may jump from topic to topic, and a single question may integrate multiple concepts. You get one point for each correct answer. There is no penalty for wrong answers.

 Who Should Consider a CAPM Certification?

The exam is for anyone seeking to gain more responsibility or add project management skills to their current role. The CAPM can be a great step if you want to become a project manager. It can be helpful if you are looking to gain more project management responsibility. It can also help project team members gain knowledge of project management best practices and processes. If you’re a project manager, the certification can validate your knowledge while you earn contact hours towards the PMP certification.

The CAPM is important for several reasons:

  • Provides a common vocabulary from organization to organization
  • Clarifies project roles and responsibilities
  • Established consistent practices and processes
  • Validates knowledge in project management practices
  • Increases eligibility for new roles and responsibilities
  • Improves ability to work effectively on a team
  • Creates the foundation for the PMP certification

 Qualifying to Take the CAPM Exam

To take the exam, you must meet the requirements as outlined by the PMI. Test takers must have:

  • A high school diploma or global equivalent
  • 23 contact hours of project management education

You can obtain your contact hours quickly by taking an online instructor-led CAPM prep class or eLearning course.  Both options help you prepare for your exam, identifying knowledge gaps and offering tips to focus on your weaknesses.  Both fulfill the 23 contact hours of formal education to complete your certification application.

 Applying to Take the Certified Associate in Project Management Exam

You must apply to PMI to take the CAPM exam. Applications may be submitted online. After submitting your application, you’ll receive a notice that will confirm your application has been accepted; you will then be prompted to pay for your exam appointment. Once payment is made, you’ll receive an email authorizing you to make an appointment to take the exam. You may be subject to an audit of your application before it’s approved. Be aware that an audit will delay your authorization to take the exam.

If you are taking the online proctored exam, you will receive instructions on how to test your computer system prior to the exam day. It is highly recommended that you do this.

Once you receive your authorization notice, you must pass the exam within one year. You can take the exam up to three times within that year.  If you fail all three times, you must wait one year to reapply for the exam.

Options to Get Your Certified Associate in Project Management Certification

If you plan on sitting for the CAPM exam before the exam change in early 2023, our current exam prep products and courses offer everything you will need to take and pass the exam. Prepare with our intensive CAPM instructor-led virtual course or our on demand CAPM eLearning course.  We also have a suite of self-study options including the CAPM Exam prep book, CAPM exam simulation and our CAPM Exam Prep System, which includes our top-selling CAPM prep book, exam simulation and flash cards.

If you decide to take the CAPM exam after the early 2023 exam change, RMC will have new products and courses fully updated to the new exam change.  Stay tuned to the latest exam change updates with our free webinar on taking the CAPM exam.