You’re here because you’re looking for the best way to get CAPM certification (Certified Associate in Project Management – CAPM®) without having to invest in a load of study guides.
Well, you’re in the right place. We’ve reviewed a range of the best CAPM exam prep materials on the market and you can read our assessments below. If you’re short on time, here are our recommendations:
Best CAPM prep course: The PM PrepCast for CAPM
Best CAPM exam simulator: The PrepCast CAPM Exam Simulator
Best CAPM exam prep book: CAPM Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy
Read on if you’d like to learn why those recommendations top our list and to see the other study materials that will help you gain your CAPM credential.
CAPM Study Materials
The CAPM certificate from PMI is an entry-level qualification for people who want to evidence they have the knowledge to work in a project environment. Recognized by organizations around the world, it involves a relatively lengthy application process and a 3-hour exam. You also have to show that you have completed 23 hours of project management education – and that’s where the study materials come in.
While you can claim any relevant training you’ve had in the past, for example, modules of your project management degree, in-house courses laid on by your employer, most people seem to opt for a CAPM prep course.
In this article, we’ll look at the best exam prep courses for CAPM, plus exam simulators to help you prepare for the test and study books.
CAPM Exam Simulators
The PM PrepCast for CAPM
The reason why the CAPM Exam Simulator tops the list is that I think it hands-down offers the best CAPM practice exams. It’s easy to use but mimics the real environment and the statistics impressed me. You can see your results in a great deal of detail which is a huge time-saver. Focus on the areas where you didn’t do so well on the test questions, and review the recommended resources to recap those topics. The analysis lets you track your progress so you can see how you are improving as you study.
If you only buy one CAPM study tool – make it this one. Use it in conjunction with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and you might not need anything else at all.
The PM Exam Simulator came top in my reviews for Project Management Professional (PMP)® test questions too. Read why .
CAPM Practice Exams
By James L. Haner and Cate McCoy
A book in the simulator section? Yes. This book contains over 1,000 exam questions and you get access to an online test tool as well. I think it’s worth having a full digital simulator to help you get used to having to sit for 3 hours doing a test (I never sit that long for any stretch normally, being constantly interrupted or having meetings), which is why this isn’t my top pick.
However, there is definitely value in having a book you can carry around, flip through, make notes in the margins off, and then follow up with online learning too. It’s a hybrid kind of product – and reviews from past students show it has helped them pass the test, so it definitely works!
CAPM Prep Courses
While test questions are a must-have to feel prepared and confident on exam day, many students opt for a training course too.
The PM PrepCast for CAPM
This is definitely my choice for the best CAPM online training. The PM PrepCast for CAPM is an online 23-hour training course from Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM. His company is a trusted training provider with great reviews from their happy (and certified! students), so you know the course has been vetted and is top quality.
The course meets the PMI requirements for formal project management education and provides you with a certificate for evidence in case your PMP application is audited.
The online course is delivered via video and audio, through an online course platform. You login, and everything is there for you inside one website.
Looking for PMP Exam Prep or want to read my review of the PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam? Check it out here .
CAPM Exam Prep 2023
If the PrepCast isn’t right for you, try this CAPM Exam training course by BrainBOK contains everything you need to pass the CAPM Exam. It includes their CAPM Study Guide created to complement the PMBOK Guide and the rest of their training materials so that you can achieve your certification in a short time frame.
Just be aware that the materials are not reflective of PMBOK® Guide – 7th Edition as it doesn’t look like the product has been updated yet.
The study bundle includes over 1,000 exam practice questions, 2100 flashcards, an ITTO guide, as well as access to their study forums. It also includes the 23 contact hours that PMI requires for the exam.
Read my more extensive BrainBOK review to learn more about this training.
I only reviewed online courses for CAPM because with people coming to this blog from all over the world, that’s going to be most relevant to most people. However, if you know you would do better in a CAPM bootcamp surrounded by ‘live’ students and a trainer, then check out reviews of courses that run close to you. Your local PMI Chapter may have a list of recommended in-person prep courses that you could investigate.
CAPM Prep Books
There are loads of CAPM study guides available via Amazon or your local bookshop, but the ones that come out top time and time again in student reviews are these.
Rita Mulcahy’s CAPM Exam Prep Book (4th Edition)
By Rita Mulchay
Rita has passed away now but her legacy lives on in the book series managed by her company. Her impact on project management studies cannot be underestimated: she wrote a best-selling prep book for the PMP exam too and her books get great reviews from students.
I love the writing style and it’s an accessible, comprehensive book. Make this your go-to guide.
CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-in-One Exam Guide (4th Edition)
By Joseph Phillips
Joseph Phillips is a trainer whose name comes up time and time again. He runs a popular student Facebook group and has helped lots of people pass the tests.
This book is unique in our list in that it also covers the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam too. If you think you might go on to take that, then this book will sit happily on your shelf until you are ready to go through the application process for that certification.
It includes over 1,000 practice exam questions as well.
Remember, you’ll also need a copy of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition (for the moment – the CAPM exam is being updated in 2022 and that update will no doubt reflect content from the Seventh Edition). PMI members can download one free from the PMI website – make sure you are logged in first.
Choose your study materials
Ultimately, the best study materials are going to be the ones you love using and are confident in. My top picks are all revision guides that I feel confident turning to and using as reference materials. I trust them and I understand where they’ve come from – the providers have credibility and pedigree, as well as thousands of successful students, which always helps!
While no study guide is a guarantee that you’ll pass, the best ones will prepare you for the test. The rest is down to you. Good luck!
Pin for later reading
This article first appeared at Rebel’s Guide to Project Management